Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Writing a Chapter Book, part 10/Calls for Submissions

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

Try these tips: 

Chapter books have a denser page of print than that of easy readers. Although the books are illustrated, the reader is dependent upon the art to help “read” the book. These books are broken into short chapters, and the reader can often read the entire chapter in one sitting. 

The number of characters is small and the plot is not complicated. Usually the action takes place in a short period of time and revolves around a single situation, such as trying to win a contest. Action and suspense drive these stories. 

Intense relationships and strong emotions spin throughout the stories. Character development is not as great as in books for older readers. Issues relevant to children ages 7-10 are must-haves. Stories should reflect the everyday experiences of the readers. Family, school, pets, friendship, moving, divorce, and bullies are a few of the common situations on which stories are based. The situation must be something that the main character—and the reader—care about. 

Call for submissions for young writers:

Starsongs. You are the future, and Starsongs wants to hear your voice. Our intention is to inspire and promote the creativity of youth. Starsongs is a general market magazine interested in work by writers, artists, and photographers ages 9-19. Please keep this age range in mind and focus your work to a PG rating level. We are open to fiction or non-fiction and “as told to” stories.

Submission guidelines at

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Highlights Magazine Fiction Contest

The theme for the 2013 Highlights for Children magazine Fiction Contest is holiday stories. Stories should be up to 800 words long, for children any age between 5-12. Three prizes of $1,000 or tuition for any Highlights Foundation Founders Workshop will be awarded. (For a complete list of workshops, visit No entry form or fee is required. Accepting work from both published and unpublished authors age 16 or older. All submissions must be previously unpublished. Indicate the word count in the upper right-hand corner of the first page of your manuscript. Include your name and the title of your story on your manuscript. Entries not accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope will not be returned. Manuscripts or envelopes should be clearly marked FICTION CONTEST. Send to: FICTION CONTEST, Highlights for Children, 803 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431. All entries must be postmarked between January 1 and January 31, 2014. The three winning entries will be purchased by Highlights and announced on in June 2014. All other submissions will be considered for purchase by Highlights.

 Check out more contests on my blog:


  1. Thanks, Nancy, for another terrific post. You know I'm enjoying these and expect to put them to good use.

  2. Fantastic. I'm finishing two nonfiction manuscripts for a publisher, then I plan to hit the fiction trail again.