Posted by: nancyisanders | September 9, 2013

Highlights: Decisions! Decisions!

Okay everyone! It’s time to make some decisions.

If you’re following along with the Highlights journey I’m taking to show you in real time what I’m REALLY doing to write and submit an article to Highlights, the next step I took this past weekend was to make some decisions.

I narrowed my topic down to the specific anecdote I wanted to tell about my main topic.

Plus, I picked ONE published nonfiction article I found in a recent issue of Highlights magazine to use in my next step when I dissect a published article. I photocopied this article and created a new file folder for it, “Sample Article to Target.”

So if you haven’t done so already, narrow your main topic to one specific focus. This will be the main idea in your article. For example, if you’re going to write a nonfiction biography about President Obama, narrow that topic down to tell how he taught classes on Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School.

Sure, you’ll tell about other aspects of President Obama’s life, but this will be the one main anecdote you’ll focus on as your one main idea.

Then, armed with your main idea, now go back through the issues of Highlights that you read and choose ONE nonfiction article that you’re going to study with your writer’s magnifying glass and then with your writer’s microscope to really get a grasp on one format that works for the editors at Highlights.

This will be the format you follow to write your own article, but I’ll explain these steps more in detail when I get to them in a week or so.

For now, just pick ONE published NF article in Highlights where you say, “Hey! I think my own article could be like this one.” Photocopy it and put it in its own file folder in your pocket folder (if this is the system you’re using) ’cause you want it to be handy for the writing exercises we’re going to do with it next week or so.

And be sure to stay tuned for the next post here on my blog! I’ll be interviewing Melissa Abramovitz, a writer who is joining us here in our journey to write and submit a nonfiction article to Highlights. She’s submitted other things to Highlights and they’re looking seriously at them, but she also has a love for all things nonfiction, so she’ll be sharing about the fabulous resource book she’s written for anyone who wants to write nonfiction for children’s magazines.


  1. Thanks for your fantastic guidance. Appreciate your step by step instructions which show that if we can just be good copy cats we can do it. YES WE CAN WRITE FOR CHILDREN AND GET PUBLISHED. 🙂 Thanks again, Nancy.

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