One of the hardest roadblocks I hit as I try and put my work out there is finding places to build writing credits. If you’re someone who wants to take themselves seriously as a writer, and plans to pursue this as a career or calling, you need to start building writing credits.
My first writing credit was to a site that I found after doing a little research. It didn’t pay anything, but it gave me a byline and added to my resume. Plus, when writing a query or cover letter, I used it as some relevant biographical information. (Learn more about getting that first writing credit)
Children’s magazines and publications are constantly changing. Some close submissions for different periods throughout the year. Some only accept submissions based on certain themes. Some pay, some don’t. Requirements change, and so do methods of accepting submissions.
For the sake of this post, I’m going to bypass all of the listings you can find in the Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market. Places like Highlights and Cricket are exceptionally hard to break into. That doesn’t mean don’t stop submitting, but broaden your horizon to include other publications to grab that byline and get your foot in the door.
Magazines that publish Children’s Short Fiction
Balloons Literary Journal
Balloons is an online literary journal based out of Hong Kong for children ages 12+. They accept general submissions year round for fiction, poetry and artwork. Read their guidelines here.
The Caterpillar is a children’s magazine based in Ireland. Readers are ages 7-11 and they accept short stories and poetry. You can check out their submission guidelines here.
Focus on the Family’s magazine for ages 8-12. It is a Christian magazine, but stories do not need to be explicitly Christian as long as they are based on Christian principles and family values. Articles should be written from a Christian angle. They pay very decent rates for the stories they accept. Read their guidelines here.
East of the Web
East of the Web is an online journal that accepts fictions for children and young adults. They receive nearly 500,000 visits every month which offers great exposure. Read their submission guidelines here.
Ember is a semiannual journal for all ages, but especially ages 10-18. They pay for their accepted pieces. They publish short stories, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Read their guidelines here.
Frostfire Worlds is a science fiction and fantasy anthology published yearly. It’s geared toward readers of all ages and they pay for their accepted pieces. Read their guidelines here.
Guardian Angel Kids
GAK is a free online magazine. They have a theme for every month which is listed in their guidelines posted here.
Kids’ Ark publishes stories, and articles for kids ages 6-10 and they pay not only for the first rights, but also electronic rights for reprints and they also will pay for each reprint. Stories should be Christian-based. Read more here.
The School Magazine
The School Magazine is a literary magazine based in Australia. They have several different publications that are geared toward different ages. Read guidelines here.
Short Kids Stories
Is an online site for children’s stories with the goal to provide children with free quality stories. Read more here.
Smarty Pants Magazine
This is an online magazine with the purpose to delight, educate, and entertain children from every walk of life. They accept stories up to 800 words and they pay for their stories. Read their guidelines here.
Keep in mind that guidelines are constantly changing. Always check back to a particular publication’s site for their latest requirements. Follow their guidelines to the letter. Good luck!