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Author Topic: Is this acceptable for a teen mag market?  (Read 1147 times)
Beth Consugar
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« on: June 09, 2010, 09:18:14 PM »

I am working on one of my outlines. Bascially, I see a teen girl who is active in the youth group at her church. The youth advisor has given the teens in the group the task of designing a community outreach program that the youth group can start. Mandy is struggling settle on one idea. One night a friend reveals a traumatic event that she lived through a couple of years earlier. The girl was raped by a boy she knew. She has since moved on and has healed. It is through this conversation that Mandy decides that the program she wants to design for her assignment - a program to reach out to teen girls who have been raped. 

I know I still need to work on plot for this but...would this be considered acceptable for some magazine markets? If not, I will stop here and move on to the next idea. If it is acceptable, I will handle the issue with tenderness and care since this is a very touchy subject.

Thanks for your advice on this.

Beth
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Mikki S
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 09:41:24 PM »

I think Jan would know if teen mags would accept a story like this or not, but personally, I think it would make a great story, simply because this is happening to so many teens.  Date rape is a very timely issue, and one I think magazines would want, but again, Jan would be the one to tell you yay or nay.
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 11:08:24 PM »

I have to agreed with Mikki on this one, Beth. One teen in my family was raped at 16 and she never quite got over it. It effectively ruined her emotional life in many ways.

This is timely and necessary for girls to be aware of. No one is immune from this crime. I say go for it. The market will be there. It makes it possible, too, to do excellent research for today's facts.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 06:13:07 AM »

Rape is the kind of topic teen magazines are VERY open to...in nonfiction. I see that kind of article quite often with real actual teens who have been through the horrible ordeal sharing what helped them begin to heal. So, magazines agree that it's an important topic.

It's seen less rarely in fiction but then, teen fiction is a bit scarce. Keep in mind that to an editor, short fiction is about engaging the reader in an enjoyable experience and that's a really really hard thing to do when you're slamming the reader with such harsh topics. Novels can often handle it well but usually in fiction you have abandon plot and tell...and tell and tell and tell once you introduce a really difficult situation into a story with such an incredibly short word count.

There WERE teen magazines that would consider something like that, but many of them have stopped running fiction (mostly because they MOSTLY got stories like that and readers...well...didn't really like them and preferred the topic handled in nonfiction). Now after all that rain on your parade, it's not IMPOSSIBLE to sell a story like that. But think of it as like playing Russian Roulette where all but one of the chambers has the bullet of rejection.

Look in the Market Guide for a market that buys "controversial topics" in fiction AND has enough word count. Then be sure you have engaging characters who talk in ways we believe (no loading their mouths with what YOU need to say...it has to be what those characters actually would say in that situation), with a real plot (a controversial topic isn't a plot...it's an aspect of the story...you also have to have a plot), and no info dumping. At a quick glace through the guide, I saw one possible market...so you also have to consider the problem of a "one and done" -- if that market passes, the story would be dead.

One reason why this kind of thing is usually done in nonfiction is because you can handle it more usefully in nonfiction because nonfiction is designed to impart information. So you're not burdened by plot, but you are burdened by the need to interview actual teens (probably without using their real names) who have actually been in the situation. Plus interview counsellors and other experts for information to help the reader who might be suffering in the same situation.
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