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Any experience with Write The World?

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My dd14 has been asking about joining this site. She has an irl friend (I know friend and family pretty well) who recommended it. It seems to be a place where teen 13-19y/o writers can publish their work and have it reviewed/commented on by peers, read and comment on other pieces & join competitions. I've read through their terms and they seem pretty decent with moderating age appropriate stuff and moving on kids as they get older. 

I can't see a forum type of thing anywhere on it but I guess I'm most concerned about what the community is like and the vortex like influence these kinds of things can have on young teens

So, has anyone used it?

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Yes, my dd was on it for about a year when she was 14 (2017-18ish). In some ways it was a great community. The peer feedback was good - she learned how to effectively critique other's work and the kids are so supportive of each other. She learned a lot that helped her own writing. There were also sometimes debates in the comments section - the kids kept these very respectful for the most part and really attempted to hear the pov of each other. She made a friend that she still keeps in touch with. 

The downside... it is filled with angsty 13-15 year olds. There are some older kids but participation seems to drop in the 16-19 year old group. There are a lot of pieces written about how nobody gets them/ their problem and how their parents hate them/ do everything wrong. Whatever, pretty typical for this age but it is not necessarily helpful to immerse yourself in that stuff. The boards are moderated but I saw so many pieces dreaming of suicide and discussing cutting. They eventually got pulled but it would often take awhile. 

If I could do it again, I would not let my dd join when she did. I ended up limiting our internet use for other reasons, but getting her off WtW was a definite side benefit. Ultimately, it was not an overall positive for her mental health. This, however, is very specific to her and some issues she was dealing with at 14 yo. 

The site is open to the public. You can follow it for a few days to get a feel for the environment. People come and go so the dynamics change. You will also notice that some writers are very dedicated to improving their writing while others are using WtW as a place to vent. There was a mass exodus a while back because the kids felt they were too heavily moderated. I think that helped get the focus back on writing. I think the positives outweigh the negatives for most kids, but there definitely are negatives. I wish I would have been more aware of that going in.

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Thanks so much for your reply Tracy!

You pretty much mirrored my thoughts/worries, the angsty young teens all bouncing off each other in an echo chamber!

My dd is closer to 15 than 13 and has recently seemed to come out of her 'life sucks and no-one gets me' funk. I'm torn between thinking she's probably mature enough to try it (with heavy oversight at first), and worried that it is exactly the kind of thing that could suck her back in... Most likely scenario is she'll probably lose interest fairly quickly, she tends to obsessively write for a week or two then hardly touch it again for months. I joined as an educator so I could poke around and especially so I could look at profiles. Most seemed fine, maybe 10% were concerning.

Anyway I'll discuss it with her and dh first. Thanks again!

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