Writing for Children's Magazines
An Ezine


  Writing for Children's Magazines:
Not Always A Stepping Stone

  By Melissa Abramovitz  




I've read lots of advice articles and books for writers that refer to writing for children's magazines as a stepping stone toward the ultimate goal of writing and publishing children's books. And I know that many writers stop writing for magazines once they've landed a book contract. Indeed, many people view writing for magazines as the lowest-level step on the ladder of professional writing success, with picture books and lengthier books occupying the uppermost tiers of authorship. However, I respectfully disagree with this mindset, and I tend to think of writing for children's magazines (and writing for adult magazines) as a lateral step relative to book authorship on the figurative ladder of author success.

When I started writing professionally more than 30 years ago, I too thought of writing for children's magazines as a means of earning some publishing credits and preparing myself for the ultimate goal of writing and publishing children's books. But here I am 30+ years later, still writing for children's magazines – and loving it – despite having published more than 50 educational books and two picture books for children and teenagers. In fact, I often find myself wishing I had more time to write magazine pieces since I have so many great ideas for nonfiction and fictional magazine stories sitting in my idea notebook! One of my New Year's resolutions for 2018 was, in fact, to cut down on the number of book assignments I accept so I will have time to work on more magazine pieces.


Besides the fact that I enjoy writing for children's magazines, there are other reasons I believe it represents a type of professional writing that is worthy in itself and should not be considered simply a means to the end of publishing books.

  • Many children's magazines pay well, and even when the rate of pay is not as much as you as a writer would like to earn, it still amounts to more than most authors earn from children's books, given the time invested. I don't mean to imply that writing for magazines is quick and easy – it isn't. But compared to the months of research and writing I put in to complete a 15,000 word educational work-for-hire book for teenagers (which is often the age group I write for), writing a 1000 word magazine article takes far less time and pays comparatively well. Children's magazines pay anywhere from about $20 to over $1000, depending on length, for fictional stories and nonfiction articles.

  • Writing magazine pieces allows me to research, write, rewrite, and submit something in a matter of weeks rather than months. Sometimes it's nice to complete something relatively quickly – it gives me a sense of accomplishment and is a nice break from working on the same manuscript for many months.

  • Since most children's magazines are published monthly, this creates an ongoing need for new material. And this ongoing need means the chances of selling stories to magazines are much greater than the chances of selling children's books to book publishers. In addition, magazine publishers are often willing to accept material from less-experienced writers if a piece is well-written and targeted to the publication. Since book publishers invest substantial sums of money when they publish a book, many are unwilling to take a chance on writers who do not have a proven track record.

  • All in all, writing for magazines can be just as exciting and satisfying as writing books is! I enjoy the ongoing professional relationships I have developed with children's magazine editors over the years as well. So I have no plans to stop writing for magazines, no matter how much experience and no matter how many publishing credits I accumulate.

  • Writing for Children's Magazines, Nov 2018    Copyright Melissa Abramovitz



    Melissa Abramovitz is an award-winning author/freelance writer who specializes in writing educational nonfiction books and magazine articles for all age groups, from preschoolers through adults. She has published hundreds of magazine articles and more than 50 educational books for children and teenagers. She also does freelance editing and critiquing and writes short stories, poems, and picture books, and is the author of the acclaimed book for writers, A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines. Visit her website at www.melissaabramovitz.com.



    Return to Writing for Children's Magazines' home page.   Return to Evelyn's website home page.

    Copyright 2018 Evelyn B. Christensen
    Web Design by Stephen M. Christensen