In first grade, I wrote a picture book about pandas. In third grade, I started my own newspaper. In fifth grade, I submitted an editorial about San Francisco’s homeless issues to the New York Times. It was rejected.

But that was just the beginning. As the years went on, I fell in love with writing - or, more specifically, I fell in love with the way writing allowed me to share a piece of me with others.

During middle school, when a global pandemic struck the world, I of course wrote about my experiences. I pitched my essays to The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, The New York Times (again). But they “weren’t looking for something like that at the moment.” Translation? The United States’ largest newspapers didn’t have space for the musings of twelve-year-olds.

So, I spent a lot of time researching “youth opinion writing.” I had words in my mind, words I had written, words I wanted people to read. But, as I quickly discovered, there was no place to put those words.

Finally, in 2022, I founded The New Courant. The New Courant is a non-profit online publication for youth opinion writing. Simply put, I founded this organization because I believe in the power of words to create positive change. My mission is to empower youth to speak about the problems they see in their world and stand up for change. I want to give them a platform where their opinions can be read by people of all ages. And ultimately, I hope that by publishing youth opinions, we can start conversations about what we need to make our world a better place.

I write today to announce that The New Courant is now accepting submissions from young writers (ages 13-21).

A couple of months ago, I went to an author talk. And at the very end of the event, I heard one line that stuck with me. “Your story matters,” she said. “People need to hear your story.”

Today, I write to you because I believe in the power of words. Like that author, I believe that every young person has a story to tell, an opinion to share, a voice that matters. I want to ensure that every one of those voices is heard.

So, to you, out there, whoever you are: the world needs to hear what you have to say! Think of what makes your blood boil, what you long to see change, what you wish others could understand. Write an editorial about it! And most importantly, believe in the importance of your words.

Please visit us at to learn more about how to contribute.

*Anne Rong (14 years old) is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The New Courant