OMG! We found a magazine for tween girls so cool that the only thing my 10-year-old daughter could find to complain about was that some of the fonts were hard to read. High praise indeed, if you’re familiar with hormonal, too-cool-for-school preteen ways.

Seriously, though. If you’ve got a tween girl, you’ve got to check out Bright Lite magazine.

Related: 9 great TV shows for tweens that you might not have considered

Bright Lite, which is run by two moms, is a magazine for tween girls written by tween girls, and curated by an editorial board of — you guessed it — tween girls! But anyone, anywhere, can contribute. If you’re 18 or younger, you can send in submissions, and let me tell you, they’re pouring in from all over the world.

Bright Lite magazine for tween girls

Instead of celebrities in bikinis and ads for diet drinks, you get photographs of pets and tweens in costumes they designed themselves, photoessays on travel and fashion, interviews with teens doing inspiring things, original poems, short stories, cool crafts, favorite recipes, even an advice column in which older teens help younger tweens learn about high school and, uh, growing up.

Each issue has a theme, and it’s the kind of stuff my tween loves: animals, museums, outer space. Her favorite part, though, is the recurring photo-driven feature with pictures of real girls in their cool bedrooms. She loves seeing how other girls decorate and how they use their rooms to express themselves.

(She also really loved the Haute Hens photography spread in the Animals issue. Because who doesn’t love H&M necklaces being worn by actual chickens?)

Related: 13 great fantasy and adventure books for tweens. Get ready to buy the sequels!

Bright Lite magazine for tweens, by tweens, with lots on friendship.

Bright Lite magazine for tweens, by tweens, featuring Animals and Museums.

Bright Lite magazine for tweens, featuring interviews and photos

From a parent’s perspective, I love that Bright Lite isn’t trying to sell girls an unrealistic lifestyle. It’s all about empowering real girls, showing off their talents, sharing their interests, and inspiring them to explore their passions, be that in the arts, STEM, fashion, or entrepreneurship.

My daughter has been carrying a copy in her backpack all week to read at school and share with friends.

The only downside, she tells me, is that she gets jealous of what other girls have accomplished. Which means I’ve been discussing ways in which she can channel that feeling to do something positive with it. And reminding her to follow her heart.

No surprise, she’s working on her submission to the next edition of Bright Lite right now.

You can subscribe to Bright Lite magazine at their website, which has plenty of things for tweens to explore, from journal pages to activities to short stories. The magazine is published quarterly, but you can order back issues too. And may we suggest you do?

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