Think Outside the Box

What’s a great way to actually start earning a small income on a steady basis?
What’s a great way to break into the children’s magazine market?
What’s a great way to add a smile to a kid’s day?
What’s a great way to cure brain freeze when you’re stuck in the middle of a novel?
What’s a great way to start landing contracts and listing published credits under your name?
What’s a great way to add pizzazz to your writing day and just have fun, fun, fun?

To find the answer, match each picture with the correct letter and write the letters in the blanks.

Here’s how to do it:
1. Start a puzzle collection. Grab a stack of kids’ magazines. Photocopy a copy of every puzzle you can find. Be sure to note which magazine each puzzle was published in.
2. Target one magazine to study. Read the submission guidelines and note the kinds of puzzles they like to feature.
3. Search through your puzzle collection and choose the most exciting, over-the-top fun puzzle that you think would make a kid (and the editor!) itch to solve.
4. Ponder and pray how you could use that puzzle format to write a brand new puzzle for your target magazine.
5. Draw the puzzle on your computer. Or use a pencil and draw it by hand. Draw it on a sheet of typing paper and leave one-inch margins all around. When finished, use a fine-tipped permanent magic marker to trace over the puzzle. Photocopy two copies of the puzzle.
6. Prepare an answer key by filling in the answers on one of the photocopies. The blank copy and the answer key are now your master copies for you to keep. Make a photocopy of both to submit to the magazine.
7. Type out everything you possibly can about the puzzle such as instructions and the answer, etc. Add your name and contact info at the top. This is your “manuscript.”
8. Mail or e-mail the “manuscript,” the blank puzzle, and the answer key to the publisher, following the submission guidelines. Include a short cover letter that explains how this is a puzzle submission for their magazine.
9. Start the process all over again to prepare and submit a puzzle to a different target magazine.
10. And most of all–have fun!

Contributed by Nancy I. Sanders

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3 responses to “Think Outside the Box

  1. Sherri Crawford

    What a FUN post! Thanks for the step by step instructions. You are so good at that!
    Love, Sherri

  2. marilyn donahue

    I never thought I would enjoy doing puzzles for a kid’s magazine. But your great ideas made me take a second look at this wide-open market. Thanks, Nancy, for the specific instructions.

  3. Yes, I never thought I’d enjoy writing puzzles either, but they proved to be a great way to break into some of the harder magazines. Plus, this opened the door to write several books on puzzles for kids, too!
    -Nancy

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