AUSTIN, Texas – Following a reverse trend in publishing, Latinitas magazine (www.latinitasmagazine.org), the first digital magazine made for and by Latina youth, is augmenting its successful online publications with the launch of a print magazine for “tweens” and older in 2008.
To gather “voces authenticas” (authentic voices) from all over the United States, the magazine is launching the Latinitas Magazine National Writing Contest seeking feedback from Latina youth ages 14 to 21 on “What it is to be Latina.” Winning writers will see their articles published in the print and online issues of Latinitas magazine.
Media tends to either neglect or misrepresent Latina identity, crystallizing her monolithically in over-sexualized images or excessive portrayals of servitude. Aside from ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” much of mainstream media depicts Latinas as uneducated gangster “cholas” or maids. According to media watchdog, Children Now, negative media portrayals of youth have been associated with damaging body image and self-esteem among children and teens, particularly among girls who often find themselves marginalized by media.
Contest Criteria: Contestants should be between the ages of 14 and 21. Submissions should be 800-1,000 words in first person or Associated Press style on one of the following subjects: What is it like to be a Hispanic/Latina female in your hometown? What does it mean to be a Hispanic/Latina female to you? As a Hispanic/Latina
female are you doing something in your community to make a difference, if so what? Describe the biggest challenge facing the young Hispanic/Latinas today? Applicants should submit articles to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight February 10, 2008 or mail a copy to Latinitas, P.O. Box 4284 Austin, TX 78765.
“Latinas come from the barrios and the burbs. We are hoping to hear from Hispanic young women who represent the large diaspora of Latinas,” explains Alicia Rascon, Latinitas co-founder. “I was born in Mexico, but you have other Latinas in the United States who may have never seen their family’s country of origin – yet they practice the
culture and traditions of that place. Those are the stories we are excited to read.”
The U.S. Census reports that by 2025, one in every five teens will be Latino. Clearly, what goes on among Latina teens not only affects the Latino community, but also has an extraordinary impact on the nation, as a whole.
Latinitas magazine (www.latinitasmagazine.org ) is a non-profit publication with outreach programs dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Latina youth through media and technology. Its vision is that all young Latinas are strong and confident in their own image.