Hey teenagers!

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Every year we do an issue that honors our younger readers and gives them an opportunity to tell the world what’s going on in their heads and hearts. This year, we’ve decided to focus on the artistic side of our community’s young people, and we’ve been running an ad asking people between the ages of 13 and 19 to send us examples of their visual art, essays, poetry—whatever—for possible publication.

We’ve had a pretty good response thus far, but much of it has been from the more writerly types. I’d love to see some photography, some drawings, something visual with a real punch.

I don’t mean to pretend that I know particularly what’s going on in young people’s heads. But I’m certain to a fair degree, at least listening to the modern rock station, that some of the same things that concern modern teenagers have occupied my mind.

I probably wouldn’t have gotten into journalism if it weren’t for the frustration I felt trying to communicate with the world at large as a teenager. I went to Catholic school, and it was a real drag. I hadn’t yet learned my skills of discretion, and there were few “healthy” public methods of self-expression—no cell phones, no Blackberries, no e-mail, no Myspace or Internet for blogging or random acts of senseless communication. In fact, the public communications I made often had more in common with graffiti than artistic expression.

(As a side note, I wonder how the digital divide—the difference in access to computers between rich and poor—relates to graffiti. If computers were universal, would there be any reason for a paint-based, public-secret form of communication?)

At any rate, teens have until March 29 to get their submissions in. Look for details in the ad on page 27. We’ll publish the following week. Teachers and parents, it wouldn’t hurt any to make a mention of this opportunity to your creative students and children.