New Market for Writers of Children’s Books April 19, 2013Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
Tags: children's stories, fairy tales, market, writing
add a comment
Last August I blogged about writing markets for child authors. After I’d compiled a list on my blog, the editor of the e-zine Knowonder! contacted me to let me know it also publishes children’s writing (as well as children’s stories written by adults). I was unfamiliar with the e-zine but saw it paid, so I submitted a few stories online. Knowonder! recently purchased a Christmas story from me.
The editor has since let me know that Knowonder! is now accepting chapter books for ages 7 to 9. If you’re interested, you can find guidelines and submit at knowonder.submittable.com/submit
From what I’ve submitted to this publisher, I gather the editors are seeking stories more like traditional fairy tales, with an element of magic or fantasy. They ask for “imaginative, exciting, action-filled” stories. They don’t appear to be seeking run-of-the-mill contemporary stories with everyday situations set in ordinary settings.
Writing Slowly March 4, 2013Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far
While working with beginning writers over the past year, I’ve seen several make the same mistake. They rush to be published. Their efforts to hurry the process may actually lengthen the time it takes them to reach paid publication. If you’re a beginning writer, consider going slowly now to go fast later.
Read good books in the genre you’re interested in writing in. Books written in the past five years are better indicators of what editors are willing to purchase than books considered to be classics.
Bone up on grammar. Many editors refuse to spend time cleaning up messes of lazy writers.
Read books about the publishing process itself and how to get published. Again, the latest books will be the most helpful in this.
Attend writing conferences if you can. These can be expensive so you may want to hold off until you have a writing project near completion, but if you can afford to go before then, you can receive a lot of good instruction at conferences. Conferences can jumpstart a writing career. The experience is sort of like learning a foreign language through full immersion in another culture rather than through a textbook.
Consider taking a class. Even if you live in a remote area, you can find plenty of online classes.
Join a critique group. If you’re fortunate enough to have critique partners who have been paid for their writing and been successfully published, pay special attention to their comments. They’ve been where you’re at and they’ve found success.
New Year, New Hope December 11, 2012Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
add a comment
Merry Christmas from my family to yours!
We spent our vacation this past summer in New York City. I’d never been to the city before and found it smaller than I expected. We walked all over the place, and I was thrilled to see the headquarters of so many publishers I’d only seen the addresses of in correspondence. Even the big names seemed far less intimidating up close.
As a writer living in the Midwest, I know living in New York would have advantages. I’d have more opportunities to network with industry professionals, and I could maybe learn more about the industry by working in it.
But it is possible to break into paid publication from remote areas. I’ve done it. Some of my writing friends have, even pulling down national awards with their first published books. It is still possible to secure an agent without prior publication or be discovered in the slush pile. Easy, no. Possible, yes.
Instead of focusing on factors beyond my control, I’ve found it helpful to focus on the factor I have most control of: craft. I am always looking for ways to learn, grow, and improve my writing. Good writing stands a chance of catching notice.
A new year is coming. New year, new hope.
Working While Writing November 1, 2012Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
Tags: working writer, writing
add a comment
I’ve been working outside the home the past two-and-a-half years, and while that’s cut my writing time and productivity, it’s also benefited me. I’m networking more, selling more books face-to-face, finding more subjects for profile stories, earning more, and better managing the time I have to write. Probably the biggest benefit of working outside the home, though, is upgrading my technological skills.
While I was at home, I mainly used Word, the standard for the publishing industry. Since I’ve been working, I’ve learned Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Publisher. I now track my sales and expenses in Excel, have created a PowerPoint presentation of one of my school talks, and can create my own author brochures in Publisher. I’ve also become more savvy in Word.
As an example, I used to type letters to publishers and then retype the address on the envelope. A coworker showed me how to save time by placing the cursor at the beginning of the first line of the address in the letter, choosing “Mailings,” and choosing “Envelopes” or “Labels.” The program automatically transfers the whole address to where it can be printed on an envelope or label. Timesaving tips like this add up.
If I ever do return to working from home, I think my writing career will be stronger from the time I spent in the corporate world.
Evening of Encouragement October 1, 2012Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
Tags: books, homeschool, literature, novels, parent educators
add a comment
At the Evening of Encouragement for local homeschoolers, the president of the local homeschool association, Ronda Swanson, interviewed me Oprah-style on stage. I enjoyed this talk show format and think the audience did too. The 100-or-so parents who attended asked thoughtful, penetrating questions not typically addressed in a writing presentation. I ended up speaking about movie rights and film options, online media, and the effects of our current culture on children’s literature. (I’m prepared for Oprah whenever she decides to book me!)
Several parent educators caught me after the public talk to further discuss books, writing, and other issues brought up during the talk. They were a well-informed group, which didn’t surprise me since I’ve spoken with parent educators nationwide while researching the homeschool movement for a magazine article I’ve been working on. I’ve found homeschoolers to be hard-working, dedicated to providing their children with the best education they can. Spending this Evening of Encouragement with them encouraged me to work harder in my writing for children.
