Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sensory Description: Sound/Calls for Submissions

If you’re a visual learner, you may find that writing what you see is easy, but you struggle with the sense of sound. If you’re an auditory learner, you may have a much easier time describing the noises of the world. The sense of sound helps the reader understand the atmosphere where the story is taking place. A tin roof intensifies the splatter of raindrops and thunder booms with danger.

Scenes are seldom silent. Noise surrounds us in almost all situations, whether we’re in a field with bees buzzing or in a city with cars horns honking. By describing the sounds surrounding the characters, the scene comes alive with action and adds depth to the story.

Picture books often use onomatopoeia [words whose sounds suggest their meanings, such as clang or hiss] to incorporate sound into a story. In my book, Happy Birthday: the Story of the World’s Most Popular Song, I used this onomatopoeia: The thump-thud-thump-thud klackety-klack of the horse and buggy passing by on the street.

As you write ask yourself what the scene sounded like?

Call for submissions for adult writers:
Knowonder! Update. After a 3-month break to get themselves repositioned, Knowonder! relaunched on June 1st with a new look and a brand new app. In addition to their daily stories, they now have seven other categories of content. They are paying $25-$50 for stories and articles.
Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for young writers:
Frodo’s Notebook is actively seek submissions from teens, the ages of 13 and 19. Send us your very best work, and read the guidelines thoroughly and completely before sending anything:


Creative/Personal Essays



Submission guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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