Nancy's Books

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Importance of Audience, Part III/Call for Submissions/Contest

This is the conclusion of a three-part series on writing to an audience.

· Middle grade students enjoy short novels and longer nonfiction. Their world is expanding and so are their interests, which include the books they read, from how-to to history, science, biographies, autobiographies, sports, animals, crafts, and jokes. Activity books, word searches, games, crossword puzzles, and magic tricks soothe their curiosity. Fictional characters are complex, lovable, flawed, brave, and show independence. Members of this age group focus inward on themselves as they try to figure out who they are and who they want to become. The narrative should reflect this focus. Middle grade books range from 10,000-45,000 words and up, but most range between those numbers. Books in the Harry Potter series are much longer.

· Young adult novels are for teens. Many of these books are similar to adult novels but are usually shorter and less complex. These books often take on heavier subject matter, such as dating, drugs, and dysfunctional families. The dialog may have swearing and the plot can deal with sex. Books for middle grade and younger don’t deal with these issues. The world of teens has gone from the safe world of home and school to the unknown world beyond. Young adult novels are often 30,000 words and up.

· The relationship between a writer and the reader is like a close friendship. The relationship allows both to react emotionally to reveal secrets and share feelings as the characters grow and evolve. Children’s audiences offer a wide range of possibilities for writers. Allow the audience to define your writing by focusing on a particular group.

Call for Submissions for adult writers.
Welcome to the Sandstar Review! The SSR is an exclusively online literary magazine dedicated to publishing fresh voices and lyrical, insightful work. Seeks unpublished poetry and prose for its inaugural issue. Send up to 6 poems or 15 pages of prose; cover letter and bio appreciated. Simultaneous submissions accepted upon notification of publication elsewhere. Send all work in one document (poetry or prose; no combined submissions) to This is our first issue and we need voices.
Details at

Contest for student writers:
General Short Story - $250, $200 and $150 prizes.
Student Short Story - $250, $200 and $150 prizes.
Student Poetry - $100, $75 and $50 prizes.
Prizewinning entries will be published in Insight.
You must be age 22 or under to enter the student categories.
Your entry must be a true, unpublished work by you, with
a strong spiritual message. We appreciate the use of Bible
texts. Your short story should not be longer than seven
pages. Your poem should not be longer than one page.
Deadline June 1, 2011.
Details at

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