Nancy's Books

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel, part 11/Calls for Submissions

Today, I’m resuming the series,Writing a Middle Grade Novel.

AMAZING GRACE, my first middle grade novel, was just released. This book’s road to publication is somewhat unusual in a couple of ways.
First, the story began as a picture book but the subject matter was too advanced for that age group. I rewrote it as a chapter book. Again, the subject matter worked better for an older reader. What can writers learn from this? Know your audience. When writing, imagine a particular age, or even a particular child. As you write, continually ask yourself, does this (dialog, character action, word choice, plot) work for my audience.
The second unusual aspect of the book is the length of time—15 years—the story percolated in my mind. I began the book 15 years ago. That’s right, fifteen loooooong years ago. I never gave up on the story but it took me years to learn how to write it. What can writers learn from this? Perseverance is the key to a successful career in writing. Don’t give up. I’ve seen so many writers work hard and through the process begin to excel, only to become so frustrated with rejection, then quit writing.
For years, I’ve written picture books and now have 30+ published. I love writing for that age group, but it’s also fun and an exciting learning experience to move away from my comfort zone and write for an entirely different audience. If we try writing in a genre new to us or for a difference audience, we’ll grow as writers.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

Storybird. Your words. Our art. Amazing stories. Simple tools help you build books in minutes. Let the art inspire and surprise you as you write. Readers will encourage you along the way.

Submission guidelines at
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:

Clarkesworld Magazine is a Hugo Award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine that publishes short stories, interviews, articles and audio fiction. We are currently open for art, non-fiction and short story submissions.
Submission guidelines at

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