Nancy's Books

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Communicating with Authors

Last week at the Kentucky Book Fair, I had the good fortune to meet Newbery Award winner Vince Vawter, who wrote THE PAPERBOY. Talking with writers is always inspiring for me, especially when they talk about the process of writing, marketing their books, or how they interact with young readers.

What I gleaned from the conversation with Vince and his wonderful wife:
Write what you know. Vince’s book is autographical. He wrote about a boy who stutters. Vince had a stuttering problem as a child. The setting is Tennessee, where he continues to live. By writing what you know, the strong emotion is evident in the writing and a writer can draw upon the emotions in an instant.

The first book doesn’t guarantee the second book will be easier to write. Each book has its own journey from beginning to end.
Revision is the key to good writing. Much about the publishing world is out of the control of the writer so if rejection slips haunt you, keep on writing and revising. Every manuscript improves with revision.

I came away from the conversations reenergized and ready to tackle new projects. Figure out what works for you to energize your own writing endeavors. The goal is to keep on keeping on.
Call for Submissions for Young Writers:

Bazoof Magazine. Youth Story. Become a published writer by sending in a story that you've written for school or just for fun. You can write it with a friend, or do it on your own. A parent or teacher can assist you. It needs to be 1,000 words or less. And remember, we'll help you out once you send us something, so no worries!
Submission guidelines at

Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Humpty Dumpty Magazine (ages 2-6)

FICTION: We accept full manuscripts of 600-800 words. The tone of the stories should be fun and engaging. Stories should hook readers right from the get-go and pull them through the story. Humor is very important! Dialogue should be witty instead of just furthering the plot. The story should convey some kind of positive message. Possible themes could include self-reliance, being kind to others, appreciating other cultures, and so on. There are a million positive messages, so get creative! Kids can see preachy coming from a mile away, though, so please focus on telling a good story over teaching a lesson. The message—if there is one—should come organically from the story and not feel tacked on.
NONFICTION: We accept nonfiction manuscripts of 700 words or less. We are especially interested in features or Q&As with regular kids (or groups of kids) in the Jack and Jill age group who are engaged in unusual, challenging, or interesting activities. No celebrity pieces please.
POETRY: We accept poems of up to 30 lines. Poems should include unique topics that appeal to kids like sports, pets, friendship, seasonal activities, vacations, and school activities.
PUZZLES, ACTIVITIES & GAMES: In general, we prefer to use in-house generated material for this category but on occasion we do receive unique and fun puzzles, games or activities through submissions. Please make sure you are submitting a truly unique activity for our consideration.

Submission guidelines at


  1. Thanks, Nancy. It was a pleasure talking with you

  2. Enjoyed our conversations and reading your book. It's fabulous.