Writing for Children’s Magazines

One of the best ways to start your writing career is to submit to children’s magazines. Here are a few suggestions. 

1. Make a list of the magazines you want to write for.

When choosing magazines, don’t just try for the “big” ones such as Highlights. They may be difficult to break into. Set your sites on some lesser paying ones. Although not as lucrative, they are a great place to start getting clips. Then, as you build your credits and talent, you may find your work accepted in some of the more well-known magazines.

2. Read the magazines you want to write for.

That may sound strange but some people just randomly send a story they have written to a magazine editor without bothering to know if it fits into the style of the magazine. Many magazines have websites which have back issues. If the magazine you choose is not online, buy a couple of copies or go to the library and read them. Reading through the stories will help you get a feel for the type of stories they want. 

3. Target your story for a better chance of acceptance

Thumb through the magazine. How many stories are fiction? How many nonfiction? If there are more nonfiction stories, start there. If fiction, gear your submission to that. It makes sense that if there are five nonfiction stories and two fiction, a nonfiction story will have a better chance of getting accepted simply on the basis of need.  

3. Read the guidelines.

Never submit to a magazine until you have thoroughly studied their guidelines. Follow the guidelines. Not only does this show you are a professional but it will make your chances of acceptance greater.

4. Try to tell the story with a new twist. 

I read all the time where editors say they get the same stories over and over. Can you find a way to tweak the same old story so that it stands out from all the rest? Do that and your chance of acceptance skyrockets.

5. Realize how much you will impact children’s lives

Not everyone has to write a book to be an author. Many people devote their entire writing career to magazine writing. If you are looking to impact lives, there will probably be many more children who will read your article in a magazine than will read a book you have written. After all, isn’t that what we want to do? 

Try it. You might like it!

Contributed by Gloria McQueen Stockstill



2 responses to “Writing for Children’s Magazines

  1. Sherri Crawford

    Gloria, your step-by-step advice is clear and easy to follow. I like to picture a child eagerly looking for that next issue of his or her favorite magazine— with my story in it! It’s a realistic goal for all of us and so much FUN!
    Love, Sherri

  2. Gloria McQueen Stockstill

    Yes, Sherri. The part about having your own story in it is what most of us dream of!


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