Literary Journals for High School Students

Literary Journals for High School Students

One way to encourage and promote a genuine love of writing for our students is by encouraging all of our students to publish their writing. There are countless online literary journals dedicated to promoting high school students’ writing. The possibility of getting published (or even paid for a published submission) is an excellent motivator for students to keep the pen moving. You can also integrate some of the writing prompts into your classroom routine through related writing prompts or free-write sessions into your class time.

For some students, submitting work to publications may improve their confidence in their writing abilities and teach them how to edit their work. For other students, it may give them the boost that they need. By writing for a literary journal, students will learn how to look at their words through their audience’s eyes, a skill much desired in the workplace.

One way to incorporate writing for a literary journal in your classroom is to assign students a poem or flash fiction piece. Then proceed to gather their papers and pull the rough drafts out again in two weeks. With a fresh pair of eyes, the students will be able to edit their pieces in a much more logical manner than they may have before. Then, when they feel their work is polished, bring up the idea of publishing.

Though the eventual rejection is inevitable when it comes to literary magazines, you can help turn your students’ rejections into a learning experience. One way to do this is by setting a rejection goal. For example, you could challenge your students to be denied by ten literary magazines throughout the school year. Though this may sound odd, your students will feel like they’ve accomplished something when they meet that number count, and this also encourages more writing. If students happen to get an acceptance letter instead during this process, they’ll be delightfully surprised.

And while this post primarily focuses on contributing writing to these online literary magazines, it is also noteworthy to mention that most of these publications also accept graphic design, artistic, and photographic submissions as well.

You can help encourage your students to submit by offering incentives, whether it be a homework pass, extra credit, or even preferential seating on the class beanbag chair.

Here are a few magazines to get your students started in their pursuits:

Blue Marble Review

A relatively new literary magazine that has only flourished since it’s first publication. The writing seems to get better and better with every issue. This publication accepts poetry and prose, and it has a very sleek web-design.

Canvas Teen Literary Journal

Established in 2013, Canvas Teen Literary Journal accepts submissions quarterly. A major plus with Canvas is that students who have their work published can also order print copies of the literary journal. And with a teen editorial board, Canvas truly is “for teens, by teens.”

Teen Ink

This literary journal has been around since 1989! Teen Ink has published more than 55,000 students’ work, and it accepts submissions from students aged 13-19. One unique thing about Teen Ink is that they do not have any staff writers or artists -they depend entirely on the submissions they receive.

Polyphony Lit

Polyphony Lit has a unique acceptance process. Each piece is regarded by fellow high school students across the world who write intensive line-by-line commentary for the author. Nowhere else on the Internet do students get this sort of individualized attention. You can also encourage your students to apply to be a Polyphony H.S. editor, which looks great on college applications.

Literary Journals for High School Students



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