boy-writingNational organizations like NaNoRiMo spend part of every year heavily focused on young writers. For instance, they hold a summer camp for teen writers. The goal? Write a whole novel in one month! Alec Greven was just nine years old when he published How to Talk to Girls in 2008, a book which began as a simple school project. Just a year later, his book made The New York Times bestseller list, and he now has multiple titles published in 17 countries. With a bit of innate creativity, some well-timed encouragement, and the aid of evolving technology tools, your own budding writer could find similar motivation and inspiration with these great free book publishing apps!

Writing helps

Here’s a selection of writing helps that can facilitate creativity.

1. Merriam Webster Dictionary/Thesaurus

Ages: all

No budding wordsmith should be without a dictionary, and Merriam Webster's app is fabulous, functional and–best of all—free. The app includes voice search, a thesaurus, audio pronunciations, a "Word of the Day" feature and much more.

2. B-Rhymes

Ages: all

Kids and adults alike rave about B-Rhymes, a free app that helps budding poets and songwriters through that worst-case-scenario—the inability to find a word that rhymes with (fill in the blanks).

Note: Parents should be aware that the app contains some mild, infrequent profanity in the app's rhyming matches.

3. Dragon Dictation

Ages: 4+

  • Get it for iTunes (free)
  • There is no pure Android equivalent, but you can download the free Android Dragon Remote Microphone app if you already use Dragon Naturally Speaking.

Dragon Dictation has become widely popular for a variety of uses for both kids and adults. For young word lovers, the app permits kids to speak their dialogue or storyline into the mic. The app is especially great for children or teens who have learning issues such as dyslexia, which may frustrate natural writing talent.

Publishing helps

These fabulous publishing apps can turn a creative idea into a finished book in short order. Also, there are many more free apps for the iOS platform versus the Android platform to date—hopefully this will be rectified in months to come.

1. Little Story Maker

Ages: 4-12

This fabulous, free app is suitable for any budding writer who has begun to write simple sentences—and can accommodate increased complexity as writing ability grows.  The app is set up to pair original images (photos, children's artwork, etc.) with short sentences (40 characters or less) and audio playback, complete with one-touch support for difficult-to-pronounce words.

2. Scribble My Story

Ages: 3-7

Scribble My Story is a free junior app to Scribble Press app for iTunes ($3.99). Designed for the very young set, Scribble My Story incorporates stickers, an audio embed feature, creative backgrounds, and an easy interface to make the writing process fun and fast.

3. Story Kit

Ages: 4-12

Story Kit is a free, international app supported by the National Science Foundation and childrenslibrary.org. The app offers two ways to learn writing—by creating an original story using text, pictures and audio, or by rearranging four public domain children's books (The Three Little Pigs and The Three Bears are two of the stories).

4. Story Creator

Ages: 4+

Story Creator incorporates not just text, pictures and audio, but also video. There’s also a drawing app with multiple style options (including "crayon") to make crafting the look of the book more fun. Sharing finished stories is easy—this is a highly social app that supports comments on shared stories as well as sharing via email. The app is parent and teacher-friendly as well.

5. bookPress

Ages: 6+

bookPress is an ideal app for parent-child or teacher-child (or parent-teacher-child) collaborative book projects. The app is fully social-media-ready, and also flexible enough to incorporate projects as diverse as storybooks, cookbooks, children's books, yearbooks, novels, textbooks and more. The finished product will be ebook or print-book-ready.

6. iBooks Author

Ages: 10+

iBooks Author is free and functional for authors of any age. The app permits creation of textbooks, cookbooks, picture books, novels, nonfiction books and much more. Customizable templates make it easy to take even the simplest text and turn it into a professional-looking, finished, literary product. "Drag and drop" technology makes adding photos, captions, inserts, and more seamless.