NOTE: I don't post to this blog super-duper often anymore, because I'm busy writing, well, books. (Read more about that here.) For more up-to-date, day-to-day ramblings, visit my Facebook page.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Calling Kid Writers

Are you a kid who likes to write? Or maybe you know a kid who likes to write? There are plenty of places to publish kids' writing and artwork, whether in print or online. Below are some places to get started (click on the titles to learn more about them):

Inklings Book Contest (grades 1-8)
Stone Soup magazine (ages 8-13)
Creative Kids Magazine (ages 8-16)  
New Moon Girls magazine (ages 8+, girls only)
Teen Ink (ages 13-19)
Push Writing Contests (grades 7-12)
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards (grades 7-12)


Some Tips for Submitting Your Work

 1. Study the target.  Whether you're submitting to a website or print magazine, read as much of it as you can before sending in your work. Read a few issues cover to cover. Ask yourself honestly if what you're offering fits with the other material. If you're a poet and the magazine contains no poetry, don't waste your time. If all the fiction on the website centers around ordinary kids and their everyday lives, maybe your sci-fi space drama isn't what they're looking for. That's okay. There's a place for you elsewhere.

2. Follow the directions! If the site says they want work submitted via email, don't mail it in. If they require a signed form from a parent/guardian, include it. Take note of due dates for contests and follow them. The easiest way to earn a rejection slip is to blow off the requirements.

3. Proofread, proofread, proofread.  Don't assume your word processor's spell checker will do the trick. It won't catch words you've left out or extra words you've left in. Here's a hint: Print your work out to read it. Read slowly and carefully. Put it away for a few days, then print it out again, but this time use a different font. You'll probably catch mistakes you missed the first time. I know it seems environmentally irresponsible, but you can always use recycled paper that's been printed on one side. This is your work--be proud of it.

4. Keep Trying. Every writer, I don't care who they are, has experienced rejection. The hardest thing is that often publishers won't tell you why they turned down your piece. Some possible reasons:

  • they've just accepted something similar to your story/illustration
  • your work is good, but it doesn't suit the tone of the publication
  • your work is too long / too short for the publication
  • your piece needs a bit more polish

As long as you keep submitting work, you're an artist. That's what artists do. It can be hard to find your niche, but successful creative people are only successful because they don't give up. Ever.


  1. Thanks for this info. My granddaughter really wants to be published. This is very helpful.