The magazine I’m writing my nonfiction article for is Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. I’ve written for them for years. So have many of my writing friends. (That’s a picture on the cover of one of my feature fiction stories about Dudley the Dog (the beagle) and his friend Mike.)
If you’ve never written for Clubhouse Jr. before it’s important to know that their readership is for a Christian audience with a target age of children ages 4-7. Everything in their magazine is written from a biblical worldview meaning it has to support what the Bible says.
So, to show you the steps I’m taking to write my magazine article, I shared how I have a topic I want to write about, right?
Well, the next thing I sat down to do was to make sure my topic hasn’t been already published in the last year.
So I got out my past year of magazine samples and went through them to see which nonfiction topics had already been covered:
Birds who build
Inventions that copy nature
Animals in Australia
Kings: King of animals, king of fruit, king of dog, King of kings (Jesus)
The Great Barrier Reef
Uh-oh. Guess what?! My topic had been mentioned in two of those articles.
I’m so glad I checked!
So now I have a choice…I can either toss aside the idea or I can think of a fresh new angle to present my topic.
In the end I decided to think of a fresh new angle to cover because I REALLY want to double up and re-use my research. :o)
So if you want to write a nonfiction article for Clubhouse Jr., too, and never have before, here are some tips:
* Order in samples of their magazine to get a feel for how their nonfiction articles “speak” to kids. (For a sample issue, send your request (along with $2.50 and SASE) to Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920 or call 1-800-232-6459. Requests are filled within four weeks.)
* Read their submission guidelines.
* Explore their website to get a general feel for their approach and their target audience.
Try to think of a topic you could write about for them. (Hint: They like unique animal articles but they also like cool nonfiction on any high-interest topic for kids.)
And if you don’t want to write for Clubhouse Jr. at this time but aren’t sure which magazine to target, guess what?! In an upcoming post I’ll be listing a bunch of children’s magazines who accept unsolicited nonfiction manuscripts. You can pick one to target.
And speaking of targeting a children’s magazine, if you have my book, Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Children’s Books, Get Them Published, and Build a Successful Writing Career, read Chapter 8: Target Periodicals again to brush up on an in-depth look at how to write and submit to magazine publishers.