Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel/Call for Submissions

This week, I’m continuing my focus on scenes. 

What was the last book you read that you couldn’t put down? You felt an urge so compelling to stop working, pick up the book, and discover what was happening to the character that your mind wandered back to the story time and again. Yeah, that’s the kind of story writers want to write.  

Those stories have more than interesting characters and compelling plots. They have an emotional intensity that draws the reader into the action. Emotion intense scenes are those that have high stakes for the character, critical events that are life changing. Keep the audience in mind. If the reader identifies with the problem, empathizes with the character, or envisions himself/herself in a similar situation, an emotional investment is made. 

In children’s novels, the characters’ situations should reflect what is appropriate for each age group. The plot focuses on external events with less focus on thoughts and feelings of the main character. Young adult novels focus more on internal conflict and less on events happening around them. Of course, there are many exceptions to this and in varying degrees.

Each scene needs a beginning, middle and ending. As one scene ends, transition into the beginning of the next scene. Longer scenes are needed for major events and shorter scenes for less significant actions. Scene by scene, build your story and make it sparkle. 

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Starsongs Magazine. 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.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Youth Imagination is interested in creative fiction stories by teens as well as by adult authors. Make the stories awesome, inspiring and engaging. Our goal is to publish the best writing for and by teens. We particularly love stories exploring the issues, such as bullying, drugs, romance, school, parental issues, teacher issues, etc., as well as about the grit and character of teens and young adults.
We accept most genres of fiction, including modern, urban or classical fantasy, as well as sci-fi, slipstream, literary, action-adventure or suspense.
Submission guidelines at


  1. Another interesting post. And thanks for the submission tips.

  2. So glad it's helpful, Rosi. Thanks for letting me know.