Just like adult writers, you need to figure out what you like to write and then find markets that will publish your work. I use various writer’s market books to make that happen, and so should you! Here is a must-have book for your library:
“A Teen’s Guide to Getting Published: Publishing for Profit, Recognition and Academic Success” by Jessica Dunn and Danielle Dunn was released in June 2006 by Prufrock Press. (You can find this on Amazon.com for about $12.)
Here is a description of this awesome book: A Teen’s Guide to Getting Published is an exciting must-read for young writers wanting to see their work published. This revised edition, written by two successful former teen authors, offers practical writing tips and an expansive, up-to-date listing of markets that publish student work. A Teen’s Guide gives advice, encouragement, and motivation to young authors looking to make their mark as writers. Topics addressed in the book include the writing craft, freelance publishing, rights and copyright information, publishing pitfalls, writing camps and workshops, and staff writing and book publishing. Filled with successful strategies for becoming a published author, any young writer will find this book an enjoyable read. Recommended for writers in grades 4 through 12.
Until you get “A Teen’s Guide to Getting Published” that’s been put together especially for you, here are a few places that will feature your work to get you started. (Some offer a little pay, and others don’t offer any monetary compensation, but it’s a nice way to showcase your work and acquire some clips along the path to being well published.)
*About Teens online magazine: This site has specific guidelines for potential writers, so follow them carefully before submitting your work. Read other teens’ short stories, and take note of recommended books (both fiction and non-fiction) for teens. Also, you can read funny jokes and poetry. Go to http://www.aboutteens.org/main.htm online.
*The Concord Review, Inc. can be found at http://www.tcr.org/ online. The Concord Review is a journal which publishes excellent essays by high school students studying history. Some of the best essays from the printed journal are published on this website. But here’s the deal: if you are interested in history, TCR encourages your writing submissions and awards several monetary prizes each year. Whoo hoo! You can get published and win a contest and possibly a cash prize!
*Teen Ink is totally written by teens and can be found at http://www.teenink.com/ online. This online magazine has no staff writers, and depends completely on teen readers to submit work. More than 20,000 students have already been published, and there is no charge to submit or to be published. Well, what are you waiting for? Check it out and submit your writing! (The magazine is sponsored by The Young Authors Foundation).
*Blogs: You could start your own blog, or you could do a “guest blog” on other people’s websites—some have huge followings! By doing a guest blog, you can get writing experience, make connections, and gain exposure. Here’s a place to start: Offer yourself as a guest blogger on this literary site: www.peevishpenman.com online. That site once did an interview with a 23-year-old published author who started writing at 19. Her name is Heather Beck. She became an accomplished author while still in college.
And, here are a few print magazines that might publish your work.
Contact: Jennifer Maul, Publications Manager and Editor
419 Mason St. Ste. 108
Vacaville CA 95688
This publication is written mostly by girls for girls, addressing teen topics. It’s a quarterly magazine and runs 40 to 50 pages. Articles run about 200 to 400 words. Needs poetry, fillers, cartoons, jokes, prayers, quizzes, short humor, word puzzles, etc. Guidelines on the website.
Contact: Ms. Kristi Thom, Editor
8400 Fairway Pl.
Middleton, WI 53562
This magazine is for girls ages 8 and older. It buys poetry ONLY from children. It pays a dollar per word, according to its guidelines. TIP: The “Girls Express” section is most open to new writers. Send short profiles of girls who are into sports, the arts, interesting hobbies, and cultural activities.
*New Moon, The Magazine for Girls & Their Dreams
Contact: Deb Mylin, Managing Editor
2 West First Street, Suite 101
Duluth, MN 55802
Buys poetry, articles and essays from girls ages 8-14. Publishes females only!
Pays: 6 cents to 12 cents per word
Want to know what to read or what other teens are reading?
*Teenreads.Com: The Book Bag is a website that combines the best of pop culture books, with new YA titles and the best adult books suited for teens. The result? A site where teens sound off about the books and issues they care about. Find this site at http://www.teenreads.com/ online. And if you’d like to be a book reviewer for this site and other related sites (Can anyone say, free books?!), go here and apply: http://www.tbrnetwork.com/content/reviewer.asp
Interested in screenwriting? Check out this resource:
*Screen Teen Writers: How Young Screenwriters Can Find Success
(Meriwether Publishing) by Christina Hamlett ISBN 1566080789
Contest websites to point you toward year-round writing contests! (Some even pay in cash prizes!!)
*Byline Magazine Contest Listings: www.bylinemag.com online; click on “Contest Info” icon.
*Freelance Writing: Website for Today’s Working Writer: www.freelancewriting.com/contests.html
*KIMN Giollnick’s Website: Contest Listings. www.Kimn.net
*Writer’s Digest Website for Contests: www.writersdigest.com Search contests.
*Writer’s Prompt.com: www.writersprompt.com (Offers real-time, writing competitions for poets and creative writers. Offers a free way to display your writing and let others read your work.)
Another outlet for your writing is a writer’s contest specifically for teen fiction writers. I served as one of the judges for the contest the past two years. You can win scholarship money and get your YA book, song, artwork, etc., published!! Pretty awesome, eh? Go to http://www.tweenertimecompetitions.org/ and learn more. You should go for it!
Think kids and teens can’t get books published? Think again! Take a look at these books…if these kids and teens can get published, so can you! So, don’t give up!
1. Journey through Heartsongs by Mattie J.T. Stepanek ISBN 0-7868-6942-9 (And Mattie had several other books published in this poetry series before he died.)
2. One Day in the Life of Bubble Gum by fourth grade students of Mt. Horeb Intermediate Center in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin (Scholastic) ISBN 0-439-36886-3
3. Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Emma Kragen (She was 7 when she wrote this book.) (W Publishing Group) ISBN 0849958733
4. Getting There: Seventh Grade Writing on Life, School, and the Universe (American Teen Writer Series) edited by Kathryn Kulpa ISBN 1886427046
5. Eragon by Christopher Paolini was only 15 when he wrote this best-selling book (Knopf Books for Young Readers) ISBN 0375826688
KEEP WRITING! KEEP DREAMING! YOU HAVE A VOICE AND YOUR STORY NEEDS TO BE TOLD…