Peg366's Blog

Archive for September 2009

My readership numbers are on the rise and it is all because of you the readers. You are awesome.


There appears to be some confusion about the contest guidelines for the 2010 Fiction Contest at Highlights from a reader. (I have already previously done a post on the contest itself.)

Highlights for Children Magazines is for readers (children)  between the ages of three and twelve years of age. The magazine  features fiction stories, nonfiction articles, rebus, hidden picture activites, crafts, fingerplay and puzzles. The word count limits are  (3-7years of age ) 500 words and (8-12 years of age )800 words.

 However, the guidelines for the contest are different from their regular submission guidelines.  For more clarification, please go to their website at or

Here are their submission guidelines for all submissions. 

Contributor Guidelines

For a printable version of the Editorial Guidelines, click here.

For guidelines for children who would like to submit their work to Highlights, click here.

“This magazine of wholesome fun is dedicated to helping children grow in basic skills and knowledge, in creativeness, in ability to think and reason, in sensitivity to others, in high ideals and worthy ways of living–for children are the world’s most important people.”

Editorial Guidelines

Highlights for Children is a general-interest, advertising-free magazine for children up to age twelve. It was founded in 1946 by Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers, and is still owned and run by their family. The magazine has no religious or organizational affiliation. Highlights has a circulation of about two million and is published monthly.

  • We encourage writers to read several recent copies of Highlights before submitting work. A sample copy will be sent on request.
  • We do not accept submissions by e-mail or fax.
  • We pay for all material on acceptance.
  • We buy all rights, including copyright, and do not consider previously published material.
  • Generally we prefer to see a manuscript rather than a query. However, we will review queries regarding nonfiction.
  • We accept material at any time of the year, including seasonal material.
  • Each submission must include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
  • We do not pay writers younger than sixteen years old for their work. Guidelines for young writers will be sent on request.
  • To find a listing of our current needs, guidelines for illustrators, and Fiction Contest guidelines, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.


Send submissions to
Manuscript Coordinator
Highlights for Children
803 Church Street
Honesdale, PA 18431

FICTION should have an engaging plot, strong characterization, a specific setting, and lively language. No series or continuing stories.

  • Stories for younger readers (ages three to seven) should have 500 words or fewer and should not seem babyish to older readers.
  • Stories for older readers (ages eight to twelve) should have 800 words or fewer and should be appealing to younger readers if read aloud.
  • Frequent needs include humor, mystery, sports, holiday, and adventure stories; retellings of traditional tales; stories with urban settings; and stories that feature world cultures.
  • For stories that require research, such as historical fiction, please send photocopies of key pages in references and of any correspondence with experts.
  • We prefer characters that set a positive example.
  • We avoid stories that preach.
  • We avoid suggestions of crime and violence.
  • We seldom buy rhyming stories.
  • Payment: $150 and up.

REBUS STORIES, geared toward beginning readers, should feature a variety of familiar words that can easily be shown as pictures.

  • Rebuses should have 120 words or fewer.
  • Rebuses with a surprise or twist at the end often work best.
  • Payment: $100 and up.

VERSE, which is purchased sparingly, is rarely longer than sixteen lines and should be meaningful for young readers.

Payment: $25 and up.

NONFICTION includes science, arts, biography, autobiography, sports, world cultures, economics, service/self-help, careers, adventure, and history.

  • All articles should have 800 words or fewer.
  • Nonfiction articles geared to our younger readers (ages three to seven) are especially welcome. These should not exceed 500 words.
  • Articles with a tight focus are most successful.
  • We prefer research based on firsthand experience, consultation with experts, or primary sources.
  • Articles about cultural traditions and ways of life should reflect a deep understanding of the subject.
  • Biographies of individuals who have made significant artistic, scientific, or humanitarian contributions are strengthened by the inclusion of formative childhood experiences.
  • We prefer biographies that are rich in quotes and anecdotes and that place the subject in a historical and cultural context.
  • Complete bibliographies as well as photocopies of key pages in references must be included.
  • Color 35mm slides, photos, or art-reference materials are helpful and sometimes crucial in evaluating submissions. Digital images should be no less than 300 dpi.
  • We encourage authors to have their articles reviewed by an expert before submission. Please include the expert’s response.
  • Payment: $150 and up.

CRAFTS should appeal to boys and girls of a wide age range.

