A new literary journal available at the Carnegie Libraries in Pittsburgh is not only designed to be read by teens, it's written and edited by teens as well.
"I would say the largest personal struggle for me was just figuring out how you attempt to start a journal," said Leah DeFlitch, the managing editor and teenager who came up with the idea for the journal.
Starting the "Large Print" journal meant assembling an editorial board of teenagers, and working with the Carnegie Library for administrative and financial support.
"Projects like this, where they can take their ideas and their dreams and then bring them to fruition with minor support from caring adults, it just gives them the strength and the courage and the knowledge that they can do pretty much whatever they set out to do," said Leah Durand, the teen services manager at the Carnegie Library main branch in Oakland.
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After putting out a call for submissions to the new journal, DeFlitch was overwhelmed by the response she received.
"I wouldn't say I was surprised about the quality of the submissions, just as much as I was impressed by the volume of how many there were, especially for our first time," said DeFlitch.
"I am totally impressed by the final product. I can't speak enough to the, the quality that has been done, all the thought that was put into reaching various teens across the city," said Durand.
Everyone who worked on the project has been excited by how the community has responded to "Large Print."
"The response has been really nice. When we had our launch party, which was for the first edition of the journal, there was a really nice response from the submitters who were excited to see their work printed, which I really like because I think that teen work deserves to be printed," said DeFlitch.
Even though DeFlitch is getting ready to graduate from high school, "Large Print" will continue. She's working to create the infrastructure to have the journal continue after her departure.
Any teenager who is interested in being involved, either as a reader, an editor, or would like to submit their work to be considered for the next edition is invited to go to any branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and ask to speak to the teen specialist.
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