Nancy's Books

Sunday, June 1, 2014

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

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

Description is used to enhance fictional stories. Check out the following ways:

Description is a major factor in voice, that elusive quality all editors rank as the number one aspect they are looking for in writing. The narrative, either first person (I) or third person (he/she), usually begins with a description of action. This imaginative observation is essential to all stories. Rain fell is a simple description but doesn’t do much to add interest. Kentucky rain smells different from Chicago rain. That sentence makes us stop and ponder.

Words that surprise us add to descriptive narrative. I like the word ponder. It’s not used that often in today’s speech so it catches the reader’s ear.

The pacing of the story is affected by description. Long passages slow down the action. He strolled down the lane beneath the canopy of trees that formed a green tunnel and offered cool comfort from the hot afternoon sun. Short phrases and sentences speed up the pace. Horses paced. Clippity clop. Clippity clop.

 Next week, I’ll give more tips on writing descriptive passages.

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

[I will resume Submissions for Young Writers in September]

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Thriving Family editorial team's most recent call for submissions. If you are new to our publication, you may want to know more about Thriving Family by ordering a free subscription or downloading a free digital edition. You can also download our writers' guidelines and a themes' list.

Theme: Christmas conflict and teens—in relation to extended family.
Word Count: 750-800 words (including any possible sidebars)
Rights: First nonexclusive rights
Payment: $250, on acceptance
Due date: June 17, 2014
Audience: Parents of teens
Byline: Yes

Acceptance or Rejection: The Focus on the Family editors appreciate your submission. If your article was not accepted by 7/1/14, it was not chosen for publication. We hope to work with you on a different article at a later time.
Submit to: <>  with "Attn: Ginger—Christmas conflicts and teens" in the subject line.

Submission guidelines at

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