  • Crafts should have concise, numbered directions. They typically should have three to five steps.
  • A well-made sample should be included with each craft idea. If this is not feasible, then a photo or detailed illustration would help.
  • Project materials should be inexpensive and easy to obtain.
  • Projects should result in attractive and useful gifts, toys, games, or decorations.
  • Crafts that celebrate holidays or religious traditions are welcome.
  • Frequent needs include crafts that result in games, crafts from world cultures, and crafts that appeal to boys.
  • Payment: $25 and up.

FINGER PLAYS and ACTION RHYMES should have plenty of action and minimal text. They must be easy for very young children to act out, step by step. Include directions for hand, finger, or body movements.

Payment: $25 and up.

PUZZLES should not require readers to write in the magazine; therefore, no crosswords, word searches, and so on. We welcome visual puzzles, math puzzles, and code activities.

Payment: $25 and up.

GALLANT KIDS articles should have 400 words or fewer. They should focus on children who are serving others through unique, interesting, kid-generated projects.

Payment: $150 and up.

PICTURE PUZZLER ideas should be primarily visual and include little text. These puzzles, featured on the inside back cover of the magazine, can include photos, drawings, or detailed art suggestions for a full-page illustration. Original board games that can be played on the page are welcome. Picture Puzzlers should not require readers to write in the magazine. Ideas should be original and should appeal to boys and girls of a wide age range.

Payment: $50 and up.

For more tips and information of interest to writers, visit

Writers may also find it helpful to search the magazine index or peruse the Fun Finder at

Highlights® Editorial
803 Church Street, Honesdale, PA 18431®

AboutMePhotoBCA_Twitter_icon The Co-Hosts of #kidlitchat.

 Join #kidlitchat on Twitter.Com each Tuesday evening with Bonnie Adamson and Greg Pincus. Be sure to come join in the lively discussions this coming Tuesday. There is something for everyone.

Publishing Insights from YA Author Rich Wallace‏
From: Highlights Foundation (
Sent: Mon 9/28/09 12:13 PM

Here at the Highlights Foundation (HF), we’re always interested in getting into the heads of published authors and sharing their insights with other writers. We decided to ask YA novelist Rich Wallace a few questions to ferret out some insider info that can help you reach your writing goals.

HF: These days, what do you think it takes to get a first YA novel published?

Rich: Above all, perseverance. In this economy, things are tight, but great novels are still getting published. With even more competition for those few spots on publishers’ lists, it’s more important than ever to really hook the editor with interest, surprise, and emotion right up front.

HF: If you could share only one snippet of hard-earned knowledge with YA writers, what would it be?

Rich: Don’t ever talk down to your reader.

HF: What do you see as the benefits for writers in taking workshops with published authors?

Rich: In a small-group setting, you get to ask those perplexing questions in a relaxed atmosphere and get a personal response. The real key is that supportive attention from an author as well as the others in the group. I find that a lot of the learning comes from group discussions.

HF: Thanks, Rich! We really appreciate that an author with more than twenty books to his credit would share tips with other writers.

Award-winning author Rich Wallace has been nurturing writers to define their voices while carving out a strong list of works himself. Since penning Wrestling Sturbridge, voted a top 100 best sports book of the twentieth century, Wallace has gone on to write more than twenty novels, all of which are still in print. Heralded as an important voice in literature for boys, Wallace’s range spans from chapter books to YA novels. His middle-grade series, The Winning Season, is a perennial best seller.

If you’d like to learn more from Rich, he will be teaching WRITING NOVELS FOR YOUNG ADULTS for the Highlights Foundation from November 12-15, 2009. The workshop takes place near Honesdale, Pennsylvania, at the homeplace of the Founders of Highlights for Children. Founders workshops pamper writers with airport chauffer service, cozy cabins, a top-notch chef, and an intimate teaching setting in the living room of the Founders of Highlights for Children!

For more information, visit Please feel free to share this e-mail with others who might find it of interest.

Highlights Foundation, Inc.
814 Court Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: (570) 251-4500


One of my “some day dreams” has always been to have interviews with authors that I know and admire on my blog. Today is the fulfillment of that dream.




I want to share with my readers… my friend and fabulous fellow picture book critique group member for the last five years… the wonderful and multi-talented teacher, children’s author, adult novelist, and greeting card verse writer … Dy Nees. She also writes screenplays and designs paper dolls.    n818422935_8543



Dy Nees


Peg:     Welcome Dy. Is there anything that you won’t tackle?

