Nancy's Books

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel/Call for Submissions

Today, I’m continuing the series, Writing a Middle Grade Novel.
Middle grade readers enjoy action-packed stories. This does not mean it has to have a chase scene or a fist fight, but it should include movement and the idea of something happening. Allow the reader to become involved in the action by showing the scene rather than telling it.
Start with action. Place the main character in the midst of a problem from the first paragraph. This is called a hook and it draws the reader’s interest from the beginning. The first paragraph is no place to tell the reader that the character lives in Omaha or by the sea unless the setting is critical to the action scene. Description and setting are both important and can be woven in later, after the action has sprung loose and captured the reader’s attention. To hang on to their attention, keep things moving.
Every scene is not, and should not be, high-paced. Quiet scenes allow the writer to express what the protagonist is thinking and what his/her plan might be. Let the reader know what’s going on in the protagonist’s head. What scheme is he up to? What is the danger? How could it backfire? This type of writing keeps the reader interested during the non-action scenes.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Brain, Child is an award-winning literary magazine for mothers. We publish 20-plus essays per month for our print, online and blog publications. Founded in 2000, our mission is to bring the voices of women of different backgrounds and circumstances together on the page, on our website, and on our blog.
We love to read submissions. We are excited by great writing. It makes our day when we hear from an established writer or publish an author for the first time. We believe our writers are the lifeblood of our publication and strive to publicize and promote our writers through our website, Facebook (60,000+ fans), and partnerships with, The Huffington Post, and others. We respond within eight to ten weeks. We offer competitive pay rates. We welcome follow up emails if by chance you do not hear from us.
For all submissions, please email the manuscript in the body of the email to with “Submission” and the department (i.e. “Fiction” “Essay” “Feature Pitch”) as the subject heading. Please don’t send your submission as an attachment.
Submission Guidelines at

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