Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Writing For Kids Is Not A Piece of Cake!

Knowonder! ezine has published another of my children's stories. "Where's Pete?" is the story for Day 13 of the story-a-day website for kids. This is a story that I wrote quite some time ago. It won an award in our state authors contest, but it has never been published until now. There's a bit of a mystery involved with clues to figure out.

Knowonder! needs 30 to 31 stories per month, so this is a good market for those who write children's stories. It's a no-pay, but it would be a nice clip,  and they do award $100 to the story that the Readers select as best of the month. There's also a $100 award for the Editor's ?Choice, so you do have a possibility of some cash.

If you've never written a story for kids, why not give it a try? There are plenty of writing books that discuss this category of writing as well as many articles online. If nothing else, you'll gain an appreciation of those who are fulltime writers of kid's stories. It's not easy to write a full story in the short word count usually asked for. You write, then cut, and go back and cut some more.

You need to be careful not to preach to kids, not to write 'down' to them from you lofty perch as an adult. You need to try to reach back into your own childhood and put yourself in a child's world. But you can't only rely on things that were a big deal in your growing-up years. You need to be current, to write about things in a child's world in this decade.

Vocabulary is a factor to consider, too. You don't want to use nothing but very simple words. Toss in a few big words now and then. Kids pick up the meaning from the context of the story. There are vocabulary lists for different age levels that children's wirters might want to use as a reference tool. Google vocabulary lists for childrren's writer for a wealth of information.

Go to Knowonder! and read the stories for September. See if you can find some common qualities in the stories. Which ones do you like best? Why? Do the authors a favor and leave a comment at the end of the story. One comment equals one vote for Reader's Choice.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip. I've actually got a couple of short stories for children I need to tweak a bit before submitting. Worth a try anyway.