KidSpirit’s teen voices receive top honors at 2016 RNA Awards

BROOKLYN, N.Y. --  KidSpirit, the sole magazine by and for youth to explore life’s big questions, is delighted to announce it has received the top magazine honor from the Religion News Association (RNA), the 2016 award for Magazine Overall Excellence. Founded in 1949, RNA is the only professional association in the world for journalists who cover religion.

KidSpirit is a nonprofit magazine featuring articles, poetry, and artwork by 11- to 17-year-olds around the world. The organization is not affiliated with any religious organization, but provides a unique platform for young people to share their perspectives on questions of meaning in an open and inclusive spirit. KidSpirit is led by a network of young editors who collaborate with each other to revise submissions and set the editorial agenda.

KidSpirit’s young writers and artists were honored alongside major media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, at the RNA Awards Banquet on Saturday, September 24. The contest judges commented on the decision to award teen writers top honors this year: “KidSpirit Online is an ambitious venture that provides a digital platform for the voices of youth from many religions and cultures around the world. Through this inventive global outreach, young leaders of tomorrow have an opportunity to explore the world’s big questions and think big thoughts beyond their own borders.”

About the award, 17-year-old KidSpirit editor Sharon Lin observes, "I think it's incredible to see so many diverse voices being recognized. Despite the vast differences between our international contributors, the fact that we are able to create a magazine on par with the country's most recognized publications is really a testament to the power of youth voices. I'm so excited for KidSpirit, and I know that this award will propel us forward through the coming years."

The RNA judges commented: “This year’s entry, focused on the theme ‘Climate Change: Tending Our Planet,’ shows that depth of intellect is not defined by age. These young writers and editors display maturity and insight beyond their years, with impressive commentary – from policy to poetry – on one of the world’s most critical issues.”

“Climate Change: Tending Our Planet” represents a clarion call by youth to address environmental concerns with compassion, courage, creativity, and optimism. The contributors’ responses to the mounting crisis – a problem they did not create but will inherit – illustrates the commitment of young people to think carefully about this issue. The RNA Award honors kids’ natural ability to connect with one another on a deep level that transcends boundaries and labels.

Previous winners in the Magazine Overall Excellence category include Tikkun (2014 and 2015), Harvard Divinity Bulletin (2013), Moment Magazine (2012), and Christianity Today (2011).

For a complete list of 2016 RNA Award winners, please go to


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