I love writing for magazines - especially writing fiction. I thought I'd share a few of my favorite sales and why they are important to me.
My very first story to appear in a national magazine was called "Halloween Isn't Fair" which appeared in Jack and Jill in 1992. This story was inspired by my experiences as a room mom helping in my daughter's classroom. I began by pondering why a kid would have strong feelings about what is served for the Halloween party. What if she had a friend who was diabetic? Someone who couldn't eat sweets. The story evolved from there. I knew that Jack and Jill needed holiday stories and healthy stories, so this seemed a good place to try. They also liked recipes and activities, so I included a recipe and a an activity that my daughters loved - painting cookies.
"Cliff Diver" is a profile I wrote for Child Life. They had a section called "Odd Jobs." I'd written a couple "Odd Jobs" for them previously. We were planning a trip back to Denver, Colorado where we'd lived at one time and I remembered the cliff divers at a restaurant called Casa Bonita. Cliff divers in a restaurant, now that's an odd job. I contacted the restaurant and asked if I could interview one of their cliff divers. They said yes. I took my husband, Don Ford, along to do the photography as I was scared of taking quality pictures in such a difficult environment. See pages from the article above and you'll see he did a terrific job! The story appeared in Child Life's June 1994 issue.
When I was a child, I was very shy. A resulting story based on that shyness appeared in the April 2000 issue of Highlights for Children. "Carrie Rose Hated Red" was also inspired by my niece Tracy, who decided that people who weren't shy had more fun, so she joined the drama club.
Another favorite story was based on a mission trip to eastern Washington where my daughter and some other girls participated. When Brio magazine arrived in our mailbox, my daughters raced to see who could get to it first. So selling this short story to Brio was especially rewarding. Funny, though. When the girls who had gone on the trip saw the story, they asked, "Why didn't you use our real names?" I told them because I wasn't there and it wasn't a report of what happened, but fiction based on stories I heard of the trip. The story "Building New Walls" appeared in the March 1996 issue. The editor set the story in Arizona, probably due to my references to sagebrush. I'd originally titled the story "Knocking the Walls Down" in reference to breaking down prejudice. The editor titled the piece in reference to the construction project in the story.
So, now you've heard about my daughters' favorite teen mag. When I was a teen, I liked to read the church take home paper, Straight. Never imagined then that I'd write for them, but did. Even more fun was when Straight was renamed Encounter and printed on glossy paper. I still write for Encounter. This story was based on a friend's report of what happened to her niece. I used my daughter's barista experience to help with the details. I love what the magazine did to the title "Steamed," which appeared in their July 23, 2006 issue.
A sampling of magazines who have published my pieces
Articles in Children's Magazines
Articles in Other Magazines
Short Stories in Children's Magazines
Online Articles about Writing
- "175 Proof"
- "Attitude and Altitude"
- "Confessions of a Writer Easily Distracted"
- "He Thought To Himself and Other Excesses"
- "Hook the Reader"
- "How to Submit a Manuscript Cover Letter"
- "Is That Right?"
- "Kidz Only"
- "Perfecting Dialogue Punctuation"
- "Plodding or Plotting"
- "The Process of Getting Published"
- "Say What?"
- "Slow Down, You Move Too Fast!"
- "Theme and Premise"
- "Tips for Writing Puzzles and Activities" written with Christina Wilsdon
- "Writing to Pictures"
Online Parenting Articles
- "Rainy Day Campout" - knowonder!, November 2009
- "Creative Activities for Little Ones" - knowonder!, September 2009