• Saturday, May 26, 2007

    How-to write for TEEN MAGAZINE

    Readership: Girls, 10 - 15

    TEEN magazine does not accept unsolicited submissions of nonfiction - though they will accept queries. Unless you happen to be close friends with Zac Efron or Jesse McCartney (numbers 1 and 2 in the WINTER issue's "Hollywood's Hot 50 Countdown" article), you probably won't be writing any features for TEEN. The bulk of their nonfiction covers celebrity topics and therefore would not be applicable for most freelance writers. For noncelebrity topics, TEEN editors say they aren't really looking for new subjects, but new approaches for familiar topics of interest to young teens and tweens. This Winter issue includes some DIY decorating crafts and one or two articles that could hint at some freelance potential -- remember, if these give you ideas, all nonfiction must be queried first.

    WHAT THEY WANT:

    Fiction: 1000 words. TEEN fiction can be sent unsolicited. Most fiction is written in first person. TEEN is interested in romance and inspirational (not religious) fiction. Inspirational fiction is defined by being upbeat and positive. No science fiction, no historical, no religious.

    Nonfiction: 800 words. Informational and how-to.
    Personal experience pieces from TEEN viewpoint only.

    Pays on Publication. Buys all rights.
    Tries to respond within 2 months.

    From the Masthead:
    Editor-in-chief: Jane Fort
    Executive Managing Editor: Heather Hewitt
    Editor: Erin Zimring
    Associate Editor: Gigi Hooghkirk

    TEENMAG.com editor: Audrey Fine

    TEEN magazine
    Hearst Magazines
    3000 Ocean Park Blvd
    Suite 3048
    Santa Monica, CA 90405

    ANALYSIS OF SPECIFIC ISSUE
    Contents:
    TEEN
    Winter 2006

    For this look, I'm going to focus on the potential freelance content and skip lightly over star crushes and fashion photo essays.

    CELEB STUFF -- lots of short pieces about celebrities. Also includes suggestions for copying celebrity "looks."

    MOVIES -- Very short reviews of new movies that could interest teens and tweens, and new releases to DVD.
    Music -- Again, very short reviews of CDs...includes reviews by one of Teen's interns.
    Books -- New books targeting teen/tween girls.

    CELEB -- a longish section of celebrity interviews and articles. These are very worth reading to find out what interests teens/tweens. Sadly, I didn't even know who many of the Celebrity Hot Guys were! Interestingly, several of the articles were related to books. An author writing about body language analyzed the body language of celebrity photos. An author writing about what your favorite foods show about your personality, analyzed the ice cream favorites of some of the cast of WHISTLER, and an author writing about dreams, interpreted some star dreams. TEEN also had an HGTV designer talk about what clothing color choices say about your personality (and again, celebrities were used as the "model" for each color).

    GUY GUIDE -- includes a quiz about what "guy behavior" means, tv shows suggested for "homework" on understanding guys, and FAQ of weird guy behavior. Also includes a quiz to get your guy to take, a round-up of gross things guys do, and a mini-fact about brains. Plus, a "what his jeans tell you" piece.

    MAKE OVER YOUR LIFE -- quick changes to make you feel really different. Includes breaking bad habits, tuning in to news or reading good books, changing your cell phone ring, getting new tunes, and better computer organization.

    QUIZ -- Can You Keep A Secret. Mostly focused on knowing when it's okay to tell a secret, and how to avoid being a gossip.

    FALSE FRIENDS -- Types of "bad friends" and how to deal with it. Includes things like friends who are users, troublemakers, bossy, clingy, or guy crazy.

    BORN TO BE -- The effect of Birth order on personality and friendships.

    BAD FOR YOU BOYS -- Dealing with crushes on inappropriate guys.

    TOUGH TALK -- How to handle tough communication situations like breaking up with a guy, confronting a friend, or asking your parents for things.

    DARE TO DREAM QUIZ -- Practice dream interpretation.

    FASHION & LOOKS. Mostly about products. Hairstyles, cold weather clothes, make-up. Also a short article on what to do with different hair problems (again, more products). A quiz on what your fashion preferences say about you.

    GET REAL - these are more of the kinds of articles open to outside writers.

    REAL-LIFE STORIES - a teen who works at a therapeutic horseback riding camp, a teen who went to Africa with UNICEF.
    YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT (or maybe not). Food myths.
    BFF - Best Female Friend stories.
    DO YOU LIKE YOU quiz - looks at self-confidence and critical self-talk.
    Ask Sophi - Dating and friendship questions.
    Date or Fate? - A funny filll-in-the-blank story to share with a friend.
    MORE. End of magazine hodge-podge.

    DO IT YOURSELF, SISTA -- simple craft decor: pom-pom flowers, homemade journals, felt clutch, cushions from sweaters.
    PARTY TIME. FICTION - a girl who learns to appreciate her big sister. First person. Lots of telling, not much specific detail.
    SCOPESCOOP - horoscopes.
    TECH GIRL -- computer games, mini media player, wii...all products.
    WHY ME? -- Reader embarrassing stories.
    OH, NO YOU DIDN'T. Celebrity photos turned into comics with joke captions.
    FESS UP -- reader stories of bad things they've done.

    Find out more about the Creator of this blog at his website Rob Tencer pr.

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