Nancy's Books

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Bones of a Picture Book, Part V/Calls for Submissions

This article is a continuation of a series.

Repetition/pattern. Repetition is a common pattern in children’s picture books. Kids enjoy these books because they can participate in the reading. The interactive quality is engaging and has the read-it-again factor. The pattern of three is found in many folktales, such as The Three Little Pigs and The Three Bears. Some patterns contrast two lifestyles, as in The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. In Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears, patterns form a cumulative format in which the characters create a chain of events. Word repetition forms a pattern in A Dark, Dark Tale on a dark, dark night when a dark, dark visitor goes to a dark, dark house. This type story invites children to predict what will happen next or guess the upcoming words, phrases, or sentences. Since the reader is actively involved in the reading of the book, these books remain popular.

Short text. The world of publishing is in a constant state of change. The current trend in picture books, both fiction and nonficton, is 500 words or less for children under age five. Picture books for ages five to eight are longer. For either age group, write with an economy of words and descriptive language so the illustrator can tell part of the story through art.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Appleseeds. Nonfiction Magazine for Ages 6-9 Accepting Queries. Appleseeds is a 36-page, multidisciplinary, nonfiction social studies magazine for children ages 6- 9 (primarily in grades 3 and 4). Writers are encouraged to study recent Appleseeds back issues for con- tent and style. Looking articles that are lively, age-appropriate, and exhibit an original approach to the theme. Feature articles are 150-600 words (includes nonfiction, interviews, and how-to). Departments include Fun Stuff (games or activities relating to the theme, 300 words); Read- ing Corner (literature piece, 300-600 words); Upcoming themes and [query due dates]: Who Did What on the Frontier (March 2014 issue): In our continuing series of "who did what" in specific periods, a look at work and job roles on the American frontier including both pioneers and Native Americans in the 19th century. [Query by 5/15/13]. Wheels (April 2014 issue): Wheels make the world go round-from wagon wheels to mill wheels, from skate- boards to automobiles. How do wheels affect our lives and why-and what challenges did humans face without wheels? [6/29/13]. Snakes (May/June 2014 issue): Snakes both fascinate and (for some) repel. As in our issues on horses, dogs, and cats, a look at snakes and how we live with them. [7/29/13] You Are the Desert (July/August 2014 issue): Exploring the world's deserts and how they affect the people who live and work there. [9/15/13] Additional themes will be posted after July 2013.

I will continue the Call for Submissions for Young Writers in the first September blog.
Check out more contests on my blog:



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