Posted by: nancyisanders | October 27, 2015

Nonfiction for Children’s Magazines: A to Z Format

One of the formats you’ll see in children’s magazines for nonfiction articles is the A to Z format. I’ve used it successfully and it’s a lot of fun! The perk is that you can always use it as a springboard to write a children’s alphabet book and get extra mileage from your research!

Here is the article that I got published in Clubhouse Jr. in January’s 2009 issue:

God’s Amazing Creation…
From A to Z!
By Nancy I. Sanders

Let all of them praise the name of the Lord,
because he gave a command and they were created.
-Psalm 148:4, NIrV
Look at a few of the wonderful things our God has made.

Aardvarks live in Africa. They lick up tasty ants and termites for a yummy midnight snack. Their long, sticky tongues are perfect for slurping up insects.

Black holes. We can’t see them, but they exist far away in deep outer space. Black holes were formed when humongous stars imploded, leaving behind a strong pull of gravity.
Scientists can’t see black holes through telescopes, but they can watch how black holes affect other stars.

Cells are like building blocks in nature. God designed some cells to make fruits, nuts, or seeds. Other cells make muscles, teeth, or blood. Our bodies have millions and millions of cells! But on the day God first created you, you started out as one teeny tiny cell.

A Dingo is Australia’s wild dog. Aborigines, the native people of Australia, trained dingos to help them hunt for food.

Eggs are little examples of God’s big design. From the tiny butterfly egg to the huge ostrich egg, each egg contains the miracle of new life. Only God can make an egg!

A Fungus has an important job to do. It helps decompose things like dead leaves and turns them back into dirt. A mushroom is a fungus.

A Galaxy is a system of millions and billions of stars all spinning around together in space. God created many galaxies in the universe. Our sun is a star in the Milky Way galaxy.

The Hibiscus is a beautiful flower that grows in warm places around the world. The hibiscus is the official state flower of Hawaii.

Iguanas live on islands and in countries that are warm and tropical. The iguana’s tail makes up half of its length.

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. Its Great Red Spot is a huge storm that has been whirling and twirling around on the surface of the planet for hundreds of years.

Kangaroos and koala bears live in Australia. What an imagination God has! He created such interesting creatures.

Lightning flashes through the sky. Thunder crashes. Storms remind us that our great big God is a mighty and powerful Creator!

Magma is hot, melted rock that is deep underneath the ground. When a volcano erupts, magma rises up to the top of the volcano and explodes into the air. After magma erupts, it is called lava and flows down the sides of the volcano.

Night is a time for rest. We sleep each night, but God never sleeps. All through the night, God watches over us because He loves us.

An Orangutan’s fur looks orange. Because of its wise face and quiet ways, the orangutan’s name means “old man of the forest.”

Polar bears and penguins live in the ice and snow on the opposite sides of the earth. Polar bears live at the North Pole, and penguins live at the South Pole.

Quartz is a beautiful crystal or rock. Gemstones such as an agate, onyx, and tiger’s eye are all types of quartz. Quartz is one of the most common minerals on the surface of the earth.

Rainforests are home to many fascinating and unusual plants, bugs, and animals. Boa constrictors, sloths, toucans, poison arrow frogs, and leaf cutter ants all live in rainforests.

At the Seashore, we see sand crabs, seagulls, seashells and lots and lots of sand! It’s fun to dig in the sand, build sand castles, and splash in the salty waves.

Trumpeter swans make a noise like a tooting horn when they call out to each other. When they fly, they sound like they are praising God on high.

The Umbrella bird doesn’t have to carry an umbrella when it rains. It wears an “umbrella” on the top of its head.

A Venus flytrap is a plant that catches flies and other bugs in its sticky trap. Then it eats them up for dinner.

The World is a wonderful place to live. The Bible tells us that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. God created everything!

X-ray stars give off powerful bursts of X-rays from distant parts of the universe. To us, though, they look just like any other star.

You. God created each and every person. There’s no one else exactly like you!

Zooplankton are tiny animals that drift and float in the ocean waves. They are an important food source for other underwater creatures including the largest animal of all—the blue whale.

*******************************************
If you decide to write and submit a nonfiction A-Z article to Clubhouse Jr. like I did, here are some tips:

They like quirky, lively text.

Note how it’s written in Second Person POV (Point of View). In other words, “You. There’s no one else exactly like you!”

Include a scripture verse along with your article. (This does not get counted in the total word count.) The version they use is the NIrV (New International Readers Version). If you don’t have a current copy of that Bible, you can quote from it at Bible Gateway.

When I submitted my article in 2008, 750 words was okay. Now they’re looking for nonfiction that tops at 600 words, according to their submission guidelines.


Responses

  1. This is such a fun and clever article. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Nancy, love so much how you share your precious work. I’m definitely saving this. 🙂


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