Writing Markets for Kids August 27, 2012Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
Tags: artwork, kid writers, magazines, submissions, teen writers, writing markets
When the president of the local homeschool association invited me to speak at their “Evening of Encouragement,” she told me several of their children and teens are interested in writing for publication. She asked if I knew where these kids could submit their work. (Some children’s magazines only accept submissions from adults, and few pay children even if they accept submissions from them.) I researched the market and pulled together the below list of places for kids’ writing. If you know of others, feel free to post a comment with the information.
Kids, I strongly encourage you to look at the Web site of the publishers and at the magazines before submitting anything. Happy writing!
Ronica’s List of Places Where Kids Can Submit Their Writing
Aletheia is an e-zine targeted toward Christian teens. It considers poetry and artwork from teens and pays with a free electronic copy of the magazine. Submission guidelines can be found at http://www.aletheiamag.com/submissions.html
The Apprentice Writer is a literary magazine that publishes fiction, poetry, essay, and photography of high school students. Submit work to Gary Fincke, Writers Institute Director, Susquehanna University, 610 University Ave., Selinsgrove, PA 17870-1164. http://www.susqu.edu/academics/10602.asp
Ask, Cricket, Muse, and Spider magazines are part of the Carus Publishing Company. They run writing contests with details in their current issues. Learn more about the magazines at http://www.cricketmag.com
Child Life (ages 9-11), Children’s Digest (ages 10-12), Children’s Playmate (ages 6-8), Humpty Dumpty (ages 4-6), Jack And Jill (ages 7-10), Turtle Magazine (preschool), and U.S. Kids (ages 6-10), are part of The Children’s Better Health Institute, P.O. Box 567, Indianapolis, IN 46206. They sometimes request the poems, jokes, and drawings of kids. http://www.cbhi.org
ChixLIT publishes stories by girls ages 7 to 17. ChixLIT, P.O. Box 12051, Orange, CA 92859. http://www.chixlit.com
Cicada publishes writing and artwork from kids 14 and older. http://www.cricketmag.com/22-Submission-Guidelines-for-CICADA-magazine-for-teens-ages-14+
Creative Kids publishes the games, stories, poetry, and artwork of kids ages 8 to 16. Submissions Editor, Creative Kids, P.O. Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813. http://www.prufrock.com/Assets/ClientPages/kids_magazine.aspx
Encounter, a Christian magazine for junior high and high school kids, accepts poetry, artwork, and testimonies from teens. The magazine accepts submissions by e-mail only at firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.standardpub.com/view/encounter-submission-guidelines.aspx
Highlights accepts drawings, poems, jokes, riddles, tongue twisters, stories, science questions, book reviews, Creatures Nobody Has Ever Seen!, recipes, craft ideas, letters to Dear Highlights, and dinosaur drawings, jokes, and questions from kids. Highlights for Children, 803 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431. http://www.highlightskids.com/send-us-your-creative-work
Insight is a Seventh-Day Adventist publication for 13- to 19-year-olds. It publishes true stories, profiles, and general articles. Insight Magazine, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740. http://www.insightmagazine.org/guidelines/
Knowonder! publishes a story a day for 3- to 10-year-olds at http://www.knowonder.com. Kids can submit their own stories and artwork.
Merlyn’s Pen publishes fiction, essays, and poems by U.S. teens. Merlyn’s Pen, Inc., 11 South Angell St., Suite 301, Providence, RI 02906. http://www.merlynspen.org/write/submit.php
New Moon magazine for girls 8 and up publishes the writing and artwork of girls. http://www.newmoon.com/content/?id=1006&type=1
Potato Hill Poetry posts a contests page on its Web site and includes information about other publishers who accept poetry and writing from kids. http://www.potatohill.com/contest.html
Skipping Stones is a multicultural magazine that publishes essays, stories, letters to the editor, riddles, proverbs, poems, drawings, paintings, and photos of kids. Submissions may be in any language but should include an English translation. Skipping Stones Magazine, P.O. Box 3939, Eugene, OR 97403. http://skippingstones.org/submissions.htm
Stone Soup publishes stories, poems, book reviews, and art by kids, up to age 13. Pays $40 for stories, poems, and book reviews and $25 for illustrations. Stone Soup, ATTN: Submissions Department, P.O. Box 83, Santa Cruz, CA 95063. http://www.stonesoup.com/stone-soup-contributor-guideline/
Teen Ink publishes writing by teens, ages 13 to 19, in its magazine, Web site, and books. http://www.teenink.com/submit
UpWords Poetry is a resource for young poets and writers, including links for other publishers that accept poetry. http://www.upwordspoetry.com/Links.htm
Evening with Homeschoolers August 20, 2012Posted by Ronica Stromberg in Uncategorized.
Tags: fiction for the classroom, homeschool
add a comment
I’ve been invited to speak at our local homeschool association’s upcoming “Evening of Encouragement.” I’m looking forward to meeting parents and speaking with them about the value of homeschooling. I’m not a home educator, but I have worked with the U.S. Department of Education and state education agencies and currently write for Royal Fireworks Press, the world’s largest publisher of books for gifted and talented children and a growing influence in the homeschool market. (The press is a bit unusual because it publishes novels that tie into school curricula and appeal to gifted children who want to go further on a particular topic or seek more challenging texts.)
I’m also working on an article about the benefits of homeschooling and hope to hear lots of good stories from parents. I’m looking forward to it!