Saturday, June 09, 2007

Writing for Children's Magazine

René Colato Laínez

If you have an article, short story, poem or recipe and want it to be publish in a children's magazine, you can submit it to Highlights for Children. Highlights is the best magazine for children in the United States.

Current Needs
Spring/Summer 2007

Fiction for Young Readers (readers ages 2 to 7) up to 500 words, Marileta Robinson, Senior Editor
No current special needs.

Fiction for 8- to 12-year-olds (readers ages 8 to 12) up to 800 words, Joëlle Dujardin, Associate Editor

• Holiday stories (but not necessarily Christmas), especially Valentine's Day (not sappy) and Halloween (not scary)
• Humorous stories
• Historical fiction about little-covered time periods
• Multicultural pieces

Younger Nonfiction (readers ages 2 to 7) up to 500 words, Joëlle Dujardin
Younger nonfiction should be written for readers ages 4 to 8 and should not exceed 450 words. All articles should have a clear focus and relevance to young kids.

• First-person accounts of fieldwork
• Photo Essays
• Arts Stories
• Accessible Biographies of key historical figures
• Kids living in various cultures
• Ancient history
• High-interest animals
• Details from urban life (workers, transportation, etc.).

Science, 800 words (two-page features), 400 words (one-page features), 50 words (activities) Andy Boyles, Science Editor

• Features about kids involved in science
• Scientists studying high-interest animals in their natural habitats
• Short, quick, easy, fun science activities

History/World Cultures, up to 800 words, Carolyn Yoder, Senior Editor

• Fun, humorous, kid-friendly articles
• Presidential (NOT Washington and Lincoln) and patriotic pieces
• Need anecdotal articles, rather than broad interviews
• American holidays, specifically Thanksgiving.
• World cultures pieces. No need for India, but everywhere else. We want intimate snapshots of life in another country.

Adventure, up to 800 words, Kim Griswell, Coordinating Editor
Adventure articles that bring the reader in and let him/her come along for the adventure. Rather than telling kids "I went here and wasn't it grand" the best articles share the adventure.

Arts, up to 800 words, Kim Griswell, Coordinating Editor

• Need more contemporary articles with high kid-appeal. A fresh, focused slant rather than overviews.
• No need for "classic" arts articles, especially bios of famous artists.

Sports, up to 800 words, Judy Burke, Managing Editor

• Sports "how-to" pieces (except how to dive, how to shoot a basketball, and how to throw a football). Each article should be reviewed by an expert before submission.
• Contemporary female-athlete bios. It helps when the author interviews the subject for these.
• No need for baseball biographies or track-and-field biographies right now.

Economics/Personal Finance, up to 800 words, Kim Griswell, Coordinating Editor
Articles that address economics or personal finance at a kid's level.

Gallant Kids, up to 400 words, Kim Griswell, Coordinating Editor
Articles about a kid or kids who are serving others in some special way. Articles must be about unique, interesting, kid-generated projects. The idea is that when kids serve others, they are being their "best selves."

Full-page Activities, up to 400 words, Linda Rose, Assistant Editor

• 300-Word Activities of all kinds, appealing to a wide age range whenever possible.
• Indoor and outdoor games that involve exercise, creativity, and/or humor
• Activities and games that kids can do whether they're on their own or with others
• Some cooperative games (we publish both cooperative and competitive games, but receive more submissions of the latter)
• Projects that will result in a new hobby or skill and/or a quality finished product
• Magic tricks
• Activities to get children outdoors, moving around, or creating.

We prefer activities that do not require parental supervision or materials kids aren't likely to have handy.

• Picture Puzzlers Take a look at several recent issues to see the kind of puzzle we try to present here.
• A large visual puzzle with little text, offering our readers an entertaining and visually interesting puzzle activity. Art need not be supplied with the manuscript, but basic sketches showing your idea or detailed art/photo suggestions are helpful.
• We need fresh manuscripts/ideas for this page that we haven't already done.
• We need more ideas with more than one thing going on.
• A big visual puzzle with activities here and there on the page.
• Original board games that are visually interesting and can be played on the page are also welcome!

(Picture Puzzlers should not require readers to write in the magazine.)

Puzzles, Games, Recipes, Other Short Activities, Tiffany Hoffman, Editorial
Needs for Mixed Pages include:

• Art activities
• Activities with a sporty theme
• World culture activities; holiday games
• Geography-based activities
• History puzzles/activities
• Sequencing activities
• Recipes
• Code activities

We have very little need for logic puzzles and word games at this time.
Any activities that easily lend themselves to strong visuals are a huge plus!

Crafts, Tiffany Hoffman, Editorial

• Multicultural crafts (general or holiday-specific)
• Crafts that encourage play (musical instruments, costumes, etc.)
• Crafts with direct boy appeal
• Seasonal crafts (general autumn and winter activities?we have enough snowmen)
• Gifts, usable crafts (we have enough picture frames and cards)
• Crafts for all holidays, specifically non-Christian holidays (we have enough wreaths, Santas, Thanksgiving turkeys, and Christmas crafts)
• Fourth of July and summer crafts

Please send a photo or actual sample of the craft. A drawing doesn't really provide enough information.

Send submissions to
Highlights for Children
803 Church Street
Honesdale, PA 18431

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