Posted by: nancyisanders | November 27, 2012

Writing for Children’s Magazines

Today I wanted to post about writing for children’s magazines. Thanks, Chris, for asking about this!

Here basically are a few pointers:
1) To get your foot in the door with a children’s magazine, start submitting fillers. Fillers are puzzles, crafts, recipes or other small articles that most children’s magazines include in their issues. Why start with fillers? The magazine needs more fillers and usually fewer authors submit fillers so your chances of getting an acceptance letter are better. Plus, these are usually easier to learn to write rather than fiction stories.

2) Also try submitting nonfiction articles. Once again, fewer authors submit these so you have a better chance of getting an acceptance letter.

3) If you also want to try your hand at submitting fiction stories to children’s magazines, go for it! Just don’t be too disappointed if you receive a rejection letter. Competition is fierce for feature fiction stories and most magazines only include 1 or 2 each issue which means they only need 12-24 each year.

Each magazine is so different in their preferences for fiction that the best way to go about this is to get about a year of back issues at your local library or thrift store. Find several fiction stories that have a similar plot structure or feel similar (for example several stories featuring animals as main characters). Type these out on your own computer. Then try to figure out their basic plot structure by noting:
a) The Beginning: How was the story set up? What is the main story problem? How were the characters introduced?
b) The Middle: How did the main character (MC) attempt to solve the problem? Identify each attempt.
c) The End: How did the story build to a climax? How did the MC change? How did the MC solve the problem? How did the story conclude?

For more information about how to write for magazines, check out the section on this subject in my book for writers Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career.


  1. Hi Nancy, Thanks for the great information on writing for children’s magazines. I am particularly interested in writing mysteries for this market and I can’t seem to find much info for writing short story mysteries. Any pointers you may have would be appreciated. Chris

    • Hi Chris, Stay tuned for more posts! I’ll be offering a few pointers over the next couple of blogs about writing mysteries for magazines. Let me know if you have any questions on angles I don’t cover.

      • Can’t wait to read them.

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