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One of the easiest ways to get published is to write about what you know. Seems like a no brainer, right? Since I was an elementary teacher before my writing career began, I naturally turned to educational writing for a quick way to be published as well as to start earning writing credits. One of the fruits of my labor arrived last Friday. I contributed 3 lesson plans to Gryphon House’s Another Encyclopedia of Theme Activities for Young Children. This is an early childhood publisher that occasionally requests specific submissions for upcoming projects. It’s a wonderful feeling to see your name in published print!

If you’re like me and still waiting on a picture book to be accepted and published, start other writing projects on the side that allow you to be published quickly and build your writing resume. Think about your hobbies or career. I’ve discovered there are magazines on just about every topic. If you’re craft savvy or like traveling, there’s a host of writing venues available.

Below are some publishers to check:

Writer’s Weekly You can subscribe to this newsletter, and they list hobby markets.

Family Fun Magazine Guidelines– Articles for crafts, recipes, decorating, celebrations, travel

Ev Christensen’s Educational Writing Market Guide– My friend has a wonderful list of educational publishers. This is how I found Gryphon House.

Writing for Children’s Magazines– My friend Ev also has a wonderful list of children’s magazines if you want to check these publishers. She also has a bi-monthly ezine on writing for children’s magazines.

I love picture books. And I’m sad that my youngest child is now crazy over chapter books and hardly picks up a picture book. Yesterday I asked my husband to take us to the only English bookstore in Seoul that has a decent, recent picture book selection. I was in there for 45 minutes catching up on picture books from the United States that I hadn’t read yet! As a writer, I need to keep tabs on what topics have been written about and what the trends are. I had a delightful time!

This month I’m participating in writer Kathy Ellen Davis’ 31 in 31 challenge. Simply read 1 book each day in October and report our title on her blog daily. That’s it. This is a great, low-key challenge for busy me.

Next month is author Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo challenge, which is Picture Book Idea Month. Each day write down one picture book idea. I joined last year, and from last year’s list of ideas, I’ve been able to write picture book manuscripts. Each day she has a guest post, full of encouragement, which is just what I need. Before PiBoIdMo, I had the hardest time coming up with ideas. I think I only wrote 3-4 new stories that previous year. But after this challenge I had over 30 spankin’ new ideas! One will be published as a nonfiction magazine article for Clubhouse Jr next year. And the others I’m still working on getting them published. If you’ve never tried, I encourage you to join!

And next month is Picture Book Month, started by a group of authors, who celebrate picture books each day with a blog post from an author/illustrator. Picture books are definitely needed by our children.  

If you’re an educator, Teach with Picture Books, is a neat blog that shows how to use picture books with elementary and even middle school students.

And if you’re an educator, librarian, or parent, check out author Susanna Hill’s blog of Perfect Picture Books, book reviews of great picture books, arranged by theme. Writer friends post a book review each Friday on their blogs. They list activities you can do with your children.

Fall is a busy time for picture book writers and readers. What’s your favorite picture book? I have too many. One favorite from my childhood was Little Rabbit’s Loose Tooth by Lucy Bates.

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