Issaquah Student Starts Mental Health Magazine During COVID-19 Crisis


Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine is an international online literary magazine recently started by Anna Kiesewetter, a junior at Issaquah High School. Their mission is to create an open platform for young people to publish writing without the barriers of fees and wait times, while simultaneously fostering conversations about mental health during this complicated time.

The idea for this magazine came from a place rooted deep within Kiesewetter’s heart. With the uncertainty of day-to-day life, widespread cancellations, and confinement of quarantine, she’s found herself — and many other young people — confronted by feelings of panic and doubt. Having used short stories and poetry as an outlet for emotion-induced thoughts for as long as she can remember, she hopes to provide a similar sanctuary for other young minds to express these ideas through writing.


In just over a month, the magazine has spread worldwide, with editorial staff and submissions from ten different states as well as Canada, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Nigeria, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Australia, and Ncathartic magazineew Zealand. They’ve been able to publish 41 pieces of writing from 34 young authors ages 12-22, with topics ranging from anxiety to eating disorders to love and growth. Youth ages 12-22 are encouraged to submit works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to the magazine, with a special emphasis on writing used as reflection or to draw attention to societal issues. There is no submission fee or prior experience required, and all submissions will be responded to within a week.

Their submission guidelines can be found at, alongside published writing and authors’ and editors’ biographies. Follow them on Instagram for updates and highlights from published work, and contact them at


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