Nancy's Books

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Writing Picture Books--Simply Difficult, part 4/Calls for Submissions

This article is the fourth in the series, WRITING PICTURE BOOKS—SIMPLY DIFFICULT. Tips for writing nonfiction picture books.

Nonfiction literary devices. Creative nonfiction is a genre that uses literary devices often used by poets and fiction writers. The information is factual with a fun and interesting presentation. Biographies are often written in a creative nonfiction style and many have longer text than the typical picture book. Most of my fiction picture books are less than 650 words but my biographies are approximately 1,100 words.
Speak to both the child and the adult. Sometimes, children want a particular book read over and over. If the character is creating chaos, aka misbehaving, develop an appropriate ending. If a lesson is learned, keep it subtle. Didactic stories that stress a message or moral don’t work in today’s market. THE MUNCHED-UP FLOWER GARDEN has a theme of “hard work pays off,” but those words are not in print, just implied.

This article will be continued in next week’s blog.

Call for submissions for young writers:

Letters About Literature Contest. Open to Children 4th-12th grade
Submission deadline for grades 9 to 12- December 10, 2013
Submission deadline for grades 4 to 8- January 10, 2014

Is there a favorite book or poem that changed your life? Why not write to that author and tell him or her just how important it was? Letters About Literature, sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, encourages students to write to authors.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to that author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. Winners receive national recognition.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

 Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking submissions for a number of upcoming potential books. Topics include: Think Positive for Kids, The Dating Game, Miracles, and Multi-Tasking Moms.

Check out more contests on my blog:


  1. I am enjoying this series of posts. There is a lot of confusion about Literary Non-Fiction, but I think your definition is very clear. I will be sharing this with my critique group. Thanks.

  2. Thanks, Rosi. Creative Nonfiction is factual. Nothing is invented; however, the use of literary devices--similes, metaphors, alliteration, etc.--make the reading more interesting.