Tag Archives: children

High paying market for short stories, articles, & activities for kids 9-14


Odyssey is a mag for 9- to 14-year-olds; pays $.20/-$.25/word for fiction, articles, activities, etc; details HERE:


FREE contest for children’s book manuscripts


The Times/Chicken House

Open to writers anywhere in the world; DEADLINE is 10/29/2010; prize is an advance of 10,000 pounds; 80,000 words max; limited to one entry per person; read the guidelines and how to submit HERE:


Paying market for children’s stories and poetry


Bumples is an online magazine for kids 4-10. Pays $.20/word for stories, $3/line for poems. Read the magazine and guidelines before submitting:


Ghost story contest (and junior contest)


The second annual “Scare The Dickens Out of Us” ghost story contest offers $1000.00 first place, $500.00 second place and $250.00 third place prize money this year for a new, original ghost story up to 5000 words.   Any genre is welcome.

This literary contest is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas, the oldest continuously in use library in Texas.  Entry fee is $20.00.  The contest is privately funded, all entry fees go to the Friends for library projects.

Full rules are available at www.clarklibraryfriends.com or .org.  Entries will be accepted from July 1 to October 1 2010.

We are also supporting a “Junior Scare the Dickens Out of Us” ghost story contest with a $250.00 first prize.  This is for ages 12-18 and requires a $5.00 entry fee.

Roxanne and Gretchen Rix, contest coordinators “Scare The Dickens Out of Us” 2010

Interview with Joe Bruzzese, author of book for parents


Author interview with Joe Bruzzese, “A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years” (Ten Speed Press, 2009)bookCover-1colorJpg340

**This interview is slightly different than my usual 10 questions because Joe already had a great Q&A of his own.

What led you to write this book?

With nearly 40 million families entering middle school in the coming decade I knew there was a need to fill. My own experiences as a teacher, coach and teacher trainer gave me further cause for looking at the changes and challenges kids face as they make one of life’s toughest transitions. Books about teens have become confrontational. Often the tone and ideas of teen centered books focus on reacting to the state of chaos that has become synonymous with the teen years. I wanted to create a guide with proactive ideas that would help parents put strategies in place prior to, rather than in response to, moments of frustration.


Where did the original idea come from?

While the book focuses on the changes children experience it also highlights how parenting changes. Walking hand-in-hand through the park may have been fun in first grade, but middle school often marks the beginning of a child’s drive to establish an identity, independent of their parents. The shift in a parent-child relationship leaves many parents feeling alone and excluded. Staying connected in positive ways, throughout the middle school years, paves the way for a positive relationship as kids transition into young adulthood. Keeping kids and parents connected underlies many of the ideas and strategies I share throughout the book.


Do you have any stories about the writing process?

Talking with people is one of my strengths. Writing was a new genre to pursue, but a passion I had always wanted to explore more fully. Writing a book seemed like a nearly insurmountable goal at times. Words fled from my mind as I sat in front of my computer hunting for the “right” ideas to share. It was only when I shifted my mindset from needing to write to wanting to write that the ideas truly came to life. On the best days, words leapt onto the page. From beginning to end writing a book is a journey, not unlike the journey parents travel with their children. I cherish everyday with my own children, knowing our days together are numbered before they leave home for the last time. As truly challenging as this book was to write I relish in the thought that its message will touch parents in a truly unique way, opening a path toward a fulfilling future.


How is your book unique? 

Whereas most books attempt to provide answers this book prompts questions; questions that lead to conversations, which in turn, build relationships. The book wouldn’t be complete without the addition of a selected number of tips and strategies so I’ve included the nuts and bolts of getting organized, managing time and meeting the expectations of teachers across a seven period schedule. My intention in bringing this book to the nearly 40 million parents starting middle school is to provide a solid foundation for thriving in the years ahead.


Whether a child starts middle school or junior high in 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th grade the transition to middle school will mark a significant change in your family. Thriving throughout the middle school years doesn’t happen by accident. Kids and parents who find fulfillment during these years do so because it is their intention and vision to do so. This book lays the groundwork for building a vision that takes parents into, through and beyond the challenges and changes of the middle school years. The logistics of navigating a heavy course load at school and finding the ideal organization system, although important, comprise only a small slice of the pie that families are expected to consume during these years.

