Nancy's Books

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Writing a Chapter Book, part 5/Calls for Submissions

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

Try these tips:

Voice. If the characters are kids, they should sound like kids. Make the dialog authentic and age appropriate. Chapter books use lots of dialog to show character development. One character may stutter or have a lisp. The other may talk in a way that is easy to identify, such as ending sentences with a question. Let’s go for a walk, okay? Each character needs to have a distinct way of talking. These identifying markers—unique speech patterns and phrasing—make them seem real. Capture the reader’s imagination with action verbs and specific descriptors. The squirrel climbed up the tree is okay but The squirrel scampered is better.

Active voice usually works better than passive voice because the reader “sees” the action as it takes place. Example: The bicycle was ridden by the boy is passive. In passive voice the action is performed upon the subject. In active voice the subject performs the action, as in The boy rode the bicycle. Sentences with active voice are more concise and use fewer words to describe the action and express the idea.

Call for submissions for young writers:

TEEN INK, a national teen magazine, book series, and website is devoted entirely to teenage writing, art, photos and forums. Students must be age 13-19 to participate, register and/or submit work. Distributed through classrooms by English teachers, Creative Writing teachers, Journalism teachers and art teachers around the country, Teen Ink magazine offers some of the most thoughtful and creative work generated by teens and has the largest distribution of any publication of its kind. We have no staff writers or artists; we depend completely on submissions from teenagers nationwide for our content. We offer teenagers the opportunity to publish their creative work and opinions on the issues that affect their lives - everything from love and family to teen smoking and community service.

 Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for adult writers:

FrostFire Worlds is a new quarterly science fiction and fantasy adventures print magazine for young readers (ages 8-17) from Alban Lake Publishing. The first issue will be released on August 1, 2013.
Submission guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:


  1. Thanks for the tips, Nancy. I am really enjoying this useful series.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Nancy. I am really enjoying this useful series.