Teen Ink

Common Sense Media says

Creative, supportive forum for teens to share their work.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are numerous positive messages to be found and lessons to be learned. Those who submit their work are living through experiences that are common to all teens, so there’s solidarity and camaraderie. Much of the work has strong, positive messages of responsibility, overcoming adversity, and successfully navigating the trials of the teen years. The site can help users -- whether they submit work or not -- build confidence in themselves and their creativity. Comments and critiques are mostly favorable, supportive and encouraging, making it a nurturing environment.

Violence

With the sheer quantity of original written content in the fiction and non-fiction sections, there are certain to be some instances of violence (concocted or real), but most are mild or alluded to. A drunken frat boy breaks down a door. A parent yells menacingly at a teenager. A sibling dies in an accident.

Sex

All submissions are reviewed and screened by the editors, and the content is highly scrutinized for its appropriateness. As one would expect from teen writing and art, there are pieces devoted to relationships, flirting and sensuality, but the heavily monitored submissions are mild and appropriate for its audience.

Language

Some of the written submissions contain occasional mild swearing, but because the work is screened for its appropriateness, all curse words are not spelled in their entirety. S--t, damn, hell are common but used within the context of the fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

Consumerism

The site has several Google ads on each page, each promoting something "teen" related such as a "12-step program for troubled teens" or "parenting tips for teens." There are also several small display ads touting other Teen Ink products including the print magazine and various online writing courses. Some brand names and products may appear within the individual submissions.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are occasional references to drinking, smoking, and drugs in the written submissions, but they are most often framed in a negative light (i.e. drunk college boy makes a fool of himself and quiet sober boy gets the girl).

Privacy & safety

Kids use pen names or their first name and last initial, along with the name of their city and state. It's possible that they could disclose their identity, although the site's extensive privacy policy discourages it.

 

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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • writing

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding

Arts

  • painting
  • photography
  • script writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • applying information
  • defining problems
  • thinking critically
  • analyzing evidence
  • asking questions
  • decision-making

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content
  • brainstorming
  • developing novel solutions

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • self-assessment
  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting
  • self-reflection
  • set objectives
  • academic development
  • motivation
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • personal growth
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking
  • developing resilience
  • self-awareness
  • moving beyond obstacles
  • identifying emotions
  • empathy
  • persevering

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression
  • friendship building
  • presenting
  • conveying messages effectively
  • asking questions

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • respecting other viewpoints
  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media
  • evaluating media messages
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This is a place where teens are taken seriously, giving them a voice and self-confidence. It'll be a favorite for any kid who loves reading and writing and wants to chat with like-minded peers.

Learning Approach

Teens can submit their writing and get feedback. For kids who like to write and are interested in books and the arts, this is a space where they'll feel empowered to hone their skills while getting support and encouragement.

Support

The multiple sections could be overwhelming but are easy to navigate. The site is moderated for inappropriate use, so teens are safe poking around to explore their options, including chats and reviews. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • writing

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding

Arts

  • painting
  • photography
  • script writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • applying information
  • defining problems
  • thinking critically
  • analyzing evidence
  • asking questions
  • decision-making

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • combining knowledge
  • imagination
  • producing new content
  • brainstorming
  • developing novel solutions

Self-Direction

  • initiative
  • self-assessment
  • achieving goals
  • goal-setting
  • self-reflection
  • set objectives
  • academic development
  • motivation
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • personal growth
  • effort

Emotional Development

  • perspective taking
  • developing resilience
  • self-awareness
  • moving beyond obstacles
  • identifying emotions
  • empathy
  • persevering

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression
  • friendship building
  • presenting
  • conveying messages effectively
  • asking questions

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • respecting other viewpoints
  • cooperation

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • social media
  • evaluating media messages
  • using and applying technology

Teens who love to write will find solid refuge in this website, which is a community of young writers. It takes courage to put their work out there and see what comes back, but Teen Ink has other assets as well. A wealth of targeted resources will keep kids busy surfing without coming up empty. Kids will also appreciate connecting with peers about their writing as well as other topics in a safe forum. Kids can discover connections with kids whose experiences are different and take delight in the surprise at common ground. Teen Ink is a valuable website for students interested in sharing and publishing their writing.

This Learning Rating review was written by Lynne Glasner

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk about...

Website details

Genre:Creating
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Teen Ink was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byoriginality95 March 15, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Writers and Readers Will LOVE!

I found out about Teen Ink from my local library. I love reading their magazine, and submitting my own work on their website. I'm also on their Student Advisory Board, and am glad to have such a great website to head to to read other teens writing, and post my own. It's a very safe website, that I trust when using. I don't find any problems with the work, occasionally you'll see a swear word, or something "sexually" related but the writing is very well thought out and for the most part positive. I definitely recommend The website and the magazine!
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byAubrey123 January 10, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
What don i do on this web site
Teen, 14 years old Written bymorganllong16 January 5, 2010
AGE
14
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Too much swearing

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