Posted by: nancyisanders | August 5, 2013

Picture Books and Magazine Stories

It used to be that magazine stories for kids were vastly different than picture books.

Now, however, the gap has become much more smaller.

The reason is the word count.

Many magazine stories are about 800 words and now children’s picture books are too.

What does this mean for us as children’s writers?

If you want to polish your picture book writing skills but are simply finding it impossible to break into the picture book market, try your hand at getting published writing magazine stories for kids instead.

It will give you great practice creating a compelling fiction story or eye-popping nonfiction article that tops out at 800 words.

It will build up your publishing credits.

It will give you experience working with editors and deadlines and even targeting a publisher by searching what a publisher’s needs are because many magazines have theme lists or current needs they’re looking for. This is all great experience to tuck under your belt if you want to gain solid footing in the picture book market.

It will reach 80,000 kids or more (depending on your magazine’s subscription base) with your story, unlike most picture books where the print run is considered successful if it can sell 5,000 copies. Not only is this an awesome way to reach today’s kids but it quickly helps build name recognition, too.

If you’d like to give it a try, search for small children’s magazine publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts.

And if you want to start at the top, check out the current needs at Highlight’s magazine.


  1. Great advice, as always, Nancy. Thank you. And if writers are wanting some additional magazine possibilities, I have a list of children’s magazines on my site–

    • Ev, Thank you sooooo much for sharing your link. You are a wealth of great resources!!!!!

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