Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Tip #15: Puzzling

This tip mainly goes out to those writers who haven't been published AT ALL--no magazines, e-zines, email newsletters, etc.--but who have the goal of being successful as a children's writer.

I have not achieved my ultimate goal of having a published book, but I have made it into several online publications and print magazines, including Highlights for Children. What is the secret to breaking into a big name market like Highlights? It's the same as any other publication: write what they need, when they need it.

The editors over at Highlights are kind enough to send out a wish list to their writers now and then. So I at least have a clue what they are looking for. But what about those writers who have yet to make it into the "published Highlights author" club? (no, there's not really such a club--that I know of).

Try what I tried. Send puzzles! Highlights publishes a wide variety of puzzles and activities, as do most other children's magazines. These are relatively easy (and fun!) to write, and are a much easier sell than stories and poems (either that or I'm just better at writing puzzles than stories...hmmm).

The first piece I ever sold to Highlights was a puzzle, and since then I've sold more puzzles and some poetry. I've sold more puzzle/activity pieces to children's magazines than any other type of magazine submission. It's a great way to get your name in there and possibly open the door to selling other types of work!

Here are some puzzle/activities to consider submitting:

Logic puzzles
word puzzles
word searches
picture puzzles
simple crafts

Do your homework, though. Make sure you know what types of puzzles a magazine publishes before you submit!


  1. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Hm, good advice. Write what they need, when they need it. hmmm.

    I am so proud of you getting real stuff published. You are awesome, Becky!

  2. Great advice! And, congratulations to you!

  3. Thanks ladies.

    Now if I can only follow my own advice and KEEP sending stuff out to magazines.



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