 Dy:      No, there isn’t. I enjoy all sorts of writing, like to flip around and do new things all the time.

 Peg:    When did you first begin to write? 

 Dy :     I can’t really recall not writing. Some people carry a book, I carry pens and paper. 

 Peg:     How important is writing to you? 

 Dy:      Very . . . it is my life. Even during ‘dry’ times, something is always rolling around in my head and I’m always thinking of ideas and deciding what to do next.

Peg:            Do you remember what the first piece you wrote was about?  

Dy:      I recall writing short stories, one in particular about my aunt’s foster babies.

Peg:     Why did you write it? Was it for you personally or for a school assignment? 

Dy:      She had to let Julie Ann go to an adoptive home and that affected me. Very personal.

Peg:     When did you begin to write seriously with the idea of becoming a published author? 

Dy:     Many moons ago, right out of high school.  I believe at that time it was poetry and shortly after I began a novel and searched for places to send work. Those were the days when you could even send novels in without an agent.

Peg:    Hold on there, Dy. I think you are dating us. They’ll know how old we are if you say anything more. Did your teachers encourage you to write? 

Dy:      No, I never shared that kind of writing with them in grade school or high school.

Peg:     Were your parents supportive of your desire to write? 

Dy:      Very. They were my editors and loved to read everything I wrote. I’m sure they kept my motivation high.

Peg:      Parents can be good at that, can’t they? What challenges, if any, did you face at the beginning of your writing career? 

Dy:       Finishing long projects. I wanted to get a new idea going instead of staying with one.

 Peg:     Did you take any courses for writers as a way of growing as a writer? 

Dy:     I took a college course for English but it was not one that taught skills… it was more of a sharing time. Then, a few years later I took an ICL course on writing short stories.

Peg:     For those of my readers who are unfamiliar with the initials ICL, it stands for the Institute of Children’s Literature. As a student, you get one-on-one personal instruction from an experienced instructor.  Do you feel that any courses or associations were especially beneficial for you as a writer?   

Dy:      The ICL course was uplifting and informative.

Peg:    What other genre do you write? For those who don’t know what genre is, it means “a particular kind of sort” of writing…like writing for children versus writing for adults. 

Dy:      I also enjoy writing teacher resource books.

Peg:     How long have you been a teacher?

Dy:      Twenty-eight years.

Peg:     What grades?

Dy:      Mostly first through third, but also fourth, firth and pre-first..

Peg:     Do you have any suggestions/tips for a beginning writer who   wants to write resource books? 

Dy:      Believe in yourself and never give up. Also, make sure you have an idea that has not been done too many times or at least a new slant on it. Research the field once you have your idea to see what is out there.

Peg:     What publishers have you worked with? 

Dy:      The publisher I have worked with the most is Teacher Created Resources. They are the ones who published my set of six books.

Peg:     Do you have more teacher resource books under consideration by another publisher?  

Dy:      Yes, one is under consideration right now. I’m waiting!

Peg:     What projects are you currently working on?

Dy:      I’m working on a new screenplay.

Peg:     How many resource books have you written?

Dy:      I have written eight and six are published. I also have two other book proposals ready in that genre.

 Peg:     What are your resource books about? 

 Dy:       Two are geared for reading, two for math and two for writing, different grade levels.

 Peg:     Where did your inspirations for these books come from? Did the ideas that you wrote about in your books come from things that you have used in your classroom? 

Dy:      Yes! From the classroom and from students who can and have used the activities in the books.    

 Peg:              How many resource books have you written? 

Dy:      Six are published.

Peg:     Tell my readers a little about your books. What are their approximate lengths? 

Dy:      64 pages each. I had a choice, 48, 64, or 80 pages.

 Peg:     When were they published?

Dy:      April of 2006.

Peg:     What are their titles? Where can one go to purchase them? 

Dy:      The titles are:

  • Lessons Using Learning Bags for Reading, gr. 1,2
  • Lessons Using Learning Bags for Reading, gr. 3,4
  • Lessons Using Learning Bags for Math, gr. 1,2
  • Lessons Using Learning Bags for Math, gr. 3,4
  • Lessons Using Learning Bags for Writing, gr. 1,2
  •  Lessons Using Learning Bags for Writing, gr. 3,4       




    These are a couple of her books. All six are still available on


    Peg:     Where can one go to purchase them?

    Dy:     At teacher book stores throughout the US or at the publisher’s site. at


    Peg:     Do you have other stories, poems or books published.

