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Places that Publish Teen Writing


by Lisa Hiton

places to publish student writing

For many, being a writer involves that ever-strange relationship between unknown readers and your work. You may never meet the people who’ve read your work or know what they think about it. After all, you’ve been that reader, falling in love with sentences, learning to empathize with the harshest of villains, and feeling that a protagonist in a story is a real friend of yours. There is a great power in the mystery of that intimacy, all fabricated from a writer’s mind and brought to you in the form of a printed or digitized page (or in some cases, as an audio retelling).

The point of writing is the writing itself. But after a lot of practice and knowing when a story is finally finished, there is an impulse to share stories. This impulse is human. We tell stories at our dinner tables. We go to the theater or the movies on the weekends. We listen to podcasts. We sit around campfires in the summer. All of this to dedicate time to thinking about being human. Storytelling is a form of entertainment, yes, but the shared experiences of stories–whether it’s reading a book in a classroom, seeing a story unfold on a stage or screen, or gathering at a dinner table–have the power to transcend history and time, to change us as individuals and communities. And so that impulse to share our work as writers is not just about fame or the permanence that comes with publication, but to participate in that grand collective of human consciousness.

As discussed in last month’s blog, you’re now ready with a cover letter and a piece of writing or two that you’d like out in the world. Now it’s time to figure out who might love it as much as you do and give it a space in the world of their magazine.

Getting Organized

First you’ll want to get organized. The life of a writer is not an easy one. You’ll need to be prepared for overwhelming amounts of hard work in the forms of reading, writing, thinking, and imagining. You’ll also need to be prepared for hardships. Writers deal with rejection all the time–rejection letters from magazines, publishers, agents, college campuses. And for the writers lucky enough to get a book deal, there is always a critic waiting to take your book down with skepticism. But the lasting effects of reading and writing are what keep writers going forward. The best thing to do is expect many rejection letters and stay organized as a means to defeat this system of discouragement.

The first thing to do is come up with a way of keeping track of your submissions. You can do this digitally or by hand. I happen to do both. You’ll want to keep a log with pertinent information. It might look something like this to start:


Here are some recent submission entries of mine:

Denver Quarterly Ancestry, The Houses of Frankfurt, Portrait in a Jewelry Box, 2/23/2016, 12/28/2016 Acceptance

Poetry Magazine Intrusion, Patriot’s Day, Scoring the Death of the Firstborn 7/22/2016, N/A Submission Pending

Like I said, this can be done digitally or by hand. Here is a screenshot of recent submissions, which I track using Duotrope:

places to publish student writing

I also keep a separate log by hand called “Poetry Has Value” which specifically tracks my submission costs month by month. I was inspired to do this after Jessica Piazza’s blog of the same name. Piazza and another poet friend decided to ONLY submit to magazines that paid poets for accepted poems (you poets out there, be prepared to not get paid much, if at all, for your beautiful poems). As you start submitting more work, you’ll see how quickly submissions, contests, and book contest fees can add up! While I don’t exclusively submit to markets that pay for poems, I did want to see just how much I was spending to get my poems and my first book into the hands of publishers (and what, if anything, I was making in return). 


Another key organizing factor is to keep file folders of your submissions by magazines. These can by physical or digital. This way, you’ll always be able to reference what you’ve sent over the months and years it might take to get your work in a given magazine. I also keep a folder for submission responses. Otherwise, your mailbox or inbox can quickly become a flurry of papers that you aren’t sure where to put!

List of Places to Publish Student and Teen Writing

The pleasure of submitting work comes when considering the magazines that might someday publish your work. The easiest way to see where your work might fit is to read lots of magazines and journals. See what you are drawn to and why. Think about if those pages influence your work. Can you get a sense of how the editors put an issue together? All of these ideas might help you figure out the publication path you’d like to take.

Of course, you’re at the beginning of the journey. It would be a pretty wild miracle to submit to, say, The New Yorker and get your work in right off the bat. But even that ultimate dream can be a guiding light to see a path your work might take over time. So let’s say you do hope to be in The New Yorker someday. What about that magazine makes you crave being in its pages? Where else did those writers first publish their work? You might find your favorite writer’s first book of short stories, essays, or poems and look at the acknowledgements page. Which magazines first published those works? For example, Crush by Richard Siken is one of my favorite books of poetry. When I first submitted poems, I looked at the acknowledgments page in that book and saw which magazines and journals first published those poems. I had never read the Indiana Review, but they had published one of my favorite poems in the book. So I took a shot and sent some of my finished poems to them. By some magic, they accepted one of them!

Write the World is made up of all kinds of writers at all stages of writing. Here are some magazines you might investigate based on what you’re working on now:

  • Adroit Journal: I love the Adroit Journal so much that I’ve become a recent poetry editor for this magazine. The journal was founded by Peter LaBerge when he was a high school student. The magazine is run by high school and college students. You can submit work in the “21 and under” section of the submissions page. Keep up with the Adroit Journal on social media or through their newsletter to hear about mentorship and contest opportunities for young writers as well! They also host an international contest for young writers each year.
  • Bazoof!: Bazoof! publishes works in all genres by young writers of all ages from all over the globe!
  • Canvas: Canvas is an online literary space for and by teens. The editorial team of teens accepts work in all genres and in hybrid genres–video poems, audio poems, visual pieces, fiction, poetry, and plays.
  • Cricket Media: Among other things, Cricket has a group of magazines for young people. Though not every piece is written exclusively by young people, they often take work in many genres by young people. Their magazines are Babybug, Ladybug, Spider, Cricket, and Cicada. These magazines are tiered by age group. Let’s say you have a few haikus that your three year old brother just can’t get enough of. Those would be perfect to submit. They also have branchout magazines that focus on history, science, and the like. The primary magazine for writers 14+ is Cicada. They also accept comic strips.
  • Ember: Ember is a semiannual journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for all age groups. Submissions for and by readers aged 10 to 18 are strongly encouraged.
  • Highlights: Perhaps the most famous magazine for young people sitting in the waiting room of most dentist’s and doctor’s offices, Highlights accepts work in all genres.
  • Iris: Iris is an online magazine that exclusively publishes works on LGBTQIA themes for teenagers.
  • Lip Magazine: Publishes articles, essays, short stories, poetry, reviews and artwork on a variety of topics relevant to 14-25 year old females.
  • Merlyn’s Pen: This magazine was made with teachers in mind. Teachers understand the importance of young readers and writers in our culture. Merlyn’s Pen allows the world to see who teens are through what they read and write. The magazine accepts fiction and nonfiction on topics related to pop culture, media, advertising, and their impact on the lives of teens.
  • Moledro Magazine: This non-profit, global literary magazine is run by high school students and accepts work of fiction and poetry by teens.
  • Native Youth Magazine: Native Youth Magazine publishes works by those of Native American descent. More generally, the publication serves as a resource about Native American culture.
  • Parallax: Edited by the Creative Writing Department at Idyllwild Arts Academy, Parallax is one of the premiere student-run magazines in the world. They accept submissions from high school students all over the globe.
  • Sugar Rascals: This Canada-based literary magazine published twice a year features teen works of poetry, short fiction, and art. Submissions are accepted from teens all over the world.
  • Teen Ink: Teen Ink is a cultural magazine featuring writing by teens in all genres–literary and cultural! Publishing categories include: fiction, poetry, art, sports writing, opinion pieces, environmental pieces, health and lifestyle, travel and culture, reviews (books, music, movies, etc.), articles, and even interviews.
  • Voiceworks: Out of Australia, Voiceworks is a national, quarterly literary journal made up of work by Australians under the age of 25. From fiction, to poetry, to comic strips, Voiceworks relies on contributions from readers.
  • Write the World: Among other things, we at Write the World publish an annual print journal. We always call for nominations from all writing within the year written by you, dear writers!

There are many more magazines for young writers with different focuses. From history writing, to poetry, to writing by Jewish girls age 9-14, to writers of New England, there is a magazine out there for your work and NewPages is the most comprehensive resource to date for young authors looking for open reading periods and contest submissions–for homes for their work.

Shelf Life

The hardest part about submitting work is waiting to hear back from all of these magazines. During the wait time, you’ll want to be reading these magazines and supporting the work of your peers, writing new work, and keeping up with your homework.

As you hear back from magazines, be sure to file their responses in an organized fashion. If you get a rejection letter, immediately send a new packet of work to that publication (maximize the number of submissions per open reading period at these places that you can!). And if you get an acceptance letter, celebrate big time!

It’s rare that anyone gets work published and it’s important to celebrate your words whenever they make it through the slush pile and into print! I personally like to celebrate by treating myself to a cold-pressed juice and hugs from fellow writers. As I get magazines and journals with my work in them, I keep them all in the same place. Eventually, I hope to have a full shelf of magazines with my poems, and maybe someday a long time from now, a whole bookcase!

About Lisa

Lisa Hiton is a poet and filmmaker. She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Arts in Education from Harvard University. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Linebreak, The Paris-American, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and LAMBDA Literary among others. Her first book has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the New Issues Poetry Prize, the Brittingham & Felix Pollack Poetry Prize, the Crab Orchard Review first book prize, and the YesYes Books open reading period. She has received the AWP WC&C Scholarship, the Esther B Kahn Scholarship from 24Pearl Street at the Fine Arts Work Center, and two nominations for the Pushcart Prize. Her chapbook, Variation on Testimony, is forthcoming from CutBank Literary. She is the Interviews Editor at Cosmonaut’s Avenue and the Poetry Editor for The Adroit Journal.


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