Sunday, February 10, 2008

Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen

Innovative: A Word for the WriTeen
An E-Zine for Teens who Write and Those who Support Them
Edited by Gabrielle Linnell
February 10th, 2008


The Driver’s Manual to Publication, Part V of VI:
Writing & Publishing the “Big” Markets

By Gabrielle Linnell

For anybody—whether you’re an award-winning freelancer or a scrubby WriTeen without a clip—breaking into these huge magazines is tough. Even tougher than completing a 1000-mile road trip. So the keyword for breaking in is angle-bio. Why do I not mention competence and professional skill? Because if you’re attempting to do this, you better be a master of sentence-stringing already.


I write about nonfiction here because I can give tips on breaking into large nonfiction mags. There are large fiction magazines (like Glimmer Train) but the only trick to getting in is writing a superb story.


All this fierce competition means that you must examine yourself and know that you are the best person in the WORLD to write this article. Look around for articles waiting to happen. Is your next-door neighbor an ex-NFL football player? Write about living to a former celebrity.

In other words, as a teenager, your angle and bio must be intimately attached. I have written and published articles in large magazines that have nothing to do with me being a teenager. But in most cases, an editor will pick a well-written adult article over a well-written teen article because they are more comfortable with over-21s… unless the fact that you’re a teenager is intimately connected to your article.


Go to your local magazine stand and look at every single non-offensive magazine there. Could you write for them? Would you possibly enjoy writing for them? Write down the titles of all the mags you like. Later, do a Google search for their guidelines (“XYZ Mag” + “writers guidelines” does the trick) or pull out a Writer’s Market Magazine Writer’s Guide. Follow their instructions to the letter.


Some magazines pay really well but aren’t on the newsstands. Carus Publishing Group, for instance, has many prestigious educational magazines that you can’t find at Barnes & Noble. Make sure to check your school library for other big magazines.

Good luck on your writing adventure, my friend. We’ll conclude next week with the biggest market of all: book publishing.*

Gabrielle Linnell has written lots of times, mostly homework. Occasionally she gets paid. Visit her full writing resume at


We’ve been able to do interviews with about half a dozen authors in the past several months. All of them have written different and exciting books, and it’s so COOL to see how the innovators work. So, in short, here are the links to all our past interviews, in case you missed some.

Mark Peter Hughes (author of Lemonade Mouth and I am the Wallpaper)

Robin Wasserman (author of numerous series and Hacking Harvard)

Laura Preble (author of the Queen Geek Book Club series)

Melissa Walker (author of Violet on the Runway—Violet by Design comes out next month!)

Judy Gregerson (author of Bad Girls Club)

Jessica Day George (author of Dragon Slippers and Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow)

And next week I’m very pleased to interview our first nonfiction AND first non-YA author, Kelly L. Stone. Kelly’s latest book is a fantastic guide for writers on TIME MANAGEMENT, something we all need to know about. We'll learn about her book Time to Write and hear Kelly’s advice for teen writers.*

SPOTLIGHT: orb28 (;

Orb28 is a new online community for girls 12-18. Run by an editor at New Moon: A Magazine for Girls and directed by an international Girl Board, orb28 is a place for girls to share both political opinion pieces and good ol’ fashioned fiction—and everything in between. Check out their guidelines at This is a great break-in market and a fantastic experience for all girl writers.*

Innovative Housekeeping

We are always looking for guest writers or WriTeens to write for WORD. If you’re interested in sharing a bit of wisdom, advice or chat with the WriTeen community, please drop me an email (or send it… either way) to

Always wanted to interview an author? Dying to find out what she meant by THAT ENDING? Watch out for contest details soon. has published their February issue. Be sure to read it!


Gabrielle said...


If we started doing Innovative podcasts, would you listen to them?

orb28 said...

Thanks so much for highlighting orb28! While we gear up for the launch, check out the orb28 blog, which includes submission guidelines and all sorts of awesome topic ideas, media tips, and more! We look forward to everyone's submissions!!

-Julia, Editor,

p.s. You can find out more about New Moon Girl Media and our print magazine for girls 8-12, New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams, at Go girls!