by Chester Williams III
Current literary magazines present one of the few spaces teen and youth alike can express themselves artistically in the world. These seven literary magazines open their doors to literary submissions from a teen audience and present real opportunities for artistic expression by voices underrepresented in many publications. These magazines represent the few in a growing number of publications that include a teen audience, by either accepting submissions by teenagers, or by being run by a teen editorial staff.
Teen Ink is a magazine, book series, and website entirely devoted to promoting teenage art — whether that be writing, photography, or visual art. Submission ages range from 13 to 19, and can either be published on the website or submitted to the various contest the lit mag offers. They accept all genres of written work and have no deadlines, but they do have genre-specific contests.
Guidelines for The Claremont Review include that the submitter must be 13 to 19 years of age. They accept poetry, fiction, short stories, and all manners of visual art. Their regular submission begins on April 15 and end on May 15. They currently have an Annual Art & Writing Contest that begins January 15 and closes on March 15.
Parallax is a student-edited literary magazine, published by the students of Idyllwild Arts Academy. The pages of Parallax are open to all high school students worldwide. Guidelines for Parallax mandate that all submitters must be of high school age. They accept poetry, short stories, dramatic writing, and all manners of fiction. With a few limits in place for word count, this magazine is definitely near the top of anyone’s list. Parallax offers an array of contests open to submission. Their period for regular submissions began September 5, 2017 and ends on May 5, 2018.
The Canvas Literary Journal is “by teens, for teens.” It is completely run by a staff of teens, for the express purpose of publishing and bringing the voices of teens to life. Guidelines for the literary magazine mandate that the submitter be between the ages of 13 and 18. Their literary magazine accepts a vast array of genres (poetry, short stories, fiction, visual art, novel excerpts, plays, all manner of non-fiction). Their submission periods are all done quarterly so if you missed your chance to submit this quarter, next quarter is always a couple months away.
Peter LaBerge began Adroit Journal in 2010 as a sophomore in high school.The journal publishes its writers work on a quarterly online basis. Since then, the magazine has had a global presence, recognized by Teen Vogue, NPR, and The Pushcart Prizes. The magazine is currently published on a quarterly online basis. There are no guidelines set in place for this literary magazine. Their website bolsters an all-ages approach to the world of literary magazines. They accept many forms of poetry, prose, and visual art. Their regular submission period is from October 1st, 2017 to April 1st, 2018.
Cicada is a literary and comic magazine, drawing submissions from both a teenage and adult audience. They bolster themselves as an “intersectional” and “LGBTQIA+ friendly publication.” Cicada accepts submissions from submitters of all ages. They accept poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and even accept pitches for comics to be displayed on their website. All of their deadlines are rolling.
Levitate Literary Magazine was started by The Chicago High School For The Arts and their creative writing conservatory. Their editorial staff is comprised of the very best of the conservatory, and represent writing of all different backgrounds. The guidelines for Levitate Literary Magazine do not include an age limit. Submitters from all ages are encouraged to submit to the magazine. They accept work in poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Their submissions open November 1, 2017 and close February 28, 2018.
It’s important that spaces like this exist to hear the teen voice. It’s not something that’s necessarily heard from a point of respect. Publications like these open the doors for teens who want to explore the world through their art.