How to Get Your Writing Published in a Teen Magazine
Teen magazines are popular all over the world. You probably used to, or still, read some yourself. They offer advice on important topics for teens like dating and school, and provide entertainment about celebrities and music. If you enjoy these magazines, or think you have valuable insight on what these magazines cover, and have a passion for writing you should consider writing for one. Many magazines feature columns written by freelance writers, including teenagers, and submitting your work is easier than you might think.
Read magazines.Familiarize yourself with a variety of teen magazines. If you’re interested in publishing with a magazine then you need to know their target audience, what topics they cover, and general writing style.
- Seventeen is geared towards teenage girls and covers a variety of topics, including beauty, romance, quizzes, and fashion.
- Boy’s Life, the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, has articles about sports and electronics, as well as stories about young men in BSA.
- Cicada is a bi-monthly magazine. Each edition is focused on an important issue for teens, such as the future, risks, and the environment.
- J-14 is all about celebrities, fashion, and Hollywood gossip.
Look for submission ads.If you’re regularly reading magazines, then you may see openings for submissions in the current issue. You can go onto any magazine’s website and search for openings. There are also some magazines that are only online, so spend some time looking into into these options as well.Look for “We want to hear from you,” or “Do you have a story you want to share?” headings.
- SOS Safety Magazine is an online magazine that covers serious topics like bullying, drug abuse, and suicide.
- Teen Ink is a monthly online publication that runs entirely on submissions from teenagers.
- Canvas is an online literary magazine that publishes poems, fiction, and other writings by teens.
Ask for help.Talk to a friend or family member about your plan. Ask what magazines they or their kids enjoy reading. If you’re in school talk to your English teacher since he/she is already familiar with your writing. Find out if anyone has a recommendation for a good magazine, or has heard of a writing opportunity. The more people you have around you to help, the easier the process will be.
Talk to your parents.If you’re still a teenager, make sure your parents know your goal. Some magazines require you to have parental permission before they will publish your work. You don’t want to get an offer to publish and not be able to because you didn’t check with your parents. Let them know what magazines you’re interested in and your article topic. They will probably be very excited and want to help you!
Writing the Article
Write about a passion.As you become familiar with your favorite magazines, you’ll see that they write about the same general topics each month. Think about which articles catch your attention the most, or if you have something new to say on the topic.Ask yourself the following brainstorm topics and see if it sparks any new ideas to help get you started.
Consider your audience.Will your article be more for boys or girls? Younger teenagers (thirteen to fifteen) or older teenagers (sixteen to nineteen)? The age and gender of your audience will influence which magazine is best for you to publish with.
Remember your grammar lessons.With the rise of texting and social media, we’ve gotten very used to shorthand writing, like “u” and “lol,” but these abbreviations are not appropriate for magazine writing. A good rule to remember, if your English teacher wouldn’t let you use it in a class essay, don’t put it in your magazine article.
Find your own voice.As you read, you’re going to find that you enjoy some writing styles more than others. While you may look up to these writers, it is important to let them inspire but not control your writing style. If you’re not a naturally joking person, don’t try to be too funny in your article. Keep it natural.
Proofread.Small errors can be big problems for editors. If your article is full of typos it gives the impression that you didn’t take your work seriously. Before submitting your article make sure you have at least two other people proofread it.
Submitting Your Work
Pitch your idea.Instead of submitting an entire article to a magazine, some want you to submit an idea. This is also known as a query letter and is comprised of a good title and brief summary.Your pitch is your chance to sell yourself to magazine. It should include the hook for your idea; draw the editor in so he will want to read the whole article.
Submit a cover letter.Some writing opportunities will be posted on the website as a regular job. As with other jobs, the cover letter is a chance for you to convince the manager that you are the right person for the job. Let him know how your experience and skills make you the best writer for the job.
Send your article to many magazines.Don’t limit yourself to just one magazine. Many magazines cover similar topics, and the more magazines you submit to the more chances you have to get published. Just make sure that you alter the article so that it works uniquely for each magazine.
Stay positive.Magazines gets hundreds of submissions a day, so it might take a while for your article to make it’s way through the process. And even if your first article isn’t chosen, keep at it. The more you write, the better your writing becomes.
Congratulate yourself!Even if your article doesn’t get published, you should be proud of your work. It takes courage to put yourself out there and try something new.
- Write in a font that is easy to read. Remember, the company will be reading through hundreds of entries. If it’s not easy to read they may not even try. Stick with the standard Times New Roman 12.
- Ask for help! Use your parents, friends, teachers, and coworkers, anyone that you think might have good advice on your topic.
- If you know any published writers, talk to them about their experiences.
- Don't send anything you wouldn't want up on a billboard. Anyone will be able to see it.
- Don't be offended if they don't choose yours. It just probably wasn't what they needed.
- Always make sure it's appropriate and not offensive.
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