I am new here, just a little over a week, and I have some younger friends that I mentor, in their 20's, that like to write.
I would like to help direct them to an appropriate site where they can get the most help with their writing, and at least get started with the process.
I am familiar with Helium, and now this site, which seems like it might be a little too advanced for brand new writers.
Where honestly would you direct new young writers?
Dorsi, I have reservations about Helium due to the fact that you can never remove your work from that site if you change your mind later. In fact, I've written a Hub about Helium stating my views.
However, that may not be such an issue for very new writers, because as they keep writing, they will keep on improving - so they'll probably never want to use their early articles again anyway, at least not in their original form. And Helium's volunteer Site Stewards do quite a lot of mentoring so it's a good site for newbies from that perspective.
If earning money is not a goal, then the fiction writers could try Storywrite.
HubPages doesn't really have a lot of support to help improve writing (though there's lots of help available on how to Hub). However, it may appeal to writers like me who enjoy illustrating their text.
Another possibility is to practise here with a screen name you don't want to keep forever, just to see what sort of results and feedback you can achieve. With a bit of experience in what works and what doesn't, you could then sign up with a new screen name and make a fresh start.
HubPages is excellent for the big meaty subjects.
For a beginner who isn't yet ready to sign up for an Adsense account I'd suggest Gather.
I like Hubpages because you don't have to be an expert writer and you can practice writing in a supportive environment. I wrote a hub aimed at students which explains how I feel.
10 Reasons for Students To Write Hubpages
Hope it helps.
If you are looking for help with writing as a craft, I have found this site to be very supportive and useful:
Why not HubPages? I would recommend this site to almost anyone. True, it might be harder to get constructive feedback, but it's a great place to practice, and reading the work of others is the best writing practice you can get, in my opinion.
If any of them are into fiction or poetry writing, these are some fairly popular sites:
http://www.writing.com/ (this one does essays, nonfiction, etc. as well)
My favorite is actually the NaNo forums, but they're pretty dead when NaNo isn't actually going on: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
LiveJournal has a huge and very supportive writing community, but mostly centered around fanfiction. It's good because fanfiction (on LJ, less so on sites with younger demographics) is generally expected to be "beta read" before posting, so there is a large community of people willing to provide constructive criticism for both beginning and experienced writers, as long as you're writing about time traveling aliens, ghost busting brothers, or wizards-in-training. If you're not, you can find some good original fic communities as well but the beta community isn't as strong unless you've already got friends. A bunch of SFF authors in particular have journals there, including Naomi Novik, George R.R. Martin, and Tamora Pierce, which is another advantage, though.
I really appreciate the feedback, I think I'll have her come here and take a look. If she feels too intimidated I'll direct her elsewhere with the excellent advice you've all given me.
She has alot of wonderful stories to contribute, alot of life experiences that would make good subject matter, And she's very familiar with portals like MySpace so this might be a good place for her, and we could work together on some things, which I know she would enjoy.
I've found this site to be very user friendly, the only thing I'm really struggling with now is the massive amount of information I have to download into my brain about the marketing aspect of it.
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