Updates as of Friday, March 27:

The deadline for Teen Journal submissions has been extended to Friday, May 1, and we’ve added an optional theme to this project: Chronicling the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Get creative and help us chronicle the changes you observe as our community, the country and the world responds to COVID-19. Using essay writing, poetry, photography, sketches, comics or other means of expression, document your experience during this global pandemic.

Use the questions below to guide your thinking. You don’t have to respond to all the questions below, and, in fact, we encourage you to ask your own.

  • What did the government announce/declare/implement today?
  • Does it make sense?
  • Does it impact your life? Why or why not?
  • How did your family respond?
  • What is open in your neighborhood? What is closed?
  • What does your neighborhood look like? Are people walking around?
  • How is today different from yesterday for you, your family, our nation and/or the world?
  • Do you see any examples of racism, privilege and income inequality in any of the events that happened today? (Locally, at the state level, nationally or worldwide?)
  • Did you see anything today that gave you hope? Anxiety? Fear? (In person, in the news or on social media?)
  • What does your family need today that you might not have, have enough of or have no access to acquire?
  • What do you and your family have that others may need?

Prefer not to address the COVID-19 situation?

We’ll still accept other writing as part of this Teen Journal project.

  • Short fiction stories (5,000-word maximum)
  • Nonfiction (journalism, essays and memoir)
  • Poetry
  • Graphic novels and other artwork

Submission Details

  1. Complete the submission form below and upload your work (up to two submissions per person only). We will accept these digital file types for submission: PDF, ePUB, Word Doc and JPEG.
  2. You must secure permission from a parent or legal guardian before submitting your original content. Submit your permission form below.

SUBMIT YOUR WORK    PERMISSION FORM

The first edition of the Teen Journal will debut on Monday, June 1. For questions, please contact our Teen Services staff at fountaindaleteen@fountaindale.org.

Special thanks to the original author: Bryan Shaw, UCBHSSP Teacher Leader
Mt. Diablo Unified School District, California
UCBHSSP Student Journal Assignment


When I was in high school, I loved writing my own short stories and poems—stories where I could create my own characters, develop my own plots and so much more. One of my favorites featured a young girl falling in love for the first time. It was all very dramatic and tragic and very me. There might have been aliens.

Writing gave me the opportunity to craft a world that was all my own. And looking back, I wish that I had shared those stories with the people around me. It probably would have encouraged me to keep writing more.

What about you? Do you write your own short stories or poems? Do you like to draw? Have you ever created your own comic? Do you wish you had a way to share those stories? Look no further! We feel the library is the perfect place for you to share your work with the world. We are creating a Teen Journal, a print and online journal featuring our teen patrons’ original short stories, poetry and artwork.

From Sunday, March 1 to Tuesday March 31, we are accepting the following from Fountaindale teens in grades 6–12:

  • Short fiction stories (5,000-word maximum)
  • Nonfiction (journalism, essays and memoir)
  • Poetry
  • Artwork

Happy writing!