Monday, November 1, 2010

Make an Editor's Day

If you’re thinking about writing and submitting a picture book, it pays to accrue writing credentials.  The fastest way to do so is to write nonfiction.  Really.  It’s easier to get published writing nonfiction than fiction.  Find a topic that interests you.  Make sure it has kid appeal.  Research it.  Write the piece in a kid-friendly in tone.  Then research the magazine markets to find a publisher. Pitch your idea to an editor.      

I’m an editor for the educational website and assistant nonfiction editor for Stories for Children Magazine.  So take it from me, you can improve your chance of an acceptance when you:

Follow the writers’ guidelines, even if you’ve submitted to the publication before
Present an ordinary topic in an extraordinary way
Use reliable sources (that does not include Wikipedia)
Write an article with a great hook, a beginning, middle, and satisfying ending
Incorporate similes, metaphors, alliteration into your articles
Use spell and grammar check  
Check your facts, dates, and spelling of proper nouns
Use a grade assessment tool as a guide to writing for the appropriate target age
Ask a reader to take a look at your piece before submitting
Have an expert read your work for accuracy
Keep your query to one page
Provide photographs or images 
Thank an editor for her time
Make the revisions an editor has requested 

There you have it—14 tips to garner an acceptance.  I guarantee it.

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