- Interviews with editors who publish teen writers
- Links to places where young writers can submit work
- Advice from other authors
- Teen writing communities and more!
Take a look and let me know what you think.
To celebrate two years of blogging this month, I recently put together a new Resources for Teen Writers page. It includes:
Take a look and let me know what you think.
NaNoWriMo has a modified program for "young" writers (classified as 17 and younger.) Because of school and other commitments, you can sign up to complete a word count of your choice. You set the goal to something that will be manageable--whatever length you want! The website includes free access to downloadable workbooks (elementary, middle, or high school), pep talks for motivation and encouragement, and an online community of other writers. (I blogged about my own decision to try NaNoWriMo here.) You "win" by meeting your word count goal by the the end of the month. Any progress toward a creative goal is winning! As Napoleon Hill said:
What goals do you have for November and beyond?
This week's blog post is a combination of Teen Tuesday and my usual Friday Five. I'm pleased to share an interview with Martha Schoemaker, the Children's and Young Adult Editor of Soundings Review. Published by the Northwestern Institute of Literary Arts, Soundings Review magazine is a paying market ($25 per prose piece); submissions require a $3 fee through Submittable. The current reading period (fall) runs from September 1 to December 1.
What makes Soundings Review different from other magazines?
Soundings Review is a magazine of creative writing. In addition to publishing poetry, fiction, and non-fiction for adults, we also publish writing for children and young adults. While we recognize that children probably don’t read our magazine, we hope to serve as a showcase for the best writing we can find for ages eight through eighteen. We’re also open to submissions for younger readers, but we rarely get them.
Just to confirm--you accept submissions from teens and adults?
Yes. The age of the author isn’t a consideration. In fact, most of the editors at Soundings Review read the submission before we read the cover letter, and we usually have no idea of the age of our authors. We prefer to judge the work on its own merits before we look at a writer’s publication history and credentials.
What specific advice would you give to teen writers who would like to be published in Soundings Review?
Before you submit, ask yourself if it’s the best work you can do. If the answer is yes, send it to us accompanied by a simple cover letter that includes the title and description of the piece you are submitting along with a short bio of yourself. You can find many examples online. If you have a publication history, please include it, but it can be quite rewarding to publish debut authors if the work is excellent. It’s all about the quality of the work and the personal taste of the editors. The submission guidelines are available here.
What is the most common mistake or flaw that you see in submissions?
Several issues will take the work out of consideration for Soundings Review.
1) The piece is written for teens but from an adult perspective. I recently rejected a fine piece of writing that was about a teenager but written from the point of view of an adult. That is not young adult writing.
2) The quality simply isn’t there. Take the time to hone your craft. Proofread more than once, and get someone else to take a look at it. It can be difficult to edit your own work.
3) Illustrations. It costs lots of money to include illustrations, especially in color. Our budget usually won’t cover that.
4) The author talks down to children by being overly cute or clever, especially with picture books. In my opinion, picture books and books for the very young are the most difficult genres to write. Don’t even try it until you’ve read at least 200 quality picture books. Go to your local bookstore or talk to a librarian to get ideas.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Read widely in your chosen genre or genres. I’ve gotten a few middle grade and young adult submissions from people who don’t seem to have read much in those genres. Ask yourself what you loved to read as a child. Reread some of those books and stories, and find new ones you can love just as much.
Is your goal to sell your writing? There’s nothing wrong with that! Study the market, but write what you love. Your passion will show in your writing.
Good writers become better writers by reading craft books, by taking workshops and classes and working with other writers, and by writing as much as possible.
Thank you, Martha, for your advice about writing and Soundings Review.
Writing friends--how do you find new markets to submit your work to?
Polyphony H.S. is a literary magazine which publishes high school students from around the world. The annual student-run publication is open to submissions until May 30th. Payment is a contributor's copy, but for teen writers looking for feedback, they seem to have a thorough editing and review process. They accept poetry (up to 80 lines) along with fiction and literary nonfiction (up to 1500 words).
Check out these helpful links:
What sort of feedback will I get on my submission?
Excellent submission advice.
Polyphony H.S. submission guidelines.
How to submit your work.
During 2014, I profiled several websites for teen writers and journals that publish teen writing. To start off 2015, here are some updates:
Teens Can Write, Too has recently partnered with the teen writing conference, Ch1Con, and they've added several teenage guest writers. More information is available at the TCWT website. Thanks to John Hansen for the update. You can read my original interview with John at Teen Tuesday: Avoid Condescending Advice.
Ann Teplick let me know that Pongo "is in a new stage of growth with many wonderful things happening." You can visit the Pongo website for more information. You can also check my previous post at Teen Tuesday: The Time is Now for Pongo Teen Poetry.
One Teen Story news: Patrick Ryan, Editor-in-Chief says, "Our contest judge this year was Tara Altebrando -- author of The Battle of Darcy Lane and The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life -- and our winner is 16-year-old Lily Dodd, who's written an awesome confessional story called 'Eulogy for Pretzel' (which we'll be publishing in May). We'll also be publishing more teen authors in the near future, so stay tuned!" Patrick provides writing advice at Teen Tuesday: Write Like a Rabbit, Revise Like a Turtle.
