Nancy's Books

Sunday, August 12, 2012


This week I had the good fortune of being interviewed by Clancy Tucker, a writer, photographer, poet, and blogger extraordinaire who lives in Australia. I discussed my journey to writing professionally for children at Clancy’s daily blog for aspiring writers reaches readers in twelve countries.

A few times each year I like to check out the latest trends in children’s book publishing as viewed by editors and agents. Here’s what I’ve found:

The market is improving for picture books. Woohoo to that trend.

Shorter, character-driven stories are becoming popular.

Middle grade books are still strong sellers, even stronger than young adult.

Adventure and fantasy stories are on the upswing.

Paranormal and dystopian young adult stories have flooded the market so these genres are more difficult to sell.

Steampunk, fiction revolving around time-travel in the Victorian era when steam locomotives were the latest technology, is growing in popularity with teens.

Publishers are interested in realistic fiction.

As always, I’m not suggesting that anyone write with the trends as the guiding standard. Instead, focus on what inspires you, but keep up with the business side of publishing, including the trends.

· McSweeney’s Internet Tendency has announced that it is once again column contest time, and you’re eligible if you’re writing in English, regardless of location. Even better: “We have prizes. Cash prizes. The top five selections will each receive a $500 lump sum and a one-year contract to write your column (twice a month or thereabouts) for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. One of those five winners will win a $250 bonus voted on by our readers. We do reserve the right to choose fewer (or more) winners than our planned number of five.” Deadline: “Submissions will be accepted until Monday, August 20th at 10pm Eastern time.” No entry fee.

· The First Line First Line Contest: “To celebrate our 15th year, we’re giving you a chance to inspire the world. Send us your best (original and unpublished) starter sentences, and we’ll pick four to use for next year’s first lines. You have until August 31st to submit. The winners will receive $50 and five copies of the issue that was inspired by your first line.” No entry fee.
Check out more contests on my blog:

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