As occasionally happens, you’re seeing my middle-aged face in a spot where a young face should be.
Regular readers of The Daily Star Lifestyle section know that we like to use this space for “Teen Talk,” a column written by teenagers, about teenagers, but for all of us. We publish work by a rotating cast of four young people who are either in high school or recently graduated.
The problem is, we only have three of them right now. Teens, by their very nature, grow up and move on. Kate Morano, who has been with us for a few years, has done just that. I believe she has a bright future and I wish her well.
Our teen columnists — Lucia Marsiglio of Delhi, Anya Sloth of Oneonta and Jordan Forbes, also of Oneonta — deliver thoughtful columns written from a teen perspective. I enjoy their fresh approach to issues and I know from feedback that readers enjoy it, too.
So, we need one more teen to join them on the roster.
Our teen columns serve a couple of purposes. They give teens an opportunity to share experiences and they give those of us well beyond our teen years an insight into what teens are thinking, feeling and doing.
Teen columns can cover a wide range of topics — fashion, music, sports, pop culture, movies, television, social issues and more. They should be of general interest, however, appealing to a wide range of readers. Introspection is OK, but prospective columnists should view this as an opportunity to educate, even persuade, but not pontificate.
It’s a chance for teens to tell what really moves them and to show off what they know.
We’re looking for excellent teen writers from anywhere within Otsego, Delaware, Chenango or Schoharie counties. Ideally, we’re seeking high school freshmen, sophomores or juniors who have the potential to be with us a while.
Don’t be afraid to apply because of a lack of professional experience. I’ll help you with newspaper style and the other nuances of the business.
Columnists will be responsible for one column every eight weeks. We’ll provide a schedule.
A Daily Star column is a great way to get some notice and to begin building a résumé. Your work — and name — will appear in print and online for a lot of people to read.
It’s also a good way to make a few bucks.
If this sounds like a good opportunity for you, we invite you to send us a sample column that’s about 600 to 800 words long. Tell us what you want, think, do, feel or experience. Show us a bit of who you are and what you care about.
For examples, visit us at www.thedailystar.com and search for work by our teen columnists. Don’t feel that you have to follow their styles, though. Develop your own.
Along with your sample column, include your name, age, hometown, grade, school and a phone number where we can reach you.
If you’re a parent or educator who knows students who like to write, show them this column and urge them to apply. There’s only one opening at present, but as Teen Talkers “graduate,” we’ll be looking for more. We’ll hold on to the names of any applicants and may reach out when the next opening pops up.
Samples can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail, attention to Robert Cairns, to The Daily Star, 102 Chestnut St., Oneonta, NY 13820.
If you have any questions, give me a call at 607-432-1000, ext. 217.
Robert Cairns is the editor of The Daily Star.