Overall, I had fun reading the end products and students had fun creating them. The only feedback from students was that they needed to know upfront who their audience would be -- specifically, were they writing for children, peers, the world in general? So next year I will build in time to discuss writing for an audience and together we will determine for whom they are writing.
I gave them very little in terms of constraints -- I said their story needed to include both text and non-text elements, and the text needed to include both narrative and informative writing -- they seemed to like the complete freedom, but some had trouble starting and wanted me to give them a genre or topic. Also, next year I will spend more time in class discussing certain aspects that some seemed to struggle with (point of view/narration, audience, incorporating dialog, building tension).
Here is an example of one of the stories my students created (shared with permission by the authors)
I am loving using autoCrat to start students' assignments in Google Drive! Besides having the assignments in the correct folders, named the way I want them to be named, and following the assignment template that I want them to use, the other nifty aspect of using this script to generate assignments is thatI can change rights after I grade so that students who want to revise have to notify me to change them back to editor. Last semester, students submitted work well after deadlines and didn't tell me so there wasn't an easy way to know who revised or submitted late work other than to open each class folder and then each student folder to see the last edited date. AutoCrat has made it much easier for me to manage student work in Drive.