Guest post by Randi Lynn Mrvos, editor of Kid’s Imagination Train.
Liz kindly invited me to blog about the types of stories Kid’s Imagination Train publishes. Before we explore submissions, allow me to introduce you to our little magazine. KIT is a free online magazine for kids five to twelve. It was created to encourage children to read and to learn. We also wanted to give children the opportunity to illustrate our features and have their work published online. By drawing pictures kids have the chance to be creative while reflecting on what they’ve read.
The second reason KIT was developed was to help writers get their stories and articles published. Since the children’s magazine market had been shrinking for years, writers had fewer choices to place their work. With KIT, writers can earn credits to build their bios.
KIT accepts nonfiction, poetry, and fiction, but let’s focus on fiction. If you are thinking about submitting a story we would like to see the six structural elements of a story: Character, quest, complications, climax, conclusion, change. In addition, we are looking for light-hearted tone and voice. We like to see whimsical stories with illustration potential.
Here are some tips to help you write a story for KIT:
Introduce the main character in the first paragraph.
Make the protagonist likable even though she may have faults. Readers should care about this character.
Establish place or setting in the first or second paragraph.
Create conflict in the first third of the story.
Have the protagonist solve the dilemma by herself and without any help from an adult.
Use “said” for dialogue tags. Avoid using fancy tags like she promised, she cried, she shouted.
Try to incorporate the senses into the story.
Drive the story with action. Balance action with dialogue.
Keep the story under 500 words.
Have the protagonist grow or change by the end of the story.
We encourage you to read back copies. This will help you get a feel for the kinds of stories we publish. It may even spark your imagination. Kid’s Imagination Train loves publishing stories for children. So now that you know what we’re looking for, do you have a story that you can share with KIT?