A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this outlet for teen creativity is a safe, supportive environment for kids to express themselves through words and art. With thousands of teen-created submissions to read and view, there's the potential for sensitive or mature subject matter, but the material here is pre-screened for inappropriate language or content and the result is extremely clean creative content.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Teens can choose to join for free, which allows them to comment, chat, and use the forums. The focus here is on writing -- creating it, discussing it, rating it, and ultimately publishing it. The submission process is easy, though getting accepted may not be. But there are many ways to participate and learn here even if you don't get through that hurdle. TEEN INK tracks users' participation (comments, frequency of use, etc.), and members will quickly learn that regular use gets attention and perseverance is an important aspect of success.
Is it any good?
Teens -- and even their parents -- will glean a lot from perusing the work on this site, which is supported by The Young Authors Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to giving teens a voice and boosting their self-esteem. Not only are there great examples of strong writing and fine art here, but the subject matter is extremely relevant to teens anywhere. Because the content is created by teens, young visitors will find a good deal they can relate to and may even find themselves quickly caught up in the short stories, articles and poetry. The themes vary in tone, but the subject matter touches on topics ranging from dating and driving to divorce and death. Kids of all creativity levels will find inspiration here. Those with aspirations to write or draw will be encouraged to continue pursuing their interests, and those who may struggle with writing or creativity may recognize that hard work pays off.
Online interaction: All submissions are subject to critique from other Teen Ink visitors, so anyone submitting is able to see comments -- good or bad -- from other registered users. The vast majority of comments are positive, constructive, and supportive. Even the reviewers who have negative comments about the submissions manage to frame their criticism in kind, gentle ways.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, writing
Social Studies: cultural understanding
Arts: painting, photography, script writing
- Skills: Self-Direction: academic development, achieving goals, effort, goal-setting, identifying strengths and weaknesses, initiative, motivation, personal growth, self-assessment, self-reflection, set objectives
Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, applying information, asking questions, decision-making, defining problems, investigation, thinking critically
Communication: asking questions, conveying messages effectively, friendship building, multiple forms of expression, presenting
Creativity: brainstorming, combining knowledge, developing novel solutions, imagination, making new creations, producing new content
Collaboration: cooperation, respecting other viewpoints, teamwork
Emotional Development: developing resilience, empathy, identifying emotions, moving beyond obstacles, persevering, perspective taking, self-awareness
Tech Skills: digital creation, evaluating media messages, social media, using and applying technology
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct
- Genre: Creating
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (The 10-issue monthly print edition is $49 per year.)
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
Our editors recommend
For kids who love writing
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.