Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Picture Book or Magazine Story?

on September 3, 2010

When I’m teaching my Seattle Pacific University educator SPIRAL class, Writing the Picture Book, one thing I often see is a story which is not really a picture book story but would work best as a magazine story. Often, there is too much detail in the story and no room for illustrations. Or the story just doesn’t have that “zing” factor which would encourage it to be read again and again.

Recently, I sat down to revise two stories which I had thought were picture books, but in fact really worked better as magazine stories. Revising is re-seeing the story, and when I sat down to revise these stories, I could see that they were not really picture book stories. The stories had too much detail, not enough room for illustrators and they just didn’t have that “zing” which would make someone want to read them again and again. I reworked the stories and submitted them to children’s magazines, Highlights and Ladybug. (Highlights Magazine posts a current needs list which can be helpful when thinking of submitting to them).

So, what how do you know what type of story your wrote?
Jan Fields at the Institute of Children’s Literature has written a great article, “I Wrote It–What is It?” which can be found in the RX section of Writers Tips.

One of the things she says is, “Picture books must survive repeat readings.” The picture book must stay fresh each time, and there should be that “awe” factor each time someone rereads the story.

Find out what else she says in her article.


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