Nancy's Books

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Picture Book vs. Magazine article, part II/Calls for Submissions

Today’s blog is part II of a series.

Picture books and magazine stories have some attributes in common: they have a short text, can be written in rhyme or prose, and are geared toward the same audience. However, the differences are greater than the similarities. Consider the following elements to determine if your story works better as a picture book or magazine piece.

Is your story narrow or wide in scope? Picture books need to appeal to a wide audience. If the story has universal appeal, it will work as a picture book. Publishers invest about $50,000 into the first run of a picture book. With that type of investment, the story MUST work for a wide audience.

Is the story a quiet or mood piece, such as a bedtime story? This type of book is a tough sell in today’s picture book market. Most picture books start in the middle of the action with a hook to pull readers in.

Does the main character have an important problem to solve? If not, the story might be too slight for a picture book. The character should experience setbacks in attempting to solve the problem.

Next week’s blog will offer more tips on how to determine if your manuscript is a better fit for a picture book or magazine story.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Switchback is a publication of the MFA Program at the University of San Francisco and appears both online and in ebook format. We publish only the very best fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. For issue 17, an Editor's Prize will be awarded in the amount of $200.00 to the submission best addressing the issue theme (Broken). Additional prizes in the amount of $75.00 and $50.00 respectively will be awarded to the first two runners up. There is no fee to enter. Submissions need not address the issue theme in order to be considered for publication. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting.

Switchback 17: Broken will be published May 1, 2013.
Deadline: 2-28-2013
Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for young writers:

Cyberkids. Would you like to have a story, poem, article, picture or other creative work published in Cyberkids? To submit your work, email it to: In the email, tell us your name, age
and country.

Submission guidelines at

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