Creative outlet for budding novelists has wide range.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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


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


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


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.


The site contains some banner and Google ads.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

You can create private stories, which can only be viewed by readers you invite to view them, or public stories.


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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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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.
Teen, 16 years old Written byxheartbeat July 14, 2011
Writing is something that I'll always love and possibly make a profession out of and I really did love this site when I found out about it. Seeing all the other kids out there with similar talents when it comes to writing, getting inspiration for your own or just enjoying other's works from afar is really a nice online environment.
What other families should know
Educational value
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 stories marked R in their ratings. Like youtube, this can be cheated. But, the site still tries. Stories can be dark and adult, or it can by fun for kids. Swearing isn't allowed, but people do anyway. Actually, I've got a story going on Textnovel right now, and I'm still working at it. Like youtube, there's a great vareity with the content of the stories. Thing is, you have to read to find yout what. For parents of children who can't sit still, this may be a lucky break.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value


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