Recently I decided to submit nonfiction to Higlight’s High Five, the Highlights magazing for children ages 2 to 6. I hadn’t submitted to this market for quite a while so I knew I needed to refresh my knowledge of the publication. Here’s how to do it.
The first thing that you need to do is read. Read at least 6 consecutive issues of the magazine. Twelve is even better.
Pick and Choose
Next you select which types of pieces you want to write. Me? I paid special attention to nonfiction. The nonfiction pieces in High Five included articles, crafts, recipes, and motion pieces. I may decide to do crafts and recipes in the future but this time I was focused on the articles.
Reread Your Chosen Category
Once I decided which types of pieces I wanted to submit, it was time to reread those pieces in the published magazines. I was looking for possible mentor texts, pieces that I could study for pacing, vocabulary, transitions and more.
Type Them Up
Once you’ve found several potential mentor texts, retype them in manuscript format. No, you aren’t going to copy someone else’s text but you are doing this for a reason. As you type, you are going to notice things that you didn’t notice while reading. I noted the preferred ending for High Five nonfiction. I realized that the vocabulary and sentence structure created a higher reading level than I has assumed. Retyping an article is definitely the best way to study it.
Run an Analysis
Just what you choose to run will vary. I ran the mentor texts through ATOS. This give me reading level, word count, word length and sentence length.
It may seem like overkill to go through this much effort when submitting your work. But if you are targeting a specific market and trying to break in there, you need to know exactly what they want. Follow these five steps to create work that will suit what your target magazine publishes.