Bright Lite is the Magazine You’ve Been Dreaming Of
As a lot of you already know, we’re all about bringing you the latest on indie magazines made with girls in mind. We told you all about Kazoo and Smore, and now we’re here to shine a light on Bright Lite Magazine.
Bright Lite is a little different than the other magazines we’ve covered in the past. Why? Because Bright Lite is made for YOU, by YOU. All of the stories, photos, and content you’ll find scattered across the pages of this mag were sent in by REAL pre-teen girls from all over the world. Every girl has a unique story to tell and a unique point of view, which is why Bright Lite celebrates it by letting YOU decide what their mag is made of.
At first glance, Bright Lite reminded us of Rookie Mag for a younger crowd. It really stands on it’s own, though. Bright Lite boasts a very vintage, scrappy, zine feel and makes sure every type of girl feels heard. Each issue features a theme, the latest being Sports. On the cover, you’ll never find celebrities, make-up tips, or dating advice. Every issue features real girls and cool art plastered on their cover and on every page in between. The spirit of this mag is all about connecting, expressing yourself, emoting, and learning from real life experiences and other girls around you.
We received the Sports issue recently, which is Issue #4. Previous themes include Animals, Museums, and Outer Space. Here’s our experience flipping through the Sports issue for the first time.
On the very first page we found the definition of sports, followed by a contributor list (yes, you get your name front and center when something you submit is used in the mag!), and a helpful table of contents. This issue featured over 200 pages of poetry, recipes, DIYs, journal entries, interview, tips, advice, and stories, all around the sports theme.
Since there’s no ads, all 208 pages are pure reader submitted content. This issue featured a variety of different interpretations of the theme, including a poem about the exhilaration and freedom you feel while running, room tour from relatable teen girls, and interviews with girls about why the love to play their sport of choice.
There’s a story of a girl who broke her arm playing basketball and an 8 year old girl in rainbow tube socks who loves to skateboard. In between you’ll find lots of photographs of girls doing everything from playing basketball to roller derby to dancing to skateboarding. It doesn’t ever try to define what sports girls should be playing, what qualifies as a sport, or what a girl should be.
Bright Lite simply lets girls be exactly who they are. Reading it feels like something really special, and it should. It IS something special. This is a hand curated, quarterly magazine that prides itself on the passion of girls all around the world.
Bright Lite has been delivering issues since April 2016. It somehow managed to slip our radar until recently, so we wanted to make sure to bring it to you guys loud and clear. We even asked Editor and Founder Ami Komai about why she started Bright Lite. Here’s what she had to say:
“Being able to publish a magazine like Bright Lite has been a dream come true. Bright Lite is the magazine I wish I had when I was a tween. There are no ads or articles that tell girls what color lip gloss they should be wearing. Just content created by girls, for girls. And by doing that, we create a safe place for them to be able to express their feelings and ideas.” -Ami Komai
Being founded by a girl who totally gets it, you can bet that every issue of Bright Lite will inspire you, make you think, and be everything you ever wished a magazine could be. Want to sign up? They’re still taking pre-orders for Issue #5, which is “Water” themed. The issue ships towards the end of July and will be available until the Sixth issue releases in the Fall.
Bright Lite costs $19.99 per issue and is printed on super nice, sturdy paper. A yearly subscription costs $65, which gives you a small discount. (And comes with the awesome stickers you’ve seen throughout this post.) They also sell some merch, so when you become a total fangirl, you can show it off with pride. You can subscribe on brightlitemag.com or pick up a copy in select stores. (Be sure to get permission first!)
If you’d like to contribute, be sure to keep an eye on their website. The deadline for the Water issue has passed, but their next theme should be posted up soon. There is pretty much no right type of submission, so go for it! You never know, you might just be featured in the next issue. Bright Lite also hosts events in the LA area, so if you’re looking to meet other girls and get involved IRL, there are new events posted often.
Feeling inspired? Here’s 8 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Girl Power!