A year of being here | Teen Ink

A year of being here

December 27, 2022
By Afra ELITE, Kandy, Other
Afra ELITE, Kandy, Other
100 articles 7 photos 1818 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A writer must never be short of ideas."
-Gabriel Agreste- (Fictional character- Miraculous)

This year is about to come to an end. As most people do, during this final week of this year, I am completing tasks that I planned to complete in 2022 but was unable to do. As I checked my to-do lists and thought of things I missed, before I went to sleep at night, I suddenly remembered that it was a year this October since I stumbled upon Teen Ink.

I can still remember that day as if it was yesterday when I was looking for a website/magazine to submit my work and get some feedback. The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus pandemic made me 'go bananas' (if I speak about how I felt in the exact terms) and writing was my way of escape. To make matters worse, my loving grandfather passed away and I could not make it to his funeral because of Covid restrictions and other reasons. There were many websites and their names made me feel that all the websites were just similar to each other. Moreover, many of those websites did not have writers from the continent of Asia so I was sort of in a tizzy to submit my work, thinking that it would not be worthy enough.

But, that was only until I chanced upon TeenInk. The word 'Teen' drew my attention and suddenly it flashed. This is the one! I thought. Let me submit my work to this website and see what happens. I read the work of other writers and I was stunned. There were teenage writers from all across the globe. Everyone was so good and had written ace pieces. Some of the adolescent writers were new and some have been there for years. Every piece was unique and each had a story of its own. My pieces were no match to most of the pieces out there. But, that did not stop me from submitting my pieces. I was learning after all. And if I submit and if they approve and if I get feedback and comments on how my work is, I would improve. So, I registered without much hesitation. Then, I wrote a poem about 'Marriage' because that was a hot topic in our country because of Covid restrictions, and hit submit. The next day, it was approved. I was over the moon not just because it was published on the website, but also to see other users commenting on how my piece was.

Days passed and I submitted much of my work. TeenInk was like my therapist. I would write whatever I feel and whatever I do not personally feel in form of poetry or fiction pieces so that I could submit it. TeenInk was a place for me to share my thoughts and ideas as nonfiction pieces which made me gradually discover my true identity. Also, I got the gift of friendship through collaborations and comments. I introduced TeenInk to the teenagers in my family as well. I am on the TeenInk student advisory board too. I realised that I finally found a place where I truly belong, as an ordinary (but different) teenage girl with ideas and thoughts.

The most important part is, during this process of reading, writing and submitting my work to TeenInk, I became conscious of the fact that I have started maturing. Today, I am not the naive Afra Samsudeen who came across TeenInk in October 2021. I am a more sensible Afra now. That makes me filled with felicity.

So, thank you so much Teen Ink for everything. I have grown so much since I registered on this website. I had to do this a little earlier but I had too much on my plate this year. Anyhow, before 2022 comes to an end, I want to pay my gratitude to all the editors, the staff, the readers, the writers and the entire team of TeenInk for bringing out the reader and writer hidden inside us teenagers and for making us unleash our talents. Also, I wish you all a very Happy New Year 2023 in advance. I can't wait to write more and submit more work to TeenInk next year.

Sincere thanks and warm wishes,


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