We recently came across a submission opportunity that we thought was worth sharing. Teen Sequins is an annual feature in the Gigantic Sequins literary journal that honors the work of talented teen poets around the world. Featured poets ages 13-19 will have their work shared with the Gigantic Sequins community, and all submitters receive an honorable mention for their passion and commitment to poetry.
Robby Auld and Sophie Klahr founded Teen Sequins in 2015 as a way to let younger voices shine in an adult-dominated industry. While there are many opportunities for young writers to get recognition for their work — such as the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which you should submit to anyway — very few of them are associated with established literary magazines. Teen Sequins was created as the exception to that pattern. We spoke to Robby, who now co-judges the feature, about what Teen Sequins means to him: “Knowing soon we will have the opportunity to share another year of incredible work, and spotlight seven writers, literally gives me life. I am inspired and invigorated by the writers whose work we have had the pleasure to share.”
Daniel Blokh was the featured fourteen-year-old poet in 2015. Before submitting to Teen Sequins, he had never had his work recognized outside of Scholastic. He was surprised to receive individualized feedback from the judges, something that a large competition like Scholastic couldn’t provide. “To someone who had no readers outside of my family and close friend, their kind words and personal comments about my poem meant a lot. They made me feel like my work was really special and promising.” He says that Teen Sequins inspired him to take risks, both in writing and sharing his work. “So many times since then, I’ve submitted to magazines and contests on a whim, having little hope for a victory but remembering how much the choice to submit to Teen Sequins paid off. It was that first jolt of confidence that led me to where I am today.”
Robby stresses the importance of treating teenagers as equals in the writing world. “I hope each Teen Sequins feature, and each writer featured, can represent their own experience through their work,” he says. “These writers are certainly more than their ages.” So prove him right, and send in your work! Submission guidelines can be found at http://www.giganticsequins.com/teens.html. The deadline is July 20, so submit today!
Read past issues: http://www.giganticsequins.com/teen-sequins.html
Learn more about Robby and Sophie’s story: https://giganticsequins.wordpress.com/2015/08/16/tomorrow-teen-sequins-a-gigantic-sequins-celebration-of-teen-poets/