Taken at its roots, this book is a conversation about three ideas:  confidence, connection and challenge. Parents looking for a book filled with band-aids and the quick fixes will be disappointed. However, reading from beginning to end will reward the parent who is committed to taking action not just today, but everyday as their child tackles middle school and teen years to come.


Favorite childhood book?
Norman the Doorman, by Don Freeman. A stoic mouse stands guard outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, awaiting a group of friends who eventually celebrate Norman’s sculpture as part of the museum’s artist contest. The illustrations emblazoned a feeling of safety and comfort amidst the frostbitten New York winter. I loved sharing the story with my Mom at the children’s library growing up.


What was the hardest thing about writing a book?

The first word and the last word. Taking the first step requires intention, energy and a commitment to steps two, three and four. Believing in your ability to create something of meaning is a formidable obstacle to overcome. Equally foreboding was the last word. How does it end? What’s the right way to say goodbye. I never have been good at saying goodbye.


When did you know you were a writer?

I’m not. Technically yes I am a writer. Hemingway was a writer. It’s like saying you’re a swimmer because you finished first in a few races during your college years. Michael Phelps is a swimmer.


Who is your hero?

I have two. My daughter Jordyn and my son Tristan. They inspire my days (and nights). I’m in awe of the simplicity they bring to the world and the courage they summon in spite of challenges they face. I couldn’t imagine my life without them.


Where were you when your found out your book would be published?
I remember vividly sitting in front of pile of rejection letters as I opened the acceptance from Ten Speed. Instinctively, my hand had already made the move to deposit the letter a top of pile.


What book do you re-read every few years?

Change the Way You See Everything holds the premier position in my bookshelf. Inevitably I give my copy away or gift one to a friend. The message inspires my life and the choices that guide my work. Thank you to good friend and colleague, Jason Womack. My life was forever changed the day you shared this book with me.

**Joe just finished the online companion to the book – and it’s now included with the purchase of the book!

You can purchase books online at Amazon and through Joe’s site at www.ThinkingForwardTV.com

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Jill Starishevsky, children’s book author and attorney



**FYI, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Monthfinaljillheadshot1

Author interview with Jill Starishevskymybody-cover1

Jill Starishevsky is an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, where she has prosecuted hundreds of sex offenders and dedicated her career to seeking justice for victims of child abuse and sex crimes. Outside the courtroom, Jill’s fondness for writing led her to create thepoemlady.com, where she pens personalized pieces. Her mission to protect children, along with her penchant for poetry, inspired My Body Belongs to Me, a book intended to teach children that their bodies are privates – www.MyBodyBelongstoMe.com. A mother of two, Jill is also founder of HowsMyNanny.com, a service that enables parents to purchase a license plate for their child’s stroller so the public can report positive or negative nanny observations.  Featured on Good Morning America, CNN and the New York Daily News, HowsMyNanny.com has been hailed “an honest solution to a tough problem.”

1. Tell us about your latest book. 

The story is a simple scenario involving a gender neutral child who is inappropriately touched by an uncle’s friend.  The powerful message really comes through when the youngster tells on the offender and the parents praise the child’s bravery.  The last page shows a proud, smiling child doing a “strong arm” pose.  The text assures them that it wasn’t their fault and by speaking out the child will continue to grow big and strong.  It is a compelling and uplifting message.

The “Suggestions for the Storyteller” section is an important, interactive feature that facilitates the discussion to follow.  It will make any caregiver feel more comfortable talking about this important subject, thereby helping to PREVENT the unthinkable from happening to their child.  Studies show that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be molested and without educating children as to the importance of disclosing, the abuse can continue and escalate.   

As a prosecutor of child abuse and sex crimes in New York City for more than a decade, I have often encountered children who were sexually abused for lengthy periods of time and suffered in silence. One case in particular had a profound impact on me and compelled me to write this book.

I prosecuted the case of a 9-year-old girl who had been raped by her stepfather since she was 6. She told no one. One day, the girl saw an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” about children who were physically abused. The episode, “Tortured Children,” empowered the girl with this simple message: If you are being abused, tell your parents. If you can’t tell your parents, go to school and tell your teacher. The girl got the message and the very next day went to school and told her teacher. I prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s office. The defendant was convicted and is now serving a lengthy prison sentence.

I have thought often of that very sweet, very brave 9-year-old girl. It occurred to me that after three painful years, all it took to end her nightmare was a TV program encouraging her to “tell a teacher.”

