About two years ago, I wrote an article for Children’s Writer about the tween magazine, Discovery Girls, which included an interview with the Senior Features Editor, Sarah Verney.
In this article, I mentioned how reading magazines such as Discovery Girls and American Girl will help anyone who is writing middle-grade novels or short stories, especially if you need help deciding what the character should wear, how she would act or speak, what the specific concerns of that age group are. I also pointed out the differences between these two publications.
Both Discovery Girls and American Girl are aimed at the same market, but there are essential differences between them. American Girl is targeted towards the younger age range of tweens and focuses on crafts, puzzles, and products. Discovery Girls, for the older tween, is more hip, fresh, and as Editor Vareny says, “for girls who are facing confusing feelings and exciting challenges.” So, if you are writing for tween girls at either end of that age range, it’s worth the time and effort the check out these magazines. A double-page spread in each issue of Discovery Girls features profiles of 14 real-life girls from a different state each month, including quotes about how they feel and what is important to them. What better insights into the minds of girls 8-to-12 could an author ask for?
From my research, I also learned that Discovery Girls does accept submissions (especially short, non-fiction pieces) from adult contributors. They like to see a crisp writing style, using a 5th grade reading level. They especially look for articles that lend themselves to creative graphics. Verney strongly recommends studying the magazine (available at Barnes & Noble) and the website http://www.discoverygirls.com/ for more detailed guidelines and specific departments that accept contributions. Also, more information about Discovery Girls can be found at the website Veronica recently recommended http://kidmagwriters.com/ Click on Archives and Editors Speak.
Do check out both of these magazines if writing for this age group appeals to you. You’re sure to find it interesting, helpful…and it might even pay off!
Contributed by Marjorie Flathers