Nancy's Books

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Bones of a Picture Book, part IV/Calls for Submissions

This article is a continuation of a series.

Write to entertain, to enchant, to comfort, to enjoy; but not to preach. Write to inform, to teach, to inspire; but not in a didactic way. Didactic means writing to teach a lesson or moral. Children can learn life skills by reading about characters and their reactions to situation, but place the entertainment value above the teaching value in fiction. The lesson learned should be subtle. The purpose of a fictional picture is not to teach a lesson, but to tell a story. Enchant a child’s imagination with interesting characters, wordplay, strong plot, and humor.

Audience. Picture books need to be written for a specific audience. “Children” is a broad concept and the stories that interest different children vary with the age group. The word choice and subject matter should be age appropriate for the target audience. Consider the interest and ability of the child when creating a character. Children want to read about characters that reflect their life experiences. A two-year-old is interested in learning colors, while a six-year-old enjoys stories about school or friendship. Play into the reader’s imagination by taking into account the child’s experiences. The reader defines the writing so before you write the first word, identify the audience.

Call for submissions for adult writers:
FICTION: Short stories 450 words or less. Payment: $70 and up.
NONFICTION: We accept short articles of 300 words or less on science and nature, as well as age-appropriate how-to projects. Payment: $70 and up.
POETRY: We accept poems 4-12 line poems. Please remember the age of your audience. Payment: $35 and up.
RECIPES: We accept simple, healthful recipes of 200 words or less that generally require no cooking and minimal adult help. If possible, include a photo of the recipe with submission. Payment: $40 and up.
CRAFTS: We accept fun crafts of 250 words or less that young
children can make with a bit of adult help. Payment: $40 and up.

Call for submissions for young writers:
One Teen Story is a literary magazine for young adult readers of
every age. Each issue will feature one amazing short story about
the teen experience. If you love to write, we’re looking for one
great story. One Teen Story will consider original, unpublished
fiction written by teens ages 14-19. We are interested in great
fiction of any genre—literary, fantasy, sci-fi, love stories, and
horror. What’s in a great short story? Interesting characters, a
unique voice, and of course, a beginning, middle and end. The
winning story will be chosen by a best-selling novelist and
published in the May 2014 issue of One Teen Story. Contest winners
will receive $500, 25 copies of the magazine featuring their work,
and a 28” x 20” poster of the cover featuring their story. The
winner of the contest will also have the opportunity to edit his/her
story for publication with a One Teen Story editor. Honorable
mentions will be chosen in three age categories: 14-15, 16-17,
and 18-19-year-olds. To enter, you must be between the ages of
14 and 19 as of May 31, 2013. Short stories should be between
1,500 to 4,000 words and be the writer’s own original, unpublished
Deadline June 30, 2013.

Check out more contests on my blog: