Written by S. Kalekar June 4th, 2020

Publishing Avenues for Young Writers

I remember reading a book about a dragon, years ago, and it gave me a thrill to know the writer, Christopher Paolini, was still in his teens when he wrote the book – Eragon.

While not all of us can become bestselling authors at 19, it’s great for young writers to get their writing out there, on the web or in print. And though some literary magazines and contests accept work by young people in specific countries, like Hanging Loose Press (which seems to accept work by US-based high school students), and the 2020 Charles Causley Young People’s Poetry Competition (which is accepting work by UK-based poets aged 5-18 through 31 July on the Environment theme), there are also magazines which accept work from young writers around the world, like Polyphony Lit.

Although Polyphony is closed to submissions currently, there are magazines accepting writing by writers of school and high school going age from all over the world which are open for submissions right now; some are listed below. A few also accept art.

Remember always to read the magazine first to see what kind of work they publish, and to always follow writers’ guidelines (also called contributor or submission guidelines), which are different for each magazine.

Blue Marble Review
Blue Marble Review is a quarterly online literary journal showcasing the creative work of writers ages 13-22. They welcome poetry, fiction, personal essays, travel stories, and opinion pieces as well as art and photography. Its name comes from the iconic image of earth, known as Blue Marble, captured from the Apollo 17 spacecraft; the image inspires explorers and dreamers everywhere. Length guidelines are: up to 3 poems; for flash, short stories, hybrid forms, 1,500 words or less; and up to 1,500 words for nonfiction, as well – they accept memoir, personal essays, travel adventures, and have been known to publish the occasional research paper and book review. If sending artwork, send up to 4 pieces. Payment is $25 per published piece, and $75 for cover art. Details about the magazine are here and about submissions, here. See their home page here to see what kind of work they publish.

Cast of Wonders: Winter Holidays – The Longest Night 
This is a young adult science fiction, fantasy, and horror fiction podcast, and they accept work from adult writers as well as from writers under 18. They have opened a brief submission window for fiction on the theme of ‘Winter Holidays – The Longest Night’. See their extensive guidelines for the kind of stories they prefer, and for the format they want the stories sent in. They accept reprints and translations, as well. Send stories up to 6,000 words; the deadline is 10 June 2020 for this theme. They are also scheduled to open for submissions on another theme later in the month. They pay 8 cents a word. See submission guidelines here, submission schedule here, and see this page for their staff picks, the kind of work they like. Their home page is here.

The WEIGHT Journal
They accept work from 9-12 grade students, including homeschoolers. They publish poetry, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and hybrid pieces. According to their guidelines, they want “writing that has something honest to say.” They want work that carries some weight, or gravitas.Also, Comedy, surreal/magical realism, adventure, science fiction, speculative fiction, romance, satirical, fantasy/horror, mystery/thriller, western: genre doesn’t matter to us. What matters is whether we can feel the weight of what you’re saying.” Though this doesn’t mean writers should only deal with serious/severe topics; whatever the topic, readers need to see something honest about being alive. Length guidelines are: 1-3 poems, up to 6 pages of poetry (slam poetry – 1 video, under 8 mins); flash fiction – 1-2 pieces, up to 500 words each; short fiction, creative nonfiction, or hybrid – 1 piece at a time, max 2,000 words. Submissions have to be emailed to them as a doc, docx, or pdf attachment (not in the body of an email). They read work on a rolling basis. Submission guidelines are here, and see their home page here to see what kind of work they publish. They also have a page on the kind of work they like.

Skipping Stones Magazine
This is a multicultural magazine for youth (ages 7-17), and they have separate guidelines for submissions from youth and from adults. Young writers can send submissions of poems, stories, essays, art and photo essays any time. The writing (essays, stories, letters to the editor, riddles and proverbs, etc.) should be typed or neatly handwritten and limited to 1,000 words, and poems up to 30 lines. They encourage writings in all languages with an English translation, if possible. They also love illustrations. They accept postal as well as electronic submissions. They prefer Word.doc. or .docx.files or text.edit files. Art and photos can be sent as .jpeg or .tiff files. Writers get a complementary print copy of the edition their work appears in. You can read more about the magazine here.

This magazine has different writing guidelines for young writers and for adults (though they aren’t accepting adult submissions currently). The magazine focuses on healthy living and inspiring creative energy. Young writers can submit a letter, short story (12 years and younger: 500 words or less; 13-18 years: 800 words or less; doesn’t include any violence, fighting, not too scary, gruesome, or dark natured;  must be suitable for readers ages 8-12 years), poem, craft idea, drawings, photos (of your pet, an activity you’re doing, or a project you made), recipe, game or puzzle, jokes or riddles, or writing about a sport you enjoy playing, or a musical instrument, or any other idea. Also see their open submissions for youth page which is updated regularly for their current needs. See the magazine’s home page here.

Write the World
This is a community of young writers ages 13-18 from 120 countries, and they also have resources for educators. They have writing prompts (which writers can respond to with various forms of writing, flash fiction to memoir, opinions to poems, essays to tweets), writing contests (free to enter, with cash prizes), peer reviews, writing groups, and a magazine called Write the World Review which features the best work posted on their website, which are responses by young writers to their prompts and contests. See their home page here

Magic Dragon
They welcome work by writers and artists ages 12 years or younger. For writing, type (double space) or print neatly, about anything that is important to you; it can be serious or funny, true or fiction. Stories and essays can be up to 3 pages, poetry up to 30 lines. If sending artwork, send original art or a copy; tell the editors how you created the art; for example, is it made with crayon, watercolor, paper sculpture, or some other way. Send writing as a Word document. Send art as a jpeg file. If they select your art for publication, they may need the original – they will let you know. Read the submission guidelines here, and see the magazine home page here.

Scholastic Kids Press
Their young journalists report “news for kids, by kids,” covering politics, entertainment, the environment, sports, and more in their hometowns and on the national stage in the US. Their stories appear online and in issues of Scholastic Classroom Magazines. They have student reporters ages 10-14 and report from the US and all over the world. They’re currently accepting applications from students born on or between September 1, 2006, and August 31, 2010. A complete application, which includes writing a news story and a personal essay and submitting two story ideas, has to be posted to them (they have tips on how to safely report); the deadline is 10 July 2020. Selections are based on writing ability, interviewing skills, and attention to detail. Details here on what the press is about, and here on how to apply.

Also see their post on Link Online Learners, an online community for tweens, teens, and young people at home as schools are closed during this pandemic, to discuss topics from their hometowns, ranging from food in Hanoi, songs in Napa Valley, to clothing in London.

Author Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She is the author of 182 Short Fiction Publishers. She can be reached here.


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