Monday, April 21, 2008

Monthly Writing Challenge: April 2008

Each month we will post a writing challenge that will ask you to write for various age groups and markets.

For this month, we have selected Babybug, a magazine for kids 6 months – 3 years old.

The challenge is to write either a “very simple and concrete” story in “4 to 6 short sentences” or a “rhythmic, rhyming” poem in 8 or fewer lines.

See Babybug’s complete submission guidelines at:

Read the Babybug description and sample issues at:

(Make sure to click on the link that let’s you look through the magazine.)

To help you get started:

Reading tip: Read anything that has great rhythm or rhyme, especially poetry. Read several Babybug magazines (online or at your local Barnes and Noble—check in the kids or family section of the magazines). Read simple rhyming picture books by Lisa Wheeler, Verla Kay, Rick Walton, or Kate and James McMullan. Also, read Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson Against the Odds by Robert Burleigh.

Writing tip: Look for simple, natural rhymes at:

Workshop tip: Have several people read your stories/poems. Make sure that they are simple and fun, while dealing with topics important to this very young age group. You may post works-in-progress on this blog; however, keep in mind that this is a public space. You may wish to workshop via email, over Google Documents, or in person.

Submission tip: For stories, use regular double-spaced manuscript form. For poems, single-space the text; use the regular manuscript headings. You may wish to send 2 - 3 strong stories or poems at once; this is the norm for poetry submissions.

Happy writing!

Terms of Membership for My Manuscript Stinks Society

1. You are eligible for honorary membership if you have submitted a manuscript to a publisher and been selected for induction into the society.

You are eligible for associate membership once you have earned a minimum of 1 rejection letter. Announce your rank advancement by emailing MMS at

New! You are eligible for full membership once you have earned 5 rejection letters for manuscripts for children or young adults. Announce your rank advancement by emailing MMS at Full members are eligible to wear the official MMMS Society button.

2. To remain in good standing, you must earn 1 credible rejection letter per year. Credible rejections are those earned after submitting a well-written manuscript in all earnestness to a carefully selected publisher.