Over the past two years, I pitched several articles to Highlights for Children, but they all got rejected. Last month however, I earned an acceptance with a piece on crabs and I think I figured out what won the editor over.
I am listing twelve steps to follow before submitting a piece to a magazine editor. Points #6 and #8 are two of the most important points. You can tackle all of the twelve points perfectly, but if your writing is unimaginative and you fail to create a story, you’ll have a harder time finding a home for your work.
1. Read articles in the magazine for which you wish to pitch
2. Follow the publisher’s guidelines.
3. Find a topic that interests you and interests children.
4. Use primary sources, reliable websites, and up-to-date books for your research.
5. Make a brief outline for your article.
6. Keep the language lively and the vocabulary age appropriate.
7. Choose a point of view that’s unique.
8. Spin the well-researched information into a story with a beginning, a middle, and an ending.
9. Edit your work. Read it aloud. Use spell check, but know that it’s not always accurate.
10. Have an expert review your work for accuracy.
11. Write a professional cover letter.
12. Aquire photos for your article. They could be the pièce de résistance.
In the past, my writing style was more informative than playful. So for my latest submission to Highlights for Children, I constructed a piece with a beginning, a middle, and an ending and wrote the story from the point of view (POV) of a small crab. The research information was subtly woven into the paragraphs. Following these twelve steps, especially step six, worked for me and this publication. I’m willing to bet it will work for you. Give it a try. Believe in yourself. Never give up.