Girls’ writing culture flourished during the later nineteenth century. Along with contributing to correspondence pages and competitions in periodicals, girls participated in writing manuscript magazines. This article focuses on two such magazines, the Barnacle and the Evergreen Chain, as examples of girls’ rich and complex engagement with the literature that they emulated. These original yet appropriative texts demonstrate how girls viewed their own position in literary culture and their potential career in it. Conceptual insights from sociology and adaptation studies assist in formulating an understanding of this time-limited girlhood culture.