YARN (Young Adult Review Network) news: 2015 brings a new Spring edition and their first ever Summer edition. YARN is also celebrating its 5th anniversary this year. To read an interview with Kerri Majors, YARN's Editor, visit Teen Tuesday: Get Published in YARN Literary Journal.
Next Tuesday: Upcoming contest for teen writers.
Last year, I profiled several websites for teen writers and journals that publish teen writing. I'm starting 2015 with updates to those interviews. (Last Tuesday featured Canvas Literary Journal in case you missed it.) This week's update is for Cicada Magazine, which is currently hosting a contest with a January 31st deadline. (Details below.)
Cicada Magazine is a paying market that publishes teen writers. You can read a previous Q&A with the Associate Editor at Teen Tuesday: Interview with Anna Neher of Cicada Magazine. Anna had these Cicada updates to share:
"January's a crazy exciting time at CicadaHQ. Our annual Best of The Slam is out, featuring top poetry & fiction from our online writing forum for ages 14-23. On right now at The Slam: our Into the Woods fairy tale zine project. Folks looking for fairy tale story ideas can play with our Fairy Tale Plot Machine. It's completely addictive.
If you love animals (and who doesn't??), you should submit to our Call for Creative Endeavors: Animals contest. Deadline: January 31. We'll be launching a new Creative Endeavors theme on February 2, so check back!
I can tell you a thousand things about how smart, passionate, kind, nerdy, and fun the confederacy of Cicadaphiles is, but I'm going to let a couple of the Slammers do it for me:
'Welcome to ze slam! *squints owlishly* we're all mad here …' --Nick
'We are many, but we are strong, and we enjoy writing down the things that other people are scared to think about.' --kimmie66"
Thanks, Anna, for sharing Cicada's news!
Teen writers -- check back next Tuesday for more writing updates.
Last January, I featured an interview with Canvas Literary Journal, a market that publishes teens. I checked in with them to see what's new and they are currently running a comedy writing contest with two cash prizes ($20 for first and $10 for second) along with publication in their spring issue. The deadline is February 24.
Here's what their literary board has to say about the contest:
"From the publication of the Winter issue until the submission cutoff for the Spring issue, Canvas Literary Journal will be running a contest for humorous literature. Any kind of humor (wordplay, satire, just plain absurdity, etc.) and any medium (story, poem, play, etc.) will be accepted. Pieces awarded first place, second place, and any honorable mentions will be published in the Spring 2014 issue of Canvas."
Check the Canvas website for more information about entry details and contest prizes. Thank you to Canvas Literary Journal for the update.
Good luck and happy writing!
A resource to explore is author Jacqueline Jules' website, Pencil Tips: Writing Workshop Strategies from Children's Authors and Illustrators. She includes a section dedicated to magazines and contests that accept student work for consideration. If you're looking for places to submit, be sure to check it out.
In case you are new to my blog, this week's Teen Tuesday post is a summary of some ongoing contests and market profiles that I've listed previously.
A winner has been randomly selected for the Emergency Preparedness giveaway. There is a 48 hour period for the winner to respond. Once I hear back, I'll announce it.
Before I provide my usual writing resources, I wanted to mention that during National Preparedness Month, it's a good idea to plan for pet care in an emergency. There's some useful information at the ASPCA website.
It's not too late to enter to win an Emergency Preparedness Kit. Visit my earlier blog post for details.
I have apparently hit the limit on storing my favorite places online, so I'm including some useful writing links here for safe-keeping.
Bookjobs.com provides lots of information about the publishing industry in general, including commonly used terms, intern opportunities, and publisher profiles.
Children's Writer: If you can write a story for five and six year olds, enter their current "Kindergarten story" contest. Entries due November 7. (Click on the Writing Contest link on the left side of the main site.)
If you are just getting started in children's writing, the SCBWI provides some helpful information.
Author Dan Gutman offers tips for young writers.
Keep up with Kid Lit News through the Children's Book Council. You can also find submission guidelines on their site for publishers who are CBC members.
This Book Marketing and Book Promotion website contains a giant list of links to publisher sites. I would highly recommend checking the editors before submitting because of frequent changes in the industry, but this list might introduce you to some publishing houses you were unaware of.
Relating to staffing changes, Harold Underdown provides editorial news for children's book publishers at Who's Moving Where.
Crashtest is an online magazine run by students in Greenville, South Carolina that publishes the writings of other high schoolers (grades 9-12) twice a year. You can submit year-round by email, but response times may be longer during the summer months.
From the website: "Here at Crashtest we believe being alive right now is what matters. We don’t think the ability to observe the world and form an opinion is denied us because we can’t yet rent a car. . . "
They publish poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction. (No fan fiction.) Please see the website for complete details about sending them your work.
Sign up for Yvonne's newsletter for exclusive content, book news, and other occasional author goodies.