Writing for Children's Magazines
An Ezine

   Interview with Kellee Kranendonk, Editor of Youth Imagination 



We are so pleased to have Kellee Kranendonk with us this month to share some information about Youth Imagination, a monthly online magazine.

Welcome, Kellee! Would you begin by telling us a little about how Youth Imagination got its start?

Youth Imagination began life as Kids 'Magination, and was for a younger audience. When KM morphed into Youth Imagination, the target audience got older. Prior to the birth of Kids 'Magination, Silver Blade Magazine had a youth section. Karl Rademacher (owner of the Silver Pen Magazines) and Sue Babcock (Managing Editor of Youth Imagination and Liquid Imagination) decided to branch out, giving youth their own magazine.

What do you love most about your editor job? What do you find challenging about it?

Obviously sending out acceptances is one good thing. Sending out acceptances to first time authors is definitely a bonus. I also like working with young/new authors to get a story polished for publication.

One of the most challenging things about editing is simply finding the time to read all the stories we get. And choosing! We get a lot of good stories and have to decline some good ones just because we only publish two stories per issue. Sometimes deciding which ones is difficult.

For those who might not be familiar with Youth Imagination, tell us a bit about it. What sets Youth Imagination apart as a magazine?

Youth Imagination isn't your typical teen fashion or celebrity magazine. We accept fiction stories for teens and young adults by teens/young adults and older adults. There aren't a lot of those around. Also, we give a lot of feedback on stories. If a story needs a lot of work, we often tell the authors why it doesn't work. If the story is an excellent one, but something within it doesn't quite add up, we work with the author to make it shine.

You have helpful submission guidelines on your website. Is there anything else you can share with us about what you particularly look for in a submission, the sorts of things that get you excited?

Well, a good story gets me excited. What's a good story? A lot of things go into a story to make it good. Good grammar, good spelling, those sorts of things. We definitely look for those. Plots that make sense, stories that don't ramble. But as far as the content itself, there are a lot of different things we like to read about. We might publish a story about hockey in one issue, and in the next we might have one about a witch. While we love fantasy, we're not limited to that.

What things turn you off to a submission? Any pet peeves?

Stories that clearly haven't followed the guidelines, or haven't been proof-read. We do like to help authors polish their stories, but that doesn't mean we like to see rough copies. There's a difference between stories written by an inexperienced writer, and rough versions. Poor grammar and spelling are my pet peeves (just like most editors I imagine), but I can tell when to cut the author some slack.

Any tips for writers and illustrators who might want to break into Youth Imagination? Suggestions that will increase their chances of acceptance?

Pretty much the same as any magazine – send your best work and follow the guidelines.

Any other information about Youth Imagination you’d like to share with us?

Youth Imagination isn't a magazine for younger readers, therefore we don't want stories with main characters under the age of 13. Even that's pushing it a bit. We will take stories with older characters (mid 20s) but our preferred age range is about 15-21.

Thank you so much, Kellee, for taking the time to share with us this helpful information and for being a part of creating such a great online magazine for young people.

For you writers who are now inspired to submit something to Youth Imagination, the guidelines are here. This is a paying market.

Writing for Children's Magazines, September 2016


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