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Children’s Magazine Market

October 6, 2011

I love this picture. I took it at my cousin’s house in Iowa while we were on vacation a couple of years ago. Really hoping to go back for another visit soon. *Sigh*

I’m working on revisions for my middle grade novel, kicking around two new picture book ideas, and simmering my young adult novel in progress on the back burner, so this will be short & sweet. For those of you needing a short reprieve from the picture book or novel you’re working on, or just waiting (and waiting…and waiting…) to hear back on a submission or query, don’t forget about the magazine market. Writing short pieces for magazines will help keep your writing sharp, and acceptances from the better known magazines will help you establish yourself as a professional writer, put a little cash in your wallet, and put your writing in front of thousands—in some cases, tens of thousands—of kids! It’s hard to break in to the good magazines, but the wait is generally much shorter than with book submissions, and you’re more likely to get some personalized feedback if your writing is *close* but just not quite there yet.


Follow each magazine’s submission guidelines exactly.

Include a brief, professional cover letter.

Double space your manuscript


Send without having your critique group, or writing partner(s) read and give you feedback…another set of eyes is essential (and not your spouse’s. or your mother’s. or your kid’s. or your student’s.).

Worry about not having an editor’s name to address your submission to…if they ask you to submit to “Manuscript Coordinator”, do so. And rest assured your submission will be directed to the appropriate editor.

Worry about not having any publishing credits. If you are a member of SCBWI, state that in your cover letter. If you have had acceptances with credible publishers, list them. If not, just don’t draw attention to it by saying, “This is my first submission…”, “I don’t have any publishing credits yet…” , etc.

Call to follow up on your submission.

Give up! If you were given specific feedback, use it to strengthen your piece and send it out to another magazine.

Two of my favorite magazine groups are Highlights (and now there is also Highlights High Five magazine, for the younger crowd) and the Cricket family of magazines (which includes Babybug, Ladybug, Spider, Cricket, Cicada, and many more).

Find the Cricket group HERE. There is a list and description of each of their magazines, with a clickable link to specific submission guidelines.

Find the Highlights contributor guidelines HERE.

And Jan Fields’ site for children’s magazine writers is a fantastic resource. It includes an alphabetical listing of children’s magazines, and direct links to each:

Good luck!


From → On Writing

  1. Catherine Johnson permalink

    It’s been a while since I queried a magazine but with two short stories nearly ready I’ll be doing so again soon so this is good timing. Thanks!

  2. I write one short story a week (sometimes two) no matter what else I’m working on. I love the satisfaction of writing a short piece. And that way I always have something out on submission even if I’m deep into writing a novel.

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