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November 21st, 2009

Movie Review Contest

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy C.

Teen Inkers ask me a lot of questions, from how to submit work to book recommendations for vacation. Far and away, though, the most-asked question is this: how can I get published in Teen Ink Magazine?

We get dozens or hundreds of great submissions every day, so unfortunately, we can't publish every quality piece that comes our way. But there are a few things you can do to up your chances, like pay attention to structure, tailor it to the writing styles you've already seen published, and for goodness' sake, spell check!

This month, however, you've got an extra-good chance to get your writing published in the magazine. We're holding a movie review contest for that latest installment in the Twilight empire: New Moon. The movie came out yesterday--which is why you're seeing this Extra Ink today, instead of in its usual Friday slot. The judge is yours truly, so this Extra Ink is your key to publication, a free subscription, and maybe even fame and fortune.

The first thing we should make clear is that I don't care if the winning review is positive or negative. I saw New Moon yesterday myself, and of course I have my own opinion, but it's completely irrelevant to the contest. So don't cater your writing to what you think I, or any of the Teen Ink editors, want to hear. I just want to know what you really think!

That said, don't let your Twilight fandom or scorn get in the way of writing an intelligent review. A piece that's just spouting on about how much you adore the series--or how much you hate it--simply isn't interesting. Find some things in the movie to compliment, and some to critique. Even the most glowing or scathing published reviews often play their own devil's advocate at some point.

A few more basics of review writing: double-check the actors' and crew's names and spelling, notice production values like sets and costumes, and pay attention to direction, screenwriting, and other aspects of filmmaking outside of acting. It takes a lot of people, working in a lot of different ways, to make a movie.

The deadline is December 7th at midnight, so get cracking! For more inspiration, you can look at last year's Twilight review contest winner here.

Last but not least, if you can spot the issues of Teen Ink that we've heard were hidden among the props in New Moon, that will definitely give you an edge.

I'm really looking forward to reading these reviews, and I want to hear from hardcore Twilight fans as well as those with no previous interest in the series at all. So please consider writing a review--after all, who doesn't love guaranteed publication?

Remember to check out Teen Ink on Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace and BeBo. You'll be alerted about the latest contest, get tips on publishing and chat with our editorial staff. Come on in--the social networking water's fine!

Do you know what's up at teenink.com? We're getting ready to add some great new features. Make sure to check us out often!

FACEBOOK/MYSPACE GIVEAWAY Teen Ink Group Subscription raffle! Join our FaceBook group or friend us on MySpace and you'll be automatically entered to win a year's subscription to Teen Ink Magazine. Multiple winners each month! You can also use FaceBook and MySpace to ask us questions and participate in great writing and art contests.

Miss an Extra Ink? Go to TeenInk.com/ExtraInk for past e-newsletters.

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