Merlyn's Pen: Fiction, Essays, and Poems by America's Teens (est. 1985)
What began as a Creative Writing assignment grew to be a national glossy magazine, returning the best student writing back to the classroom for other teens to study as inspiration, motivation, and as a bridge to higher literature.
Over the years Merlyn's Pen evolved to become a comprehensive teaching resource, with lesson plans, books, anthologies, ESL and EFL guides produced to complement it. More importantly, although we have now received over 120,000 student manuscripts (and published 1,000 of these) we have held to our initial mission to respond to every young writer with personalized words of advice and encouragement tailored to each piece.
This one-on-one expertise, provided by our network of mentor-editors, is unique in the magazine world and invaluable to forming positive associations with the writing process. While a magazine might seem trivial to some, it organically creates an environment known in education circles to improve writing skills. It gives writers an audience and a purpose, it causes them to revise, and it publishes only the most compelling, raising expectations of what teens can do.
Through home and school subscriptions, Merlyn's Pen magazine became a well-known and respected name in education circles, garnering positive press in such media outlets as the Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, Booklist, and English Journal. The magazine was awarded placement on the New York State Recommended Reading List for high school students, alongside seven other publications, including the New Yorker and Time. At its peak, Merlyn’s Pen had 35,000 paid subscriptions and was incorporated into more than 1,000 school curricula.