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Who has experience with early-reader magazines (up to age 8)?

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I'm working on a feature article assignment for Children's Writer, on "animals in early-reader fiction," particularly short stories. It needs quotable opinions from at least 4 expert sources ("interview answers" sent in writing are fine). The deadline is tight--preferably answers should be collected this week, though it's open through the end of next week. Who has experience with (or can recommend a contact for) this topic? Current and past members of magazine editorial staffs are particularly needed.

To streamline things, I have included some suggested "interview questions" below; respondents may use as many or few as needed.

What species/types of animals are most popular in early-reader fiction? Why?
Which animals have been neglected? Which ones would you really like to see featured?
What are your favorite/most-wanted foci (anthropomorphic animals, heroic animals, based-on-true-story accounts, etc.?)
Do you think most story portrayals of non-anthropomorphic animals are accurate? Do you see anthropomorphic animals reflecting the distinct traits of their real-life counterparts? How can stereotypes be a problem?
What hints do you have on "field research" (observing real animals to get ideas for portraying them)?
What are the advantages of writing stories with animal instead of human characters? The disadvantages?
What other advice can you offer on using animals in early-reader fiction?
#1 - August 06, 2013, 08:43 AM


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