The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Writing for Represent from outside New York City
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What is Represent?
Represent is a national magazine written by youth in foster care ages 14-21. It gives young people in care a place to speak out about their experiences by telling their stories. Many stories also get published here, on our website. (We publish poetry submitted by readers, but youth on the staff publish articles, not poems.) .   

What’s it like writing for Represent?
Writing for Represent is not for everyone. It’s a LOT of work. You have to be self-disciplined, patient, motivated, and enjoy spending several hours a week sitting at a computer and writing. You have to be able to accept constructive criticism, answer a lot of questions, and ask questions when something isn’t clear to you. You have to be able to meet deadlines.

You’ll write a lot of drafts before your story is complete, which can take weeks or even months. Your editor will help you with the writing, but the ideas will usually come from you. Of course, there’s a big payoff for all that work: You see your story in print where you can be proud of it—and your words will make a difference in the lives of other young people.

How often will I be expected to write?
We’ll work with you to set up a schedule. Writers usually send a draft by e-mail to their editor once a week. The editor will send back edits—including a lot of questions—and you will respond to those edits and questions in your next draft. You will do this for several weeks or months. We can be flexible if you need to adjust how often you send drafts, but be aware that it will take longer to finish a story in that case. Whatever your schedule, it’s important that you stick to it and finish your story; otherwise, it takes time away from the other writers who are committed.

Do writers get paid? Or get other benefits?
Long-distance writers receive a stipend after finishing a 2- to 4-page story (a story between 1,400 and 2,800 words). Again, it can take several weeks or even months to finish a story. (If your real need is to earn money, you’ll earn it a lot faster on a job.)

Writing for Represent looks good on your resume. We can also write recommendation letters for jobs and college if you have kept your commitments with us.

Do you have to be a good writer to join the staff?
No. It’s great if you are, but the important thing is that you want to tell your story and help other young people. We want stories that are honest and true (we don’t publish fiction). The writing process can be emotional and not always easy. What makes it worth it is sharing experiences and ideas with thousands of young people like you. Many of our readers say they felt alone in the world until they read a Represent story.

What should I do if I’m ready to write?
1. Click here for an application for long-distance writers.  Fill it out, complete the essays, and send it to us.

2. An editor will reply by e-mail with a lot of questions and suggestions for how to organize your story, and what details you might need to add to make it clear to a reader. The editor will also work out a schedule of how often you’ll send drafts back and forth.

3. For several weeks or months, you and your editor will send drafts back and forth. Again, be prepared to spend 2-4 hours per week working on your story. To make sure that Represent remains a high-quality publication, we will not publish any story that’s not as good as it can be. It will take a lot of patience to answer all of the editor’s questions, so be sure that you’re willing to stick with the process before you approach us.

How can I find out more?
Call Virginia at 212-279-0708 ext. 112 or e-mail her at

Please do not contact us or fill out the application until you have carefully read this entire page.

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