Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel/Calls for Submissions

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

The character must continue to make decisions, to choose among several options. Reacting and failing allow the character to learn and to become proactive in solving his/her problems. Eventually the character will make some good decisions as s/he overcomes the odds and wins. The decision must be logical and stay true to the character, a decision the reader will respect. The risk can be great, and should be, to keep the reader’s interest high. Setbacks and failures create tension and suspense. 

Convey specific details of the surroundings to set the tone. If the scene needs to produce fear and it is at night, use night sounds and visuals, plus other senses to feed the fright factor. Do shadows creep under lighting? Did something snap? Does the character smell smoke? Could the building be burning?  

Use the setting to reflect the character’s feelings. If the character is sad, do the buildings look rundown and gloomy, does the moan of an animal sound the way the character feels?  

Every scene does not need monumental action and an extremely agitated state of mind for the character, but each scene should show the character and his/her emotional state. 

Linking strong scenes together makes a believable, dramatic story that keeps the audience turning the pages.  

Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Storybird. Write. 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:
Harness Anthologies 2015

Publication Date: January 2015. Payment: Two Copies.
Solstice: A Winter Antholog. Winter vacation, snow cream, snow days from school, building snowmen, snowball fights, snow storms, the first time you or your child saw snow. Give us your best white memory! All things winter and snow related. Fiction or nonfiction accepted. Also accepting original winter poems and winter recipes.
Stories should be 750 to 2500 words.
Poems and recipes should be limited to one page.

Open to Submissions: September 2014
Please do not use headers or footers/page numbers in your ms. Please use TNR or similar basic font, size 12.

Submission guidelines: Send as a Word doc in an attachment to


  1. Thanks for the post and the submission info.

  2. I love anthologies. I have stories in two. Good luck and happy writing.