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Highlights nonfiction bibliography questions

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ginbug

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I have a nonfiction piece that's ready to go to Highlights, as soon as I put the bibliography together. I've never subbed nonfiction to them before. I have some questions that I can't seem to find specific answers to after searching through old threads on the boards...

1)  Does HL prefer a specific bibliography format?  There are so many formats, it's hard to pick.

2) When they say to send photocopies of key references, what exactly does that mean?  I used some internet government and university sites, so should I send photocopies of the website pages I used, or just the URLs?  My main reference was an email discussion with a very cheerful researcher in the field...I'm thinking I should just copy off the email and include that since he was my main fact source. Does that sound like a good idea? Although, I'm envisioning sending this large photocopied packed to HL, and that might be annoying to them.

3) I did obtain an expert review apart from my main source, also over email. I'm debating on whether to print out the whole email thread, or just the part where she said she liked it. :-)

I just want to make sure the presentation is right...I don't want my article to be weeded out for preventable reasons!

Thank you!!! 

 :thankyou

Ginbug
#1 - October 30, 2008, 06:43 AM

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I can tell you what I do for Highlights (and they've bought what I write) but if they have a standard they want I've never heard of it.

I use MLA bibliograhy format. I think any standard format used consistently would be fine. They aren't publishing your bib. they just want to look and make sure you didn't get all of your info out of a competitor's magazine (eg NG Kids), or all from Wikipedia.

I put in the bibliography that I could supply the transcripts of the interview with the expert -- who was actually the subject of the article. And then Andy Boyles (science editor) sometimes asks for them, but usually not. But if you don't have a relationship yet, I'd say send the transcript of the interview, and include the URLs of the other sources.

I would put in your COVER letter that this article was reviewed and approved by Expert X, and that you are including the pertinent part of the review in your backmatter. (I had one article for them where the reviewer read my article about his work and grudgingly approved it. I submitted said article. Highlights bought it and they were going to send the final cut back to this scientist but the scientist had since died. I was glad I had the e-mail correspondence showing his approval -- even if he didn't like kid's publications at all and didn't know why I was wasting his time, yes I had gotten it right. The Highlights team accepted my e-mail correspondence with him. Otherwise, the article would have died.)

Good luck. I really like working with the Highlights people. This may seem like jumping through hoops, but they're worth it.
amy

What they want is to make sure they are looking at a serious non-fiction article, and not fiction that is masquerading as non-fiction. So think of how you can do that, in a professional way, and you'll be fine.
#2 - October 30, 2008, 07:25 AM
How Things Work (Publications International, 2006)
Bugs & Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter (Boyds Mill Press, 2010)
Touch the Earth (NASA, 2009)

ginbug

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Thank you Amy, for the very helpful info!!  I'm glad for some reassurance on how to send it in!

:-)

Ginbug
#3 - October 30, 2008, 10:05 AM

richmond8

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Amy, how did the scientist express his disdain for kids' magazines?  I'm working with one right now that doesn't get back to me for weeks, and looked put out when I came to interview him, paged with distaste through the Highlights issue I brought, etc.   It's disheartening.   I'll just be thinking I'm going to put this one aside, and he will finally answer.
#4 - October 30, 2008, 10:16 AM

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Hi, his disdain was clear in saying he didn't think he should spend any time on this kid's publication. This was after he answered my first questions. I did learn later, by reading his obituary, that he disliked most media, even though he wrote a lot for general public himself. I can't tell you if the scientist you're working with will get back to you. Being in Highlights doesn't do too much for a professional scientist, so if that person is choosing between time needed to write a piece for a professional journal and time to review your piece, one can understand the choice of professional journal. However, for every one or two people who won't talk with me, I find 10 who will.

Good luck. be patient.
amy

#5 - October 30, 2008, 02:06 PM
How Things Work (Publications International, 2006)
Bugs & Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter (Boyds Mill Press, 2010)
Touch the Earth (NASA, 2009)

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I let the editors know that they can have copies of anything they need ... and sometimes they ask for it, sometimes not.

I've only had one expert be disdainful for children's publications. Most are thrilled to share their knowledge and expertise with kids -- they are passionate about the subjects they study.

Vijaya
#6 - October 30, 2008, 02:15 PM
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Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

What everyone says is great. I think I sent a MLA bibliography but I don't think it matters.
I also had my expert respond over email, so I just sent the part of her email that pertained
to the article (in my case) a few lines. They accepted that as well.
Good luck!
I love Highlights! They were great to work with.
#7 - October 31, 2008, 01:27 PM
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ginbug

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Well, it didn't matter anyway. I just got the rejection yesterday. The turnaround time at Highlights is, perhaps, record breaking. They must have really not liked it to have sent it back so quickly!  :feelbad   They gave me a checkmark for that "doesn't meet our needs" comment...I hope it's not code for "your writing sucks!"

I'd probably feel better about this if I didn't feel so lousy with a head cold. Everything seems worse when your throat hurts, you know?

Ginbug
#8 - November 11, 2008, 05:34 AM

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Hi Ginburg, it isn't a code -- or at least not usually. it means what it says.

What I've been caught on is writing too old -- they are skewing to second grade as their median -- or, someone else has written what I wrote.

good luck.
amy

oh, and yes, most experts I've talked to have been very happy to share their work. I wouldn't keep doing this if that wasn't the case.


#9 - November 11, 2008, 09:37 AM
How Things Work (Publications International, 2006)
Bugs & Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter (Boyds Mill Press, 2010)
Touch the Earth (NASA, 2009)

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