Short story markets

Here’s a useful post for those writing for children, with thanks to Lou Treleaven for highlighting…

Lou Treleaven

If you have a picture book text that’s too long for publishers’ requirements, have you considered the short story market?  There are a small number of magazines out there, both in print and online, that accept children’s stories and will happily consider a longer length.  Here’s my current (short) list which also includes markets for older children’s fiction and young adult; if you know of any others please do comment and I will add them.

Cricket Media submissions

The US-based Cricket family of children’s print and digital magazines includes Babybug for up to three years, Ladybug for 3-6 years, Spider for 6-9, Cricket for 9-14 and Cicada for over 14s.  They all have different submission requirements so be sure to check out the word counts required by each one.

The Caterpillar Magazine

This beautifully produced Irish-based print magazine accepts stories up to 1,000 words as well as poetry and art.

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New Year -New Opportunities

Thanks to Barbara for some writing opportunities coming up in the New Year.


Paper,Write,Pen by aungkarnsNew Year – New opportunities!

Your up-to-date checklist to power up your writerly ambition!

We all know the feeling: Slowly emerging from our hibernation cave – to face whatever’s out there to get us (knockbacks and rejections) and to seek out sustenance to make us stronger as writers. Here are just a few nuggets that should sustain us all for a bit: the freshest crop of opportunities to make us all feel like we’re starting the New Year as writers.

  1. Pitch on Twitter. The 6th of January is your day. Make it count with this new initiative from Emergents! Open to residents of Scotland only.

  1. Short Stories about fear or anxiety? A tale of lost and found? These are the two themes in demand for the Flexible Persona deadline on 1st January. Maybe one one of the short stories in the deepest depths of your…

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Spotlight on Scotland: F.E. Clark

Happy to share an interview about all things writing/creative/painting and the inspirations and challenges this poses for someone based in North East Scotland. Frances is a friend I met on a Moniack Mohr writing course earlier this year.

Flash! Friday

Today we conclude our series of global #Spotlight interviews by spending a few moments with F.E. Clark, who writes and paints in Scotland. It’s been a pleasure getting to read F.E.’s work here and at other places on the flash circuit; I’m also gratefully thrilled (thrilledly grateful?) to share with you she is generously contributing a book to this week’s Flashversary prize pot. You’ll see that mentioned a bit later on in the interview.

Thank you so much, F.E., for putting up with all my questions (35, did you say??? surely not!!!), and answering them so honestly and graciously. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you here at FF, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for you! Welcome to #Spotlight — here’s the mic. 🙂

FE Clark

Tell us about your writerly journey.

One way or other I have always written; recently I have begun to share some…

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Tried These?

Thanks Barbara, some useful stuff in here!


Couple of things, children’s writers:

  • A very useful and interesting list at the link below –  publishers of children’s books who accept unsolicited submissions. It’s been updated very recently. I think I’ve only tried one of these before. Have a go?

  • Also, the deadline approacheth…for the Times Chicken House Competition! You remember the one?

The one with the £10 000 advance and the Chicken House book deal? Ring a bell at all? 

It’s a bit of a faff to get your entry sorted, asking for stuff you might not have on file, like a chapter by chapter breakdown. Still, it might be worth the effort. Someone has to win it, right?

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How To Be The Boss Of Your Creative Life

Carly Watters, Literary Agent

googleimages2Has everyone heard of impostor syndrome?

It’s that feeling we’ve all experienced where, despite our accomplishments, we’re unable to feel like we’ve earned our spot. Like we’re a creative imposter and someone is going to find out we don’t belong.

I don’t know any creative person who has never internalized this feeling.

But the truth is: we’ve all earned our spots, because the only opinion that matters is yours. So shake off those insecurities and learn to be the boss of your creative life.


  • You are your harshest critic. Don’t beat yourself up. Treat yourself like you’d treat any other critique partner.
  • If you don’t respect your writing time, no one else will. Make those quiet moments count.
  • You decide what your idea of success is. Don’t let anyone tell you who you should be.
  • If you want to write for you, that’s okay. Getting published doesn’t define a writer. 
  • Give…

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Life’s a Pitch – Alexandra Sokoloff

Some useful observations for writers who want to stand out from the crowd, by somebody I have been lucky enough to hear speak in person.

Professional editorial and mentoring services


I’m often asked to speak to groups and classes of aspiring writers, and recently I was speaking to a college writing class, and I realized something that I’ve known for a long time, but I’ve never actually put into words.

Life is a constant pitch meeting.

There were a few dozen kids in this advanced class. Okay, not all kids! I talked for about forty-five minutes, my whole story of breaking into the film business as a screenwriter and then moving on to write novels, all the usual, and for the rest of the two-hour class I was just taking questions.

Out of the whole class, only five of the students asked questions, although more did answer when I asked them questions to draw them out. And out of those, only two people voluntarily told me what they were working on, in detail. And those were two out of the…

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David Fickling Books submission window coming up!

Lou Treleaven

I was delighted to read in a Writing Magazine tweet this week that the publisher David Fickling Books – until recently featured on my list of publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts – is opening its doors to unagented writers for two weeks in May, and it looks like this could be a regular occurrence.

The submissions window is taking the form of a competition called ‘Master of the Inkpot’ (shades of Terry Pratchett or JK Rowling there). Every submission will be read and a shortlist drawn up. The top five will be featured on the website and the winner invited in with a view to publication.

Guidelines for entry are very exact so check and double check the requirements. Picture book submissions should, unusually, include illustrations. Any reading age is considered including adult. And luckily for me, they are happy to reconsider material previously sent if it has been reworked (I’m…

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Black & White: The Thorny Question of Diversity

Interesting post on the need for diversity in children’s writing.

Louise Jordan - Queen Bee

A couple of weeks ago I attended an afternoon discussion forum run by Beth Cox and Alex Strick of Inclusive Minds ( Publishers, book sellers, librarians and teachers gathered at 29b Montague Street (home of The Publishers Association) to discuss the thorny issue of diversity and inclusion in children’s books.

Look around you. Our society is hugely diverse and, in my opinion, books for children should reflect the world in which we all live. I’m not just talking about ethnicity – the term ‘diversity’ encompasses race and heritage, disability, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, religion, and culture.

The hero in our first title Geronimo, The Dog Who Thinks He’s a Cat was originally called Angus. He was white, middle class and probably lived an idyllic life, in a huge house, in the middle of the country somewhere. I doubt he’d ever seen a black person and…

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