Posted by: nancyisanders | October 31, 2021

KidLit Career Building: Get Published Step 1

Hey…owls are supposed to be wise, right? So let’s look at this bit of wisdom regarding your KidLit career…

When was the last time you got something published?

I’m not talking self-published. I’m not talking like here on a blog. I’m not talking for a writer’s group website that you post for.

I’m talking published with a publisher and working with an editor and having word counts and submission guidelines and perhaps even contracts to sign or checks to get in the mail.

When was the last time you did this?

My heart aches for my talented and gifted author friends who haven’t had anything published through the hands of a bona fide editor in the past year…two years…three years…perhaps even never.

So I’ve decided to start a new series here on my blog. I’m going to share steps I’ve taken, actually taken, to build a successful KidLit writing career. And I’m encouraging you to do the same.

The first step I took when I got started was to get published.

Yep. Right away before I even really knew what a chapter book was or a picture book dummy looked like, I started getting published. I wrote editor interviews for a Christian writer’s magazine. Pretty much every month for a number of years. I cannot tell you how this boosted my self-esteem as a writer! No, I didn’t get paid for it at first. But the experience I gained working for deadlines and word counts and submission guidelines was worth every penny I didn’t cash in at the bank.

I also started writing book reviews for a magazine for church librarians, too. Again, it was for the goal of getting published. My name was in print! I got assignments from an editor! I learned how to write and polish a manuscript for submission!

I didn’t do this for the goal of earning income. (I’ll tell you hacks on how to do that in future posts in this series.) I didn’t do this for personal fulfillment so that I was writing about my heart’s desire. (I’ll tell you hacks on how to do this, too, in future posts.)

I was writing for these editors for one key goal: The goal to get published.

And guess what?! I still write for this goal. I still get published 3-5 times every year with this kind of publisher. I see my name in print. Yippee! I share my published stories and the cute art that comes with them with my grandkids. Hooray! And I feel validated as a writer, even through dry spells when book contracts seem few and far between.


If you aren’t getting published regularly every year as a KidLit writer, plan to write and submit to an editor this month. And throughout the year ahead. The benefits are too many to count! You can submit to the publisher of your choice. Need ideas? Here are some publishers in the Christian market that currently NEED submissions. (That’s right…they are LOOKING for writers to submit!):

Keys for Kids: This ministry needs stories and articles and devotions for their quarterly print booklet AND their daily online ministry. (That’s a lot of opportunities to get published!) They even offer a small payment. (HOT TIP here: Christian book publishers for kids are publishing lots of children’s devotions right now in book format so this is a great opportunity to build your resume in this genre.) CLICK HERE for their submission guidelines.

Nature Friend: This monthly print magazine buys 40-50 manuscripts each year! They offer a small payment. There’s a variety of genres they need such as crafts, experiments, fiction, and even photo features. (HOT TIP here: Book publishers are looking for craft and experiment books right now so this is a great training ground for that type of experience. Just sayin!) CLICK HERE for their submission guidelines.

Primary Treasure: This take-home paper (and the other take-home papers by this publisher for different ages) is published EVERY WEEK. That’s a lot of opportunity for writers! (HOT TIP here: They prefer true stories and nonfiction is a winning market for writers these days!) They offer a small payment and purchase 104 manuscripts every year. CLICK HERE for their submission guidelines.


Tell us in a comment below where you are going to submit. (If it’s confidential, just give us a general idea.)


If you read this post and have already decided not to do the TAKE ACTION STEP, tell us in a comment below why you made this choice. Maybe we can help you overcome your writer’s block in this area so you can experience breakthrough as a published author.


  1. Nancy, thank you for sharing these informative insights into getting published.

  2. This is great, Nancy. Thanks! Looking forward to the series!

    • Hooray! So excited you’re joining in on the fun!

  3. I plan to submit to DevoKids and Keys for Kids this November.

    • Yay!!!! I’m thinking of Nature Friend myself and am having fun checking out their sample issues.

  4. Great suggestions, Nancy! I aim to have 12 submissions out at all times – magazines, devotions, and books. I’m also hoping to launch a teacher pay teachers site.

    • Wow, Claire…12!!! You’re such an inspiration!!!!!

  5. I haven’t submitted any of this kind of thing in the past few years, so thanks for the kick in the pants. Actually, I a stack of sample issues/review ideas on my desk waiting for the to do list to catch up. You’ve inspired me to cross that off my list this week, so going to write one book review and I’ll be checking out Keys for kids. (always meant to but never did) Best regards to you. See you next post!

    • I’m so glad this motivated you to do this. Hip hip hooray!!!!!

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