Monday, November 10, 2008

Writing Non-Fiction for Children's Magazines

It is common to think fiction when writing children's stories but there is also a great need for non-fiction articles. Writing non-fiction in a creative way can help children become excited about learning. Read Maureen J Hinds article below for some valuable tips on the non-fiction market.

Writing for Children-Non-Fiction Magazines

Nonfiction need not be dull; it includes a wide range of topics. It can include history, biography, personal essays, personal profiles, sports, biology, geology, geography, holidays … the list really is almost endless. Anything that you find fascinating can be turned into a riveting nonfiction piece for young readers. Also, keep in mind that you can write for whatever age group you prefer, from the youngest toddlers to teens.
If you’re interested in writing for the magazine market, the following tips will help you get started:

Stay Focused
Magazine pieces are short, which means that you will not be able to cover all sides of your topic. Choose the one that most interests you and that you feel has the most readership appeal.

Spice it Up
One way to avoid an “encyclopedic” feel to your article is to include quotes from experts, interesting quotes from your research, descriptions, and if appropriate, dialogue. Use the tools of fiction for a lively magazine piece.

Do the Research
This applies to both your article research as well as your market research. For your article, editors want to see a variety of resource materials. One entry from an encyclopedia will not make the cut. Use a variety of sources, and try to avoid those encyclopedia references. If possible, use both primary and secondary sources. If you are able to obtain a quote from an expert, that can also help sell your piece.

When doing market research use a variety of tools available to you, and do not forget the "hands on" approach. This means reading several back issues of your targeted magazine--reading a year's worth is ideal. When fine-tuning your piece, be sure to follow the each magazine's guidelines. This means staying within the word count, avoiding certain topics, and following any approaches listed. The following are some sources for learning more about the market and magazine guidelines. For up-to-date information, be sure to visit each magazine's website, as many post their editorial guidelines as well as upcoming themes if applicable.

BOOST's Magazine Database
Jan Fields offers a great website:
Writer's Market Online
Children's Writers & Illustrators Market, published by Writer's Digest Books
The Best of the Magazine Market, published by the Institute of Children's Literature (

Lastly, be persistent! One common theme among published writers is that they do not give up. Find several target markets to begin with. If these do not work out, consider re-working the piece for a different age group, or give the piece a different slant. Whatever you do, keep writing and keep submitting. The nonfiction magazine market can be a great way to see your work in print. Yes, it takes focused effort, but it can be well worth it!

Article Source:

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