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    Writing for Teens

    I would look at the magazines my teenage neighbor and her friends stashed away in their cupboards and think, "Heck, I could do that!" So one day, while she was away at school, I broke into her room and "borrowed" the magazine.

    Teenage magazines have changed since we were teens, I can tell you that. No longer do they advocate sex after marriage and accepting your body for what it is. Teenage magazines today are a whole different gamut. So, if you go into shock mode quickly, this market isn't your cup of tea.

    If you want to get published in the teenage market, you have to be familiar with the slang that kids these days use. Gone are the days of the grammar appropriate "I have a crush on." Now girls are crushing on guys, hanging with their friends and trying to achieve super cool status. And if you've got a problem with that, just take a chill pill!

    Forget vocabulary, forget grammar. Throw all the rules your English teacher taught you in the trash, because you're not going to need any of them. That's the deal. When writing for teenagers, you've got to be one. You've got to think like a thirteen-year old trying to figure out if the guy she's crushing on really likes her or not. It might not be a big deal for you, but for that thirteen year old, it's her life. It's important.

    Which brings me to another important aspect. You've got to give importance to the subject matter. If you think fighting with your best friend is no big deal, you have no place writing for this market. On the other hand, if you whole-heartedly believe that the sole reason of your existence is the guy you can't take your eyes off, then you might have a chance.

    Writing articles, quizzes and short stories for this particular market can be a lot of fun. Connect with the younger side of you and write about the ups and downs of high school, making and breaking friends, dating and dumping guys and most importantly, accepting the person you are--in mind and in body. Teenage girls have many more issues with their bodies than do boys, and this is the reason that girl magazines far outnumber magazines for boys.

    Before you start though, you might want to meet up with some youngsters to get a hold of their priorities, their interests and their lifestyle. Until you don't have the mindset of a teenager and aren't capable of the thought processes of one, you're not going to find success here.

    In writing a query to the editor, the most important aspect is your idea and its presentation. Through your query, the editor has to know your voice, your talent and how much you understand this particular age group. It should be apparent from your query that you understand the publication and its requirements. The study-your-market rule applies even more strictly to this market as each magazine has its own lingo and voice.

    The pay rates of these magazines, like other consumer magazines, vary widely depending on the publication and its requirements. In general, you can earn anywhere from $10 to $1000 for a single article. Quizzes are very popular among teens and again pay quite well. If you're a cartoonist or illustrator, you can add even more. Since they are geared towards young girls with a mission of having fun, most magazines in this category use cartoons and funky designs instead of photographs. And you know what, you can get rich writing for teen magazines!

    Once you're hooked though, you'll find that writing for teenagers is so much fun, that you'll want to do it over and over again, money or no money. This is one market, where the fun simply exceeds the work factor. So, what are you waiting for? Bring out those high school photographs and like, get writing already.

    Copyright © 2003 Mridu Khullar

    Mridu Khullar started out as a student in Technology but ended up writing instead. Now Mridu's technology sessions are limited to designing websites and removing food bits from the keyboard. She is the Editor-in-Chief of WritersCrossing.com and her work has been accepted in numerous national and international publications such as Computers @ Home, Senior Connection, India Post, College Bound, Metro Seven, Writers Weekly and the anthology Life's Little Lessons among others. Subscribe to her newsletters and get ebooks with over 400 paying freelance markets and 100 ebook publishers absolutely FREE! Reach Mridu at mridu@writerscrossing.com.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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