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Opportunities for Young Writers in 2020

01/21/2020

Attention young writers! Are you looking for places to publish that awesome story you wrote? Or maybe you’re a teacher or parent who’d like to help out a budding literary genius in your midst? Either way, there are plenty of opportunities for young writers in magazines, literary journals, and anthologies specifically seeking work from children and teens. So if you’re a young writer, or work with young writers, read on. 

illustration of young writers playing

“Be sure to read guidelines…” Illustration by Josh Quick

If you’re under 18 years of age, remember to seek permission from your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) before submitting work. And writers of all ages should always follow submission guidelines and make sure their work is well-edited. This means reading magazines you’re interested in submitting to, following their directions carefully, and not sending out your first drafts. Once you’ve prepared your best, it’s time for the fun stuff—finding markets where you can send your work!

Stone Soup

Since 1973, Stone Soup has been publishing short stories, poems, and art by children through 13 years of age. Nowadays, Stone Soup accepts work from young writers and artists via Submittable. Submissions are free to magazine subscribers, but non-subscribers must pay a reading fee when submitting to certain categories. Teachers can also submit students’ work. Be on the lookout for contests as well. If you are over the age of 13, Stone Soup provides a convenient list of alternative markets that accept work from creators 14 years of age and up. 

Cricket Media

Also founded in 1973, Cricket Magazine has been entertaining children ages 9-14 with stories, poems, and artwork for more than 40 years. Since then, their parent company, Cricket Media, has added several literary and nonfiction magazines to their product line to reach toddlers through teenagers. Although you must be at least 18 years of age to submit work to this organization’s general submission calls via Submittable, younger children are welcome to submit to contests posted in their various magazines. If you do not have a subscription to one of Cricket Media’s magazines, check your local library for current issues.

Highlights

Highlights for Children, a magazine targeted toward 6-12 year old readers, has been going strong since 1946. General submissions through Submittable are restricted to writers 16 years of age and older, but Highlights gladly accepts art and short poetry submissions from children on their “Share with Us!” page on their website.

Cast of Wonders

Are you a sci-fi, fantasy, or horror fan? If so, check out Cast of Wonders, a young adult podcast market. Stories written and recorded in this online magazine are targeted toward 12-17 year olds, and editors love to receive submissions from young writers. Pay attention to the short submission windows at Cast of Wonders and read their extensive guidelines carefully before submitting work via Submittable.

One Teen Story

Unlike the other magazines on this list, One Teen Story publishes one story quarterly in its own magazine—sort of like a miniature book. If you are 13 – 19 years of age, consider entering their One Teen Story contest. Original, previously unpublished short stories from 2,000 to 4,500 words in most genres are accepted. The prize is $500 and 25 contributor copies of the magazine. Submission windows are brief. Be sure to read guidelines here before submitting.

Lunch Ticket

Many colleges and universities publish literary magazines for discerning adult readers and writers, whether they have attended the school or not—but did you know Antioch University’s Lunch Ticket has a submission category specifically for 13-17 year old writers? To get a feel for the kinds of work this publication is looking for, check out their School Lunch Archive. Submission guidelines for teen writers are available on their Submittable page under the category “Young Adult (Writing For Young People 13+).”

Rattle

Since 2013, Rattle has been publishing its annual Young Poets Anthology, featuring poems from children 15 years of age and younger. Twenty poems are accepted per year and compiled into a chapbook. Published poets receive 10 copies of the anthology where their work appears. Check out their guidelines before sending work via Submittable

Flying Ketchup Press

A fairly new market, Flying Ketchup Press is a publisher in Kansas City, Missouri, that posts multiple short story and poetry submission calls on Submittable. Some of their submission calls are exclusively for children and teen writers. This publisher’s needs vary, so check their website and Submittable page frequently to view their newest opportunities.

NewPages Young Writers Guide

Looking for more markets where you can submit your work? Check out NewPages Young Writers Guide. This website provides a large list of publications that accept stories and poems from children and teen writers. Markets are listed alphabetically for ease of use.

 

Writing a story or poem and sending it out into the world—even to markets focused on opportunities for young writers—can be both an intimidating and exciting experience for people of any age. Although you may think you just wrote the best story ever, remember that a lot of writers feel the same way. When all those writers submit their awesome work to the same magazine, most are going to be rejected—even if they’re really good stories. Try not to get discouraged or upset. Lots of famous authors had multiple rejections before their work was published, including J.K. Rowling! It can take a lot of patience, rewriting, and perseverance, but getting that first publication credit is an amazingly satisfying experience. So don’t give up!

In addition to listing opportunities for young writers, this author compiled a great list of writing markets where children and teens are the intended audience—check it out here.

Sunset author photo
E.J. LeRoy (Guest Blogger)

E.J. LeRoy is a freelance writer, poet, and aspiring novelist who is a big fan of Submittable. Recently, LeRoy’s speculative short story, “Babel of Silence,” has been selected for publication in ON TIME, a forthcoming anthology from Transmundane Press. For more information, visit the author’s website at http://ejleroy.weebly.com.