There's no single path to writing success, any more than there is a single definition of writing success (or success in any form).
Careers in writing are tricky. And, journalism and fiction writing are two completely different animals. For fiction writing, the advice I always give to teens is read, write and learn about life (aka, an English major is not required to be a fiction writer and maybe college is a place to explore other intellectual interests, such as history or politics or math!). After that, that are two routes: 1. (If your goal is popular fiction) Write, get an agent, submit work. 2. (If your goal is literary fiction) Go to an elite writing grad program (such as Iowa, NYU, Wisconsin (Madison), Brown, Johns Hopkins), make connections/get an agent, submit work.
That said, I have met many talented teens who dream of seeing their words in print. So, to the extent that we can define success as publication, here are a few links:
- SCHOLASTIC ARTS & WRITING AWARDS
- TEEN INK
- THE CLAREMONT REVIEW
- VOYA You need a sponsor for this one-a teacher or librarian. VOYA also has this feature to which you can submit directly: http://voyamagazine.com/contests/teen-underground-column/.
- IMAGINE A publication of Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. They also have a good broad resource page here: http://cty.jhu.edu/imagine/resources/competitions/art_writing.html.
- YOUNG ARTS Get ready for next year!