Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 22, 2013

This is the final article is the series: Writing a Chapter Book.

Try these tips:

The climax, the most exciting part of the story, leads quickly to the ending. The ending should be clear and concise with resolutions for all the problems. The best endings offer an element of surprise. At the same time, the ending should be logical and appropriate, yet deliver an unexpected twist that isn’t predictable.
Chapter books are often published as a series. This audience reads a book and wants another that is similar. Many of these books have 10 chapters with black-and-white illustrations. Readers this age group like to visualize the characters.  

After you’ve written the story, read and reread to check for errors in grammar and typing. Tie up all loose ends in the story; then find a critique partner to read the manuscript and offer feedback.

Place the manuscript on a shelf for a month or two and begin writing another. Pull the manuscript off the shelf and reread. At this point you’re immersed in another story that you’ve begun writing. Since you’re focused on a new story, you’re more emotionally removed from the story you just finished. You'll also be more objective and able to find flaws that you couldn’t earlier. Polish the story and ship it out to a publisher. Happy writing. 
Next week, I will interview an illustrator, Alison Lyne, who is an outstanding talent in the world of picture books.  

Call for submissions for young writers:


Open to US high school students in grades 9-12 attending public, private, parochial, or home schools; US students under the age of 20 enrolled in a high school correspondence/GED program in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the US territories; and US citizens attending schools overseas. Write an original and creative essay of less than 1,000 words that demonstrates an understanding of political courage as described by John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. Students should use a variety of sources such as newspaper articles, books,and/or personal interviews to address the following topic: Describe and analyze the decisions, actions, and risks of an elected public official in the United States since 1956 who has courageously addressed a political issue at the local, state, national, or international level.

Submission guidelines at

Deadline January 6, 2014.

 Call for submissions for adult writers: 

The American Kennel Club contest. Entries must be original, unpublished stories that have not been offered to or accepted by any other publisher. Only one entry per author.

The American Kennel Club retains the right to publish the three prize-winning entries in AKC FAMILY DOG, or other AKC publications. Entries may feature either a purebred or mixed breed dog. The maximum length is 2,000 words. Entries exceeding that length will not be considered. No talking dogs, please.

Entries must be printed on 8 1⁄2″ x 11″ white paper, one side per page, double-spaced. Poor-quality or faded copies cannot be considered. The author’s name, address, and phone number must appear on the first page. The author’s name and the page number must appear on each successive page.

All acceptable entries will be read by a panel of judges selected by AKC Publications. They will choose the winners based on the style, content, originality, and appeal of the story. All decisions are final. Winners will be announced in an issue AKC FAMILY DOG in 2014.

Send entries to:

AKC Publications Fiction Contest
The American Kennel Club, 260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Deadline: 1-31-2014

Check out more contests on my blog:






1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Nancy, for this series. I found it very helpful. Have a wonderful holiday!