Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Other Ways to Get Published

We’re discussing getting published this month at the Children’s Book Hub, so I’ll be devoting a few posts here to that topic.

Here’s a familiar Catch 22: Agents don’t seem interested until you’ve been published, and you can’t seem to get published without an agent. How to break the cycle? Expand your definition of ‘getting published.’  One way to do so is to include children’s magazines.

Consider submitting your work to one or more of the many popular children’s magazines, such as Highlights, High Five, Ask, Cricket, Ladybug, Muse, National Geographic Kids, or American Girl, to name but a few. Being published in a children’s magazine is an important credit for a bio or resume – and most magazines pay for published work, sometimes very nicely.

Writing for children’s magazines can also provide nice opportunities to write outside your usual genre or comfort zone. Many magazines for young readers publish short stories, but an even greater number focus on non-fiction articles that cover a range of topics, and some even publish poetry for young readers. If you choose to try your hand at article writing, remember that when writing non-fiction for children that it should still read like a good story, with all the same elements that draw the reader in: a degree of tension or suspense that compels the reader to want to know more, evocative language or imagery that incorporates the senses, emotional resonance.

The annual publication “Magazine Markets for Children’s Writers” details all the magazines in print, along with their submission guidelines and contact info. You can order a copy directly from Amazon.

One caveat: if you’re interested in writing for children’s magazines, be sure to read a number of them first. You will get a much better sense of the marketplace and what the style and approach of each magazine may be from the magazine itself than from encapsulated submission guidelines.  And you may be surprised by the content of some magazines for young people today… it’s a different world for children now than it was when we ourselves may have been reading Highlights!



6 Responses to “Other Ways to Get Published”
  1. Beth says:

    I’ve been thinking about this since you mentioned it in one Q&A not long ago… perhaps it’s time to stop thinking and start doing! First stop will be the bookstore to load up on kid’s magazines. I’ve read a few in recent months, but not enough, and not regularly enough. I’ll also order the Magazine Market book. (A quick glance up from the computer screen to the bookcase in front of me assures me there’s still a bit of room for more writer’s resource books!)

    Thanks, as always, Emma.

  2. Diane Tipton says:

    As far as magazines go, what is the usual lead time? If I do a Christmas story, when should I query? I’ve heard that its sometimes six months in advance.

  3. Emma says:

    It depends on the magazine – in terms of how many issues they publish a year, etc. but generally it is about 4-6 months for most.

  4. Patricia says:

    Will say this has been in the back of my mind for a while. I used to write and edit for magazines, but they had nothing to do with children. It makes sense to get published in children’s magazines to add to one’s profile. Thanks for the nudge.

  5. Diane says:

    Hmm, this was something I was told about 4 years ago, but being green and not knowing what steps to take I past it over. That was silly of me. Mind you I have learnt so much since then, it is probably just as well I left it.

  6. Vicki Moss says:

    Writing for children’s magazines does add to one’s profile Patricia. After learning how to break into this market with many published stories, I was then able to build a website which then led to compiling those stories and writing “How to Write for Kids’ Magazines – while working on a debut novel,” – which teaches writers how to break in to the market – which then led to offers to teach workshops at conferences. And the owner of the magazines loved my book and shares it with others so don’t anyone ever discount writing for children’s magazines – it’s not only been enjoyable but a great incentive to keep working on my novels!

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