Friday, April 11, 2008

Teen Ink

Are you not aware? Here is a great website, print publication and opportunity for English teachers and their students everywhere. What is Teen Ink? Here is how they describe themselves at their website,

Welcome to Teen Ink, a national teen magazine, book series, and website devoted entirely to teenage writing and art. Distributed through classrooms by English teachers, Creative Writing teachers, Journalism teachers and art teachers around the country, Teen Ink magazine offers some of the most thoughtful and creative work generated by teens and has the largest distribution of any publication of its kind. We have no staff writers or artists; we depend completely on submissions from teenagers nationwide for our content.

We offer teenagers the opportunity to publish their creative work and opinions on the issues that affect their lives - everything from love and family to teen smoking and community service. Hundreds of thousands of students have submitted their work to us and we have published more than 25,000 teens since 1989.

The Young Authors Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that supports all Teen Ink publications. The foundation is devoted to helping teens share their own voices, while developing reading, writing, creative and critical-thinking skills. All proceeds from the print magazine, website and Teen Ink books are used exclusively for charitable and educational purposes to further our goal.

From accessed 4/11/08

Teen Ink has a place for themselves at MySpace as well. That could be helpful for teachers who'd like to figure out how they could use MySpace with their students but have questions about privacy issues etc. Supposedly Teen Ink has a presence on Facebook as well but I couldn't find it easily.

Obviously, high school English teachers could have their students submit their work to Teen Ink for publication. But what about teachers and students at the college level? Hmm...well, according to the Teen Ink website, Hundreds of thousands of students have submitted their work to us and we have published more than 25,000 teens since 1989. To me, that means another such magazine would be easy to fill with quality writing. I'm guessing that in Michigan alone there are hundreds of thousands of high school students. Not all of them will write pieces that editors will want to publish in such a magazine, but that's no reason to keep the opportunity from those who are interested. How many High School English teachers even know about this magazine? I taught chemistry and math in high school for four years. That was six years ago. Two years ago I joined NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), and just recently I received out of the blue so to speak a sample issue of Teen Ink. Until I received the Sample Copy, I'd never heard of Teen Ink. I showed it to Skip Renker, a friend here in Midland who has retired after a long and wonderful career from teaching English at Delta Community College, and he had never heard of it either.

Anyway, English teachers and Journalism teachers at the college level could work together to receive writing submitted by high school students, select the pieces for the next issue and then put the issue together and get it published and distributed independently of Teen Ink without taking anything away from what Teen Ink is doing. When I mentioned this idea to Scott Hirko of the Michigan Humanities Council (, he said, "I love it" and he told me to apply for a "Quickie Grant" to get it going. Alas, I am not employed as a teacher any more. I am only, as President of the Poetry Society of Michigan, a cheerleader so to speak.

The Sample Issues I've received have 46 numbered pages that measure just under 11 inches (28 cm) by just under 14 inches (about 35.5 cm). It's all much like newsprint, even more so than the American Poetry Review. About 12 of those pages are full of ads for college studies in language, writing, drama, etc. One full page is an ad by Pepsi for Aquifina bottled water (Smart Choices Made Easy). Apparently their distribution costs are offset by their advertising revenue.

-- "It is our goal to appreciate and improve our talents, to share our own work and to communicate the joys of poetry with others. Everyone's poetry is valued."
River Junction Poets Mission Statement

No comments: