Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Writing a Chapter Book, part 4/Calls for Submissions

This article is the fourth in the series: Writing a Chapter Book. 

Try the following tips:

1.      The readability level should match the age of the child. Word choice, sentence structure, and sentence length vary with age/grade levels. The reader will not recognize every word, but may be able to use context clues or sound out the word to figure it out. Use the readability check on the Word program. Many chapter books range from 4,000-12,000 words, with chapters running 400-1000 words, depending on the guidelines of the publisher. These books have shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs than middle grade novels and are often accompanied by line drawings scattered throughout the text.
2.      Many chapter books have 10 chapters with approximately 1000 words per chapter. I like to outline the plot with a general beginning, middle, and ending. I do this by numbering vertically 1-10 to indicate each chapter; then I write a sentence or two or maybe a paragraph defining the action in each chapter. As I write the story I allow myself to detour from this outline if I think it benefits the story. Sometimes, I rearrange the action in the chapters. If the action in chapter 8 works better in chapter 4, I make those changes. The outline helps me stay focused on the overall story, but I’m always modifying it as the story progresses.

 Next week, I’ll continue with chapter book tips.

Call for submissions for young writers:

Kid's Imagination Trail. All aboard! Welcome to the Kid's Imagination Train, where children can take the journey of reading in a brand new way. KIT offers book reviews, fiction, poetry, and nonfiction for kids ages 5 - 12. It’s unique in that it engages children by providing the opportunity to illustrate their favorite features and have them published online. I invite you to read, to learn, and to draw! ~ Randi Lynn Mrvos, Editor.

Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine is an online publication for ages 13 and up. It publishes 2 pieces each month (story and/or poem). Authors receive a $25 gift certificate. Submissions are only open the first two days of each month.

Submission guidelines at

 Check out more contests on my blog:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Nancy. I hope to put all these good tips to use one day very soon.