Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Good Ol' Opportunity!

Thanks to more years on task than I’d ever imagined, I’m personally acquainted with the proverbial carrot that swings beneath our writers’ noses whilst we bravely and anxiously navigate our Writer’s Journeys. 
Its name?
We travel here, there and everywhere, despite unrewarded efforts, creatively visualizing our stories when printed and bound, covered and blurbed – in other words, published.

But you know what?
If we stop for a second and look around at our Children’s Book World, a multitude of publishing rainbows are there for our viewing before we reach our wished-for, worked-for destination.
Each offers its very own pot o’gold, an opportunity to achieve publication and thus experience pride, satisfaction, affirmation and sometimes even $$$.
There’s a treasure trove of opportunity awaiting us writers, besides the one we first set out to capture.

For instance, what about writing fiction for children’s magazines? 
Or what about writing nonfiction articles for educational publishers?
Even better, what about writing nonfiction children’s magazine articles?!

Thanks to Melissa Abramovitz’s Thumbs-Up guide, coincidentally (and appropriately) titled A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write & Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines (E & E Publishing, 2012), we can now put our writing skills, interests and talents to work mining other paths to publication.

There is indeed a market for nonfiction children's magazine articles.
Highlights senior editor Debra Hess shared with Melissa, “While we publish roughly the same amount of fiction and nonfiction in Highlights, we receive substantially more fiction submissions than nonfiction submissions.  As a result, nonfiction has a higher chance of being purchased.  We are always looking for new nonfiction writers.”

Melissa knows all about writing – for all age groups, from preschoolers through adults.  Her publishing credits include educational books on health topics, as well as science, nature and history, fiction, poetry and five rhyming picture books.  But she especially knows all about writing nonfiction magazine articles.

In this one-of-a-kind resource based on her twenty-five years of experience and extensive body of work, as well as interviews with other nonfiction magazine writers and editors, she generously shares insights she’s gleaned, proven tricks of the trade and the tools she uses to move from generating ideas to researching to structuring, on to creating whole pieces, formatting and revising, on to querying likely publishers, considering contracts and marketing your work.

Concrete learner that I am, I was especially taken with Melissa’s “Show, don’t tell” examples when making a point.  She shares her own published articles as well as those of others.  She offers the nitty-gritty details -  of referencing references, photo inclusions, author rights, and nailing a story’s audience, just to name a few.

Her listing of “salable structures” sparked all sorts of ideas:  How-to articles, puzzles, quizzes, sidebars, nonfiction verse, personal experience articles, slice-of-life or inspirational articles, profiles and as-told-to articles.

Appendix A: Grammar Gateway even offers tips on sentence structure, spelling, punctuation and unbreakable rules – good for any writer, no matter the format, genre, audience and publishing segment.

Consider this post, consider Melissa Abramovitz's book but one knock at your Writer’s Door.

(And we all know how many times Opportunity knocks.)
Happy Mining!
Esther Hershenhorn



Linda at teacherdance said...

Esther, this looks very helpful. Thank you for telling about Melissa's book.

Penelope Anne Cole said...

Thanks for these helpful tips. Melissa is a talented writer and author.

Janet Ann Collins said...

That book looks very helpful.

Karen Cioffi said...

Great review - it looks like a useful tool for children's writers.

Esther Hershenhorn said...

I'm so glad so many are finding my review of Melissa Abramovitz's guide to writing nonfiction magazine articles helpful.
Let us know if down the road learning about this one-of-a-kind book led you to a published nonfiction magazine piece! Melissa would love that, and so would we TeachingAuthors.

Suzanne Lieurance said...

This book is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to write for children. Melissa really knows her stuff!