I wrote My Body Belongs to Me to continue that message. It endeavors to teach children that they don’t have to endure abuse in silence. Parents and educators should use it as a tool to facilitate an open dialogue with youngsters. It is my hope that by educating girls and boys about this taboo subject, My Body Belongs to Me will prevent them from becoming victims in the first place.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I have been writing poems since I was little an started a poem writing service a few years ago.  There was such great demand for my work that I expanded the genre I covered.  Once I saw the need for a book on child sexual abuse prevention, a book written in verse came very naturally to me.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I work full time as a prosecutor of child abuse and sex crimes, come home to my family and work on my various businesses at night.  Life is usually a bit hectic, but whose isn’t.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

I call it organized chaos.  I know where everythine is, but it’s likely no one else would.

5. Favorite books 

Green Eggs and Ham

7. Favorite quote

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best: Watching others enjoy your work

Worst:  Watching others critique your work

9. Advice for other writers

If you feel passionate about something, share that passion.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

I once wrote a 50th anniversary poem for a couple who had 11 children whose names all started with the letter D.  Shortly after the poem was read aloud at the anniversary party, the father passed away unexpectedly.  One of the daughters, a woman who I have never met, contacted me a few months later to let me know that the mother has the poem framed in her living room.  She reads it every day and remembers that last happy occasion they all shared.  It’s an incredible feeling to know that my work has touched someone so profoundly and that it continues to bring her joy. 

Where can people buy your book?

The book can be ordered now online at www.MyBodyBelongstoMe.com – it will be in stores this fall.

10 QUESTIONS FOR…multi-book nonfiction author Judy Colbert


Author interview with Judy Colbertjudysmalltempersmall1

Judy Colbert is a native of Washington, DC., who now lives in Crofton, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She writes travel guidebooks about neighboring Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, and wrote a guidebook to DC for children. She’s also written about Super Bowl trivia, divorce, temper tantrums, and career opportunities in travel. She has two married daughters, one of whom lives about 45 minutes away and two perfectly wonderful daughters so Judy can have a grandchild fix almost anytime she wants.



1. Tell us about your latest book.

Latest book is “Temper Tantrum Common Sense Handbook” about how to prevent, stop, and live with tantrums. It’s an e-book, available at www.TuffTurtle.com/tantrums.htm or as a Kindle from Amazon.com. Tips are given about dealing with children (and it could apply to adults) when shopping, dining, traveling, bedtime, and other popular tantrum spots and times.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

Started in fifth grade. I’ve always enjoyed being the messenger, the go-to person when someone has a question.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

No typical day. Usually up by 5 a.m., get some work done, read the paper, maybe take a nap until the first phone call (so decadent), then work. Sometimes I’m sending queries, sometimes answering fact-checker questions, sometimes writing. I try to take a nap sometime in the late afternoon if I’m not on deadline. Jeopardy! is appointment TV. I’m usually asleep by 11. On the days when I travel, I’m up early to catch morning light photographs and stay up until twilight photographs are taken. On deadline days, I tend to work a couple of hours, nap for an hour, work a couple of hours, etc. I lose track of days and time until the project is finished.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

Think of a black hole for papers, reference books, notes, and then double or triple it. When it takes longer to find what I need than it does to process what I need, then I know it’s time to file. It should be easier with electronic filing, but it hasn’t been, yet.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

Quirky reference books, Grand Illusions, Have a Nice Day – No Problem! A Dictionary of Cliches, Reverse Dictionary, http://www.expertclick.com

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

I talk to strangers in elevators, I have my SAG and AFTRA cards so I work in movies & TV shows that are shot in the Baltimore-DC area, I want to be a clue in a crossword puzzle.

7. Favorite quote

Writers don’t lead linear lives.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Being alone so much.

9. Advice for other writers

If you’re interested in something, odds are good that someone else is. Go for it.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

Serendipity. I was on a media trip to Miami Beach and talked to Shifra Stein, one of the other writers, who thought her publisher would like to talk to me about writing a travel guide book. I pitched Maryland, the editor said she wanted Virginia, I said I’d love to do Virginia. Everything else has come from that conversation.

Where can people buy your books?

Temper Tantrum Common Sense Handbook can be purchased at

www.TuffTurtle.com/tantrums.htm as an e-book or as a Kindle at www.Amazon.com.



Freelance assignments accepted