The second format that you’ll see in children’s magazines for nonfiction is where you present ONE TOPIC and describe several of its key attributes.
Here’s the nonfiction article I got published in Clubhouse Jr.’s May 2011 issue using this format:
Blue Ribbon Mama
Who should win first place for being the best animal mother around? Mama Crocodile, that’s who! Don’t let her ferocious looks and scary teeth trick you. Mama Croc takes tender care of her babies.
Before her babies are born, Mama Croc looks carefully for the perfect place to make a baby nursery.
Once she finds the perfect spot, she makes a nest by digging a hole in the dirt. She lays about 50 eggs and then covers them with a cozy blanket of sand or leaves to keep them warm while they sleep.
Most reptiles leave their eggs and forget about them. But that’s not what God created mother crocodiles to do. Mama Croc watches over and protects her eggs.
Bunch of Babies
After three months of waiting, the big birthday finally arrives. From inside their eggs, the baby crocodiles start calling, “Peep! Peep! Peep!” They are calling for their mommy.
Mama Croc comes running. Carefully, she scratches away the sand and leaves from the nest.
Tenderly, she pulls away tiny bits of eggshell with her gigantic teeth. Gently, she rolls an egg inside her mouth. She is helping her babies break out of their shells.
A Little Help
Once the babies hatch, Mama Croc opens her huge mouth to let them crawl inside. Then she carries her hungry babies to the river where they can start eating little crabs, tiny fish, and tasty bugs. Yum!
Now Mama Croc really gets to work. Watch out, hungry birds, giant frogs, and big fish! Don’t try to snatch up a baby crocodile for breakfast. Mama Croc will lash her big tail and make a gigantic splash to frighten you away.
Mama Croc always protects her babies. If they are ever in danger, she carries them to safety in her mouth.
A mother crocodile is fierce. She is dangerous. But she is also one of the best animal mothers of all!
If you decide to write and submit a nonfiction article about one topic to Clubhouse Jr. like I did, here are some tips:
They like quirky, lively text.
These articles usually start with a short, very engaging introduction that pulls the reader into the topic.
They like 3, often 4 subtopics or key points about your main topic.
Note how it’s written in Second Person POV (Point of View). In other words, “Don’t let her ferocious looks and scary teeth trick you.”
Sometimes you do not need to include a Scripture verse, but you can always choose to do so if you want, just in case they have room to include it.
This article was only 320 words. Their guidelines say they’re looking for nonfiction that tops at 600 words, according to their submission guidelines. But as you can see by my article, a much shorter one is okay.
Think of it. 320 words. You. Can. Do. This. Yes, you can!