Business Section

Publishing Update

KidPub WWW Publishing

Publishing Update Written by Kathy Casper

From Australia to South Africa to Canada, readers around the world sample the engaging stories posted at the KidPub WWW Publishing site at http://www.en-garde.com/kidpub/. The site was created by Perry Donham; a system documentation writer for Teradyne, Inc. in Boston, MA.; to showcase the works of young authors, and elementary school children.

KidPub provides a story template for submissions, and indexes new stories frequently. Stories are archived quarterly. The story database is searchable by keyword, in case you are looking for a story about a particular topic, or by a particular author. The story template provides sections for pertinent information about the story, and even a short bio about the author. Photos or illustrations may also be included.

Story pages include an access counter at the bottom, so budding authors may track how many readers have enjoyed their stories. An e- mail link is also provided so that readers may interact with the author. Launched in February, 1995, the site currently is accessed nearly 3,000 times per day!

KidPub also features a section dedicated to submissions by individual schools, offering background information about the school, in addition to stories written by the students. Nearly two dozen elementary schools from around the world are represented in the KidPub Schools section. Miss Sue Brown, a teacher at Blakebrook Primary School near Lismore, N.S.W. Australia, goes the extra mile to facilitate her students' participation. Blakebrook Primary School is located in a rural area, and the school does not yet have Internet access. So, the children write their stories to a floppy disk, which Miss Brown transfers to her home computer and then transmits to KidPub. She relays e-mail responses to the children in the same way. When the District Superintendent of Schools visited her class, he asked the students to tell him something special that had happened to them recently. Miss Brown describes their response:

"Their reply was to tell him that they had stories published internationally on the WWW. They then went on to explain, quite clearly for 8/9 yr. olds, what the WWW was, and how anyone with a computer and a modem could now read their stories. He was quite impressed and I was proud of the way they answered."

Miss Brown has achieved her objective of creating an international awareness for her students using the World Wide Web. The students remain enthusiastic about KidPub, although they have not yet had the opportunity to actually view their work on-line.

Another feature of KidPub is a collaborative story initiated by the site's creator. Children are invited to continue the story by submitting the next paragraph, followed by their name. The collaborative stories revolve around the adventures of Liz and Gary, a brother and sister team. Two stories have been completed, with a third in progress.

The site is funded by offering premiums such as an official KidPub mouse pad for $12.50, but KidPub is also sponsored by Check Free, and welcomes other corporate sponsors.

Is the Internet "safe" for kids? Absolutely! Children have as much to gain as anyone in exploring the resources of the World Wide Web. Projects like KidPub demonstrate just one of many opportunities electronic publishing provides for young people to enhance their communication skills and relate effectively to the world around them.

Other Web sites that publish the works of young writers include:

Web.Kids
The Looking Glass Gazette
Arbor Heights Cool Writers Magazine
Cape Fear Young Images
Cyber Kids Magazine
Onalska Underground
PlanetWorks


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