Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Writing Children's Short Stories Dos and Don'ts Part 2

It's time for part two of "Writing Short Stories Dos and Don'ts." If you missed part one, you can find it here.

Now onto part deux:

Don’t use words like “she shouted” or “he exclaimed” or “she questioned” after dialogue. Don’t be afraid to repeat the word “said.” It is the best dialogue tag. Instead of having to use “said” all the time, you can also use action or setting details as dialogue tags. For example:

“When are you going to let me come into your clubhouse?” Martha stood with her nose at the door, trying to peek through a crack in the wood.

Henry sat in the middle of his clubhouse and thought about it for almost a whole second before he said, “Never.”

She stomped her foot and screamed. “I’ll just stand out here and scream until you let me in!”

Before Henry answered her, he put earplugs in his ears. “Okay.” He hummed and went back to carving his statue.

Do use humor in children’s stories. Magazine editors are always looking for humorous stories. They get tons of stories on divorce and other “serious” kid issues. These are important; but if you are a new author, try something that editors always need. (Usually, editors are looking for stories that appeal to boys, too.)

Don’t write a story for a magazine if you have never seen the magazine. Do read back issues or sample stories on a website before you start writing for the magazine. Try to find out what subjects their recent stories have covered and send something different.

Do send seasonal material at least six months in advance. Some magazines want it even further in advance. Also, check websites and magazine guidelines for themes. Brainstorm ideas to fit the themes, and think outside the box.

Don’t give up if you get one or two rejections. Look for new markets—online magazines or children’s newsletters that would be interested in publishing your fiction.

Do use Times New Roman as your font. Also, use 12 pt. font and double-space your fiction stories. Put a heading on each page—page number, your last name, and part of the title.

I hope these few dos and don'ts help everyone on their road to publication success with writing children's short stories!

Happy Writing!
Margo Dill

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Linda Formichelli Helps you Break into Magazines

Linda's 8-Week E-course on Breaking into Magazines

Next Session Starts Monday, July 30, 2007

If you want to write for magazines but don't know how to get started - or if you need some motivation to get you going - this course is for you.

In eight weekly lessons, Linda will walk you through:

  • Coming up with a salable idea
  • Finding markets that would be interested in your idea
  • Finding the right editors to send your idea to
  • Interviewing people for the query letter (the proposal that sells the editor on your idea and yourself as a writer)
  • Writing a winning query letter
  • Getting your query out the door!

Each lesson includes an assignment. You can do much of the assignments after work, during your lunch break, on weekends - whenever YOU have the time. The best part is, you can use the lessons you learn in this course over and over again. The more queries you write and send, the better the chances that you'll get published!

The basic course includes eight weekly lessons and the premium course includes personalized e-mail support as well (Linda sets aside Wednesdays and Fridays to answer e-mails). She says, "I am here to guide you through the program and to answer any questions you might have."

For more details on how the course works, the course schedule, and Linda's teaching philosophy, please download and read the E-Course FAQ on Linda's site (PDF format).

Premium Course - Eight weekly lessons, eight assignments, and eight weeks of unlimited e-mail support ($240)

Basic Course - Eight weekly lessons and eight assignments ($120)


If you missed our last issue's 20 Questions Column with Linda Formichelli, Renegade Writer be sure to check it out! Linda knows all the tricks of the trade, and as you'll see in this unique WOW! interview, she's got a handle on balancing life & writing.

***NOTE: Please be sure to say that WOW! Women On Writing referred you :-)


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