Textnovel

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Textnovel Website Poster Image
Creative outlet for budding novelists has wide range.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive messages

It's a mixed bag -- but many of the stories contain a positive outlook on growing up, self-discovery and other topics.

Violence

The site has a whole section of horror stories on topics like zombies and vampires.

Sex

Writers are given no restrictions, and some stories are pretty graphic and deal with sexually-charged subject matter like being a teenage stripper.

Language

Although the site asks users not to use swear words on its message boards (including replacing swear words with asterisks) because the site is intended to be kid-friendly, authors can -- and do -- sometimes use words like s--t in their stories.

Consumerism

The site contains some banner and Google ads.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while Textnovel encourages creativity and writing, there aren't a lot of restrictions on what you write about -- or how you phrase it. As a result, many of the stories posted on the site include adult themes (such as prostitution and cutting) and language that parents may not be thrilled to have younger teens reading. The site also lets users include their cell phone number in their profile -- which opens up a number of privacy issues.

User Reviews

Parent of a 16 year old Written bymycounsel January 12, 2010

Updates to Site to Make it Even More Family Friendly

There are some great comments on the review. One thing we are implementing this week is restrictions on R rated stories to help protect younger teens and child...
Parent of a 16 year old Written byReader72 January 1, 2010

Perfect for 13 and up

I love this site! Most social networks are a waste of time. This one helps young people learn to write and think critically.
Teen, 16 years old Written byBlueDragonMaster98 July 15, 2010

it's fun and interesting

It's good for those with writing talent, or those who don't but want to try anyway. For younger kids, the site will make you confirm your age on stori...
Teen, 15 years old Written byfire eater March 2, 2012

I great place to become a better writer.

A really great selection of stories to read and practice writing. You get reviews by other writers and become a better writer. I love Textnovel.

Is it any good?

Founded by a literary agent, TEXTNOVEL bills itself as a social network for writers and readers. Authors can post stories, chapter by chapter, about any topic they want to write about -- although many center around popular themes like romance and young adult fiction. The site makes it easy for writers to submit material using computers, cell phones, or even text message, and offers them the chance to get their work read and receive feedback on it. Textnovel also includes a nifty function that allows users to make an in-progress story private so that only selected friends can read it before the story goes live. Nonfiction and fiction fans should also enjoy clicking around -- there's plenty to read. The site's only major drawback is that much of the content, while creative, isn’t always kid-appropriate. Writers can post pretty much whatever they want, so kids who come to the site to read young adult fiction could easily stumble across a story about a stalker or stripper. Although stories contain a G, PG, PG-13 or R rating, the authors select it, so it's pretty subjective -- and there's really nothing stopping younger readers from reading an R-rated story.

Online interaction: Users can comment on authors’ published stories or ask friends to offer advice on how to improve an in-progress story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Why it might not be a good idea to post personal information -- like your cell phone number -- as part of a profile that you create on a website, even if you think only your friends will see it.

  • Talk about how to protect your personal privacy.

  • Watch our video on digital creativity and see how other kids use technology to express themselves.

Website details

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