Nancy's Books

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Writing a Middle Grade Novel/Calls for Submissions

Today, I’m continuing the series Writing a Middle Grade Novel and focusing on more tips for those of us who suffer from stick-itis on occasion. Being stuck in a manuscript and not knowing where or how to take the character onward presents a special kind of frustration. 

Here are more tips to unstick our writing muscles from writers who have faced this with their works: 

Jot down ideas. List possible conflicts or character choices. Test these ideas in the manuscripts. Most may not work but some might.  

Bracket what doesn’t work and move ahead with the story. Revision can focus first on the parts with brackets. 

Pick an idea and write. Make the idea something you enjoy writing and make it fun. Kick the momentum in gear with an image, a scene, a memory, whatever works for you. 

Send the manuscript to a writing partner for quality feedback. A fresh perspective can place a workable new spin that you had not considered for the story. 

Winston Churchill was asked to speak to a group of students who attended the same school he had attended as a boy. His words: "Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never give up.”
As these words apply to life, they also apply to writers.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:
Amazing Kids! Send your name, age, and state/country when you send us your work. Please keep in mind we only accept kid-friendly, age-appropriate original creative works done by kids and teens. (The work must be appropriate for kids ages 12 and younger) and can be any of the following:
  • Fiction Stories – (up to 2,000 words)
  • Non-Fiction articles – You may also include pictures or art with your article for our various non-fiction columns
  • LOL (Laugh Out Loud) – Send jokes, riddles, funny short stories or funny facts!
  • Poems
  • Art/Photography
  • Reviews – Including books, movies, music, or kids’ products such as fun tech gear for kids and families. Photos of the book cover, movie, album or product are welcome.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Harness Anthologies 2015. Empty Nests: Parents, Old and New. Springtime is the time of year when birds start building nests and laying their eggs. It's a time of rebirth, now that winter is over. The snow has melted and flowers are sprouting. Life is anew. Empty Nests is an anthology for parents and about parents. Whether you are building your nest for your newborn baby, or you are finding yourself in an empty nest now that your teens have gone off to college or moved out.   

Stories can be fiction or nonfiction, but should focus on adults either preparing to be parents or finding their own children turning into adults and moving out. What makes your nest, now full or empty, a home? Inspire the parents around you.
Stories should be 750 to 2500 words.

Open to Submissions: January 2015
Submission guidelines at    

Publication Date: July 2015


  1. Thanks for the tips and the links. I always find something useful and interesting here.