    Dy:      Yes, articles, poems and hundreds of greeting card verses.

     Peg:     If so, what, where and when were they published?

    Dy:      Everything has been published since 2002. I should know the specifics but I don’t. I have two poems published in and Anthology titled Throwing Stardust. Another poem appeared in Wee Ones Magazine (online). I two articles but by ICL, one interview and the other an article I wrote on getting ideas. My greeting cards were published by Current, Inc., Paradise Greeting, Inc., Gallant Greetings, and New Hope Greetings and of course, my Teacher Created Resources books. 

    Peg:    Is there any thing that we forgot to talk about? I don’t want to leave out a single thing..

    Dy:      I think we covered it all.  Thanks so much.

     Peg:     Dy, I did want to mention that you have an interview that you did with Mel Boring, a former Institute of Children’s Literature affiliate, on your greeting card publication experience. Can you share that link with our readers so they can check it out and learn more about the process?

    Dy:     That link is:

    Peg:     Thanks for sharing your time and expertise with us. I know that I have enjoyed your talk and learned a few things as well.

    Dy:      You are very welcome!

    Peg:    Be on the lookout for my next interview.

    PegFinley_pic I wish I wasn’t so ill prepared to do the technical stuff. My mission in the next few months is to learn more about what is available so I don’t feel so bad when I don’t know how to do something. RSS entries, how to add pictures and videos, and uploading from a computer site to my blog are things that I find challenging.

    M—-, my latest pb main character is progressing nicely.

    I should be posting my interview with an author sometimes this week. Check back for it.

    Critiquing for nonfiction critique group almost done for a couple days.

    Spending some time thanking fellow chatters for some great book titles to share with my nephew.

    Checking out a friend’s blog.

    Resting for the upcoming week.


    I am an aspiring picturebook writer with some magazine credits just no picture book contract yet. I know it is coming and I am more than willing to work for it.

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    July 2009

    September 2009
    M T W T F S S
    « Aug   Oct »

    My Favorites:

    I love the children's movies Wizard of Oz and the Neverending Story. Both movies make me feel the lesson that hope is alive and well. After seeing UP this past week, it just might have a chance at being added to this list.

    I love the cool colors of blues and purples.Those colors are peaceful for me.

    I love The Velveteen Rabbit. Even as an adult, I still feel the urge to cry when he becomes real. I know, silly, but a good book can make me laugh and cry as it takes me on a magical journey.

    Authors and Illustrators:

    Authors, Author/Illustrator, Illustrators that I know and/or Like.


    C= Children

    MG= Mid Grade

    T= Teen

    YA= Young Adult

    A= Adult


    Bonnie Adamson *

    Kathi Appelt *

    Tedd Arnold


    Natalie Babbit

    Molly Bang

    Bonnie Becker

    Jan and Stan Berenstain

    Judy Blume

    Tracey M. Cox

    Linda Crotta Brennan *

    Jan Brett

    Janie Bynum *

    Eric Carle

    Pam Calvert

    Nancy Carlson

    Beverly Cleary

    Kevin Scott Collier

    Sharon Creech

    Doreen Cronnin

    Tomie dePaulo

    Kate DiCamillo

    Kathleen Duey *

    Dotti Enderle

    Jan Fields *

    Denise Fleming

    Mem Fox

    Kelley Milner Hall

    Amy Heist

    Kevin Henkes

    Ellen Jackson *

    Jeff Kinney

    Jackie French Koller

    Ursula K. LeGuin

    Leo Lionni

    Lois Lowry

    Mercer Mayer

    Robert Munsch

    Laura Numeroff

    Linda Sue Parks

    Dav Pilkey

    Patricia Polacco

    Peggy Rathmann

    Bethany Roberts

    David Shannon

    Aaron Shepard

    Donna J. Shepherd *

    Cynthia Leitich Smith

    Jerry Spinelli

    Diane Stanley

    Chris Van Allsburg

    Rick Walton *

    Lisa Wheeler

    Mo Willems

    Karma Wilson *

    Audrey Woods

    Jane Yolen *

    Favorite Websites:

    Favorite Blogs:

    • ShelfTalker: A Children’s Bookseller’s Blog
    • Alice’s CWIM Blog
    • A Fuse #8 Production
    • Cynsations
    • Nathan Bransford – Literary Agent
    • Editorial Anonymous
    • Miss Snark’s First Victim
    • Writing for children and teens

    Favorite Quotes.

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