Teen Ink MagazineSpring 2017 Magazines
In feel, look and layout, Teen Ink resembles an alternative newspaper more than a magazine. The content, though, is a carefully vetted collection of solid writing on a wide array of subjects written by and for its teen audience. Not just one or two submissions, but the whole thing, and the strength of the work (non-fiction, mostly, but also fiction, art and poetry) is impressive.
Contributions are timely and succinct. One recent issue was college-themed, and included a handful of award-winning application essays, plus a thoughtful piece on taking a gap year. And subject matter is consistently unique and interesting. A contribution by a teen with synesthesia, introduced me to a fascinating condition involving color and word associations that I might otherwise have never known about.
The Reviews (books, movies and music) section is impressive not only in size, but variety. Imagine reading a review of a 1975 Patti Smith album, the animated version of The Little Prince, and A Moveable Feast all in one place from three different writers. That's what you'll get here.
Teen Ink's dated look (black and white newsprint, low resolution and sparse color) might seem hokey to young readers used to the slick compact polish of digital which many magazines likewise mimic - but others might find it an appealingly retro. Either way, there are plenty of gems within. The diversity of its writers in terms of geographical, ethnic and socioeconomic points of view - is refreshing and reflected in the content, which is key to its appeal.