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Our mission is to ignite a fire within youth and make them feel seen and heard.


The Torch is an annual literary magazine run by Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective members. Each Spring we will produce one issue in both digital and print format. We envision creating a space in the world where youth are seen as leaders and their/our voices aren’t dismissed for being “too young.” Here at The Torch, we hold space for all experiences. 

​2024 Issue: Spectrum

For our second issue, The Torch will be accepting original poetry, fiction, & art from international middle school to high school students ages 12 to 19.

This issue's theme is Spectrum. Spectrum can be defined as the range of different colors which is produced when light passes through a glass prism or drop of water. All submitters are encouraged to interpret it how they see fit but we’ve written a prompt for those that need a little guidance and direction.

Prompt: Choose a color and relate to an experience or memory. Think about that moment in time through the lens of your chosen color using the five senses and what you know and feel about that color. Use that to write a poem, a fiction piece, or to inspire some form of art.

All youth who have their work chosen for the Spring Edition will be mailed a free copy of the Print Edition in which their work appears.


​Although we value all stories and experiences of youth, we will not accept any poetry, fiction, or art that is intensely graphic, sexual, or violent. Any submissions that are about mental health and/or sexual assault/violence, please include a trigger warning specific to the nature of the poem at the end of the poem's title. We do not encourage the use of curse words or profanity. 


Each submission will go through an anonymous reading process by our adult staff. 


Each poet may submit UP TO 5 pieces in the same document (one poem per page). Each poem submitted should be single-spaced, Times New Roman, 12pt. font, and no longer than 35 lines.


Flash fiction (300 words max) and excerpts of short stories (600 words max) will be accepted. Writers can submit up to two fiction pieces. Each piece submitted should be single-spaced, Times New Roman, and 12pt font.


Visual art including photography, drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, mixed media, fashion, and printmaking are welcomed. We ask that all work aligns with the issues theme and is a high quality image.​


For questions, please email us at

Submission Guidelines

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