Posts Tagged ‘childrens’

I submitted my suspense story to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine last week. It had previously been turned down by Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

This submission makes sense since the story was inspired by a story in EQMM which was in turn inspired by Hitchcock’s “Rear Window.”

What’s kind of nice is that the submission guidelines are more about format than style. I’m glad they are less picky about that. Although format guidelines in general are annoying, especially numbering pages. The Hitchcock guidelines are here:


The magazine is pretty decent, although sadly much more thin than I remember it being.


Charlesbridge is a kind of publisher that I’m never sure I’m good enough for. They have a lot of books that impart a gentle lesson.

I’m not real good on lessons.

Often, my subtle lesson is really really subtle. More often, I just tell (what I think is) a good story with no lesson. So, we’ll see.


The first part of their guidelines are here:

I had sent a board book script to Child’s Play International. A few months later, I received the following e-mail:

Many thanks for sending me your manuscript which I enjoyed reading.

Unfortunately, the Child’s Play publishing programme is complete for the

foreseeable future and we are unable to accept your work for publication.


Because of the large number of manuscripts we receive every month, it is

impossible for us to offer criticism on individual projects.


Best regards

Sue Baker

Child’s Play International


Looking at their publishing list ( I don’t know that my storybook would have definitely fit in. And maybe that was my mistake.




Every week, I try to send something out to publishers. Finding markets, my opinion of them, writing queries and cover letters – I’ll write about it here, every Submission Sunday.


When I find a book I like, I check who published it. A lot of times I’ve seen those little eyeglasses logo peering up at me. So I’m sending my next book to Chronicle Books.

My picture book is about an event told from the point of view of my two cats. It’s quirky, and has personality, and that’s why I chose this particular company. I think they’d “get it.”

So, I tailored my cover letter toward them, keeping in mind all the books I’ve seen by them, crossed my fingers and tossed it in the mail.

In other news, I received my rejection from Interzone this week as well. They have very well written rejection e-mails.


Every week, I try to send something out to publishers. Finding markets, my opinion of them, writing queries and cover letters – I’ll write about it here, every Submission Sunday.

Some characters in children’s stories are really annoying.

They try to be whimsical, but they are really just standing in the way of the plot. The butterfly from The Last Unicorn, most of the characters from Neverending Story. They all have their own worlds.

But at least they should be like the jesters in Shakespeare plays. They might talk nonsense, but the audience gets it. And they actually know what’s going on. They are even explaining everything to the main characters, but through a filter of whatever idiosyncrasies they have.

I’m sorry, I really am. But when I watched these stories as a kid, I appreciated them more. Maybe it’s true what they say “they added that for the kids.” Maybe I just don’t remember them or paid as much attention when I was a child.

Every children’s book I’ve read has a character crying out something.

“We’re going to find Nemo,” Marlin cried.

“Squeek,” cried the little red wagon.

Not even a “Franklin shouted” or “Little Critter said angrily.”

Every time I read it, it stands out, like someone flicks me in the forehead with a finger.

They must be sick of saying “said.” Combine that with the urge to use more exciting verbs with children’s books. But it’s overdone.

I’ve heard that writers, maybe journalists specifically, are allowed three exclamation points their entire career. Maybe that should be applied to “cried.” They should be allowed one per book. Or one per three books. That’s it.