Children's Writers: Waiting to Get Published

Wednesday, February 08, 2012
By hudsonthego
If you're a children's writer, you probably dream of having books published, whether a picture book like the ones pictured here or a novel for teens. But it's not easy to get a book published--if you've been doing it for a while, you probably know that. I took my first correspondence course on writing for children in 1999. I got a contract for my first book in 2007. It's 2012, and that book is just coming out this year. And my publishing story is not unusual. 

But children's writers don't sit around waiting for their books to come out. They get published in other ways. Most children's writers are either teachers, parents, or grandparents. They've had stories in their heads for years! They teach their own children lots of lessons about nature, manners, how things work, and more. They make up jokes, puzzles, and riddles to entertain their little ones. So, why not turn all of this knowledge into some publication experience while you wait for the bestseller to come out? Get published before your book comes out. Learn the business before you start submitting book manuscripts. Perfect your writing by working on material for magazines and e-zines.

Here are three types of publishing (and there are more!) you can pursue while you're waiting to get a book accepted or to come out!

1. Children's e-zines: These are becoming more and more popular, and many of them pay and/or allow you to have a link to your website, where you could eventually sell your book to parents and children who love your work they read in the e-zine. Here are two to check out: Guardian Angel Kids and Knowonder!

2. Nonfiction: After all the success of Harry Potter and Twilight, many children's and YA writers were born--these writers wanted to write and publish fiction for children. That is a worthy goal. But sometimes, you have to go the nonfiction route to get some publishing experience under your belt. It is also USUALLY easier to get nonfiction published--more children's magazines need it, and editors get less of it. If you are a science or history buff, you have it made in writing nonfiction articles for children!

3. Parenting and teaching magazines: Don't rule these out. They are a wonderful way to reach the audience that YOU want to buy your books for their children and students. Write an article; and in your bio, you can put your website or maybe Twitter ID. Again, it's all about building a publication history and hopefully touching some lives along the way--real people who will eventually become fans of your published books. 

Happy writing and start submitting!

If this type of publication experience interests you, but you have no idea where to start, consider taking my online class: Writing for Children: Everything You Need to Know About Short Stories, Articles, and Fillers. This starts on March 5 and has a very flexible format. You don't have to be online at any certain time. We use a private blog or e-mail group for discussion, and notes are sent to your inbox. For more details and to sign up, go to the link above OR you can e-mail me at margo (at)

Post by Margo L. Dill

Catch Margo's blog at's all about children's books and how to use them.


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Excellent suggestions! Writers with a background in education might also consider writing for magazines/sites that cater to teachers. And the home schooling market.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Hi Margo,
Thanks for the suggestions.
Donna V.

Margo Dill said...

Sue--thanks for including those ideas, too. There are so many opportunities. We can be busy while we wait to hold our books!

Donna--You are welcome!

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