Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Books for Boys/Calls for Submissions

Teacher, parents, librarians, and editors often say they want books that interest boys? Have you ever wondered about the differences in books that have boy appeal as opposed to those with girl appeal?

The differences go deep, all the way to plot and character. Boys like books that deal with action and adventure. Explosions reel them in. Fast cars, blood, and all things gross are sure winners. Boys like situations, fantasy, science fiction, heroic male characters, and all types of nonfiction [sports, humor, animals, biography, history, informational text, and hobbies]. They prefer shorter text and visuals accompanying text as in graphic novels.

What about girls? Some girls like those types of books, too. There’s no distinct dividing line. What appeals to one child may not to another, regardless of gender. However, girls like to read about other girls, relationships, feelings, interesting characters, and human-interest stories.

The gender lines can become even murkier. Both boys and girls enjoy humor and nonfiction.

One of the best ways to learn what boys like to read is to talk with boys. Find out what books they have recently read and what type of TV show they like to watch. What interest them? What make them laugh? The answers vary with different ages. If you’re interested in writing books for boys, read books that are popular books with boys and see how the subject matter was handled.

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers
Working Mother Magazine Pay: Varies Freelance assignments fit the three primary sections of the magazine: You, Work and Family. Features are also assigned to fit our initiative packages (100 Best Companies, Best Companies for Multicultural Women, Best Green Companies, etc). Features are usually 1,000 to 2,000 words. Basically, we look for articles that help moms successfully navigate the task of juggling job, home and family. We like tightly focused pieces that celebrate working moms while sensibly solving or illuminating a problem unique to our readers and/or their children and family. We also want to share personal stories for and about working moms who have experienced career triumphs and/or life changes--all while raising kids and working a job. Topics of interest include: career-related (work/life) issues; diversity in the workplace; family relationships; time, home and money management; and parenting. Most of our columns--news, lifestyle, activities, recommendations, parenting, travel, food, beauty and fashion--are staff written. But we might assign out:
Learning Curve--500-word, age-by-age (0-2, 3-5, 6-10, 11+) child development column.
My Story--1,000 word personal story from a reader that illuminates a working mother issue or scenario and how she triumphed over, solved, or dealt with it. Humor is good here.
Details at

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

GIRLS' LIFE wants to publish you online! The Girls’ Life website,, accepts submissions of articles, poetry and short fiction from writers under the age of 18.
Details at

1 comment:

  1. I once had an author describe her book as being crafted for boys (It's called "Rattlesnake Jam" - the name says it all). She described boys as sometimes having trouble sitting still through the arc of the story so you gotta hit 'em quick and keep them engaged (I'm paraphrasing). Gave me a whole new perspective of what constitutes a "good" story. Some books reach a wide audience and some books hit a niche. Room for all, yes?
    Good stuff, Nancy!