Figment is an online community and self-publishing platform for young writers. Created by Jacob Lewis and Dana Goodyear, who both worked at The New Yorker, the site officially launched on December 6, 2010. Figment currently has over 300,000 registered users and over 370,000 'books', or pieces of writing. Other features include frequent writing contests, a blog, forums, and The Figment Review. On February 27, 2012, Figment announced it would purchase and merge user bases with its rival site, Inkpop.com. On March 1, 2012, the two sites merged userbases and works. On October 29, 2013, Figment was acquired by Random House Children's Group. 
Inspired by the popularity of the Japanese cell phone novel, Dana Goodyear, poet and journalist, and Jacob Lewis, former managing editor of The New Yorker, created Figment as a platform on which young adults can share their writing and interact with other writers. Figment spent several months in beta, and officially launched on December 6, 2010, gaining over 10,000 users the first week. Users can "publish" and access short stories, poetry, lyrics, essays, and novels either on their computers or with their mobile phones. In addition, users are able to review, "heart" and comment on works by other users. Not to mention, Figment is teen-friendly and a fun place for teens (and adults) to become better writers. Figment has been featured in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and The Today Show.
In December 2011, Figment published its first print book: Dream School by Blake Nelson. The novel is a sequel to Nelson's widely popular mid-nineties novel Girl. Figment first released Dream School in serial format on its web site as free content for all users, and then printed the book in a more traditional format. “It echoes the way Girl was serialized in the pages of Sassy magazine prior to being published,” said Nelson. “I took a stack of fan letters that were sent to the magazine over to my editor’s office and said this is the audience for this book.”
In March 2012, Figment combined with HarperCollins's online writing community, Inkpop. At the time of the merge, InkPop had 95,000 users and Figment had 115,000 users, with little overlap between the two sites. Susan Katz, the HarperCollins Children's Book president, said of the move: “We approached Figment because we’ve admired what they are doing in the digital space. Together we can broaden our marketing reach for our authors and their stories by tapping into this highly engaged group.” 
Figment offers a new writing contest every week. Many of the contests focus on themes and issues presented in popular and upcoming YA books, and provide prompts with which users can create their contest entries. The contests often involve published YA authors.
Contests have included the participation of Paulo Coelho, Darren Shan, Gayle Forman, Jackson Pearce, Sherry Shahan, Lauren Oliver, Lisi Harrison, Billy Collins, Nicholas Sparks, Sara Shepard, Drusilla Campbell and many others.
The Seventeen Magazine Fiction Contest
Seventeen Magazine hosted its 2011 fiction contest Figment. Girls between the ages of 15 and 21 had to write a story of less than 500 words for the chance to win a $5,000 cash prize, the opportunity to have her story published on Seventeen.com, and a phone call with Maggie Stiefvater, author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy – Shiver, Linger, and Forever. 50 of the 60 finalists were chosen via Figment user votes, and the other 10 were picked by Seventeen editors. The grand prize winner was to be announced on April 1, 2012.
The Zinch Scholarship Contest
Users in high school or college were challenged to write a 600-character story about their coming-of-age moment and to submit to it the Figment page at Zinch.com for a chance to win a $500 scholarship. The judge of the contest is author Jonathan Safran Foer, writer of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Entries could be submitted until March 31, 2012.
The Figment blog is a space that houses many projects and topics. Published YA authors often contribute blog posts about writing and other subjects, such as Patrick Ryan's post for the Day of Silence, Jackson Pearce's video answering questions from the Figment community, and Darren Shan's post on his teenage writing inspirations. Other blog posts showcase humorous videos, share interviews with Figment contest winners, explore certain themes in featured books and offer recaps of popular Twitter trends, such as #YAsaves.
Figment offers 23 different forum sections in which members can interact. The forums are composed of the following:
- Well, hello there! (Introductions)
- Suggestions Box
- Found Something Good on Figment?
- The Writing Life
- Recommended Reading
- Self-Promotion & Critique Requesting
- The Cover Studio
- Collaboration Station
- From Gaga to the Godfather
- Writing Scraps
- Pitch Perfect
- Short Story
- Full-Length Stories
- Contest Promotion
The most community-oriented section of the site is the General/Random forum. Many of the users that frequent this forum have developed tight-knit relationships with each other, often organizing "figgy" centered events that usually involve Nutella, Loki, Doctor Who, Merlin, Sherlock, bacon, tacos, potatoes, Katie McGrath or any combination of these. Such events include FigProm, the FigAwards, and FigDate Night. In addition, many members participate in popular organized events, such as Day of Silence or "Act like your character" roleplays that span most of the Gen/Ran forum. The longest running "Character chat" was created by Figment user, Indigo Crow. To date, it has over 300,000 posts.
The Figment Review
The Figment Review is a section of Figment where YA books, both published and upcoming, are reviewed by a group of over 20 reviewers, ranging from 13 to 24 years of age. The reviews focus on technique, presentation, and overall content, also offering a synopsis of events. Posts include reviews of Tiger's Quest and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. The Figment Review is also on Facebook and Twitter.
Social Media Presence
Figment has an active Twitter account(@Figment) with over 13,000 followers. @Figment features many giveaways, games, and contests that allow followers to win copies of books and other prizes.
On Facebook, Figment shares links to activities on the main site, information on YA books and authors, and often offers interactive polls on a variety of topics. There are over 119,000 fans on Facebook.
The Figment Newsletter is sent out every Tuesday afternoon, and is sent to all members of the site. It includes information on current contests, current author features, the most recent contribution to The Figment Review, Editor's Picks of three member writings, and a list of the most current blog entries. The newsletter also includes the most recent Daily Theme (which is emailed to participating users on a daily basis and provided by published YA authors), and a user-generated section called "What the Fig?" which features short pieces about pop-culture.
Awards and Honorable Mentions
Figment was chosen as a winning start-up company at the O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference 2011 and was also selected as a 15th Annual Webby Awards Official Honoree in the "Youth" category.
On February 25, 2012, it was announced that Figment would be receiving the 2011 Los Angeles Times Innovator's Award, as part of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. The award honors "cutting edge work to bring books, publishing, and storytelling into the future."
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- Kellogg, Carolyn (2011-05-13). "Teen writing community Figment gets $1 million in funding". The L.A. Times.
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- Boog, Jason. "Figment to Manage HarperCollins' Inkpop Writing Community". Retrieved 10 July 2012.
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