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 During the School Year
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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. The writers also learn how to be reporters. They conduct interviews and write news stories about things that are important to youth in care.   

What’s it like writing for Represent?
It’s a lot of work, and also a lot of fun! You’ll meet other young people. And you’ll get to work with a professional editor who will help you write about things that are important to you.

Your editor will help you a lot with the writing, but the ideas will usually come from you. You’ll write a lot of drafts before your story is complete, which can take weeks or even months. That requires patience, but the payoff is big: 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.

Many stories also get published here on our website; on the new website we set up for ACS, www.YouthSuccessNYC.org; and in our books. (We publish poetry submitted by readers, but youth on the staff publish articles, not poems.)

Where is Represent?
Our office is located at 242 W. 38th Street, 6th fl. (halfway down the block between 7th and 8th Aves.) We're near the Times Square subway staion.

How often do writers come to the office?
We’ll work with you to set up a schedule after school. Writers usually come to our offices twice a week for two hours each session. We can be flexible if you need to come in earlier in the afternoon. Whatever your schedule, it’s important that you stick to it.

Do writers get paid? Or get other benefits?
Writers receive a stipend after finishing a 2- to 4-page story. Keep in mind that 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.)

In most cases, writers also get a MetroCard and each day they come for at least two hours. Writers also learn how to work in an office, which looks good on your resume. We write recommendation letters for jobs and college. And you’ll make good friends.

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.

How can I find out more?
Call us to ask questions or to make an appointment to come visit our office in person (it’s OK if you decide afterward not to join). Call Virginia Vitzthum at 212-279-0708 ext. 112.

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