Nancy's Books

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel, part 12/Calls for Submissions

Middle grade fiction needs a character arc. The character arc is the growth of the character from the beginning to the middle to the end of the story. Begin with a likable character. Place that character in a situation that is so challenging it seems s/he may forever be doomed. Allow the character to try and fail different attempts to alleviate the situation. By the end of the story, the character achieves the worthwhile goal and through the journey is changed. The change in the character throughout the story is the arc.

One character arc is called the Hero’s Journey. In this type, the character is someone who seems unlikely to ever achieve his/her goal. By the end of the story the character undergoes a radical transformation to become a hero.
Another type is the Growth Arc in which the character finds inner strength to overcome some fear, to challenge someone or face head-on a situation that s/he would never have done at the beginning of the story. The change is less dramatic than the Hero’s Journey.
A character arc that is seldom seen in middle grade novels is the Tragedy Arc. The character dies or declines (emotionally, physically). Most of the stories in children’s literature have a happy ending with the main character resolving a conflict or ends with the reader having hope that the situation will improve.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Young Voices of America Contest. Students in Grades K-12 are invited to participate. Remember this is a short story contest. We are looking fiction. Make the story come to life on the page.  It can be Mystery, Sci/Fi, Comedy, Romance, Young Adult, etc. write it in any genre' you choose as long as you comply with the rules.

Deadline: midnight, June 30, 2014

Submission guidelines at
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Pockets Fiction Contest. Stories 750-1000 words. No set theme. Prize: $500 and publication. Postal submissions.

Deadline August 15


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