SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Taboo topic for children's magazines?

Discussion started on

I have a short story ms that I wrote a while ago. I keep coming back to it because I think it's a strong piece. However it is a "theft story": a little girl solves a mystery of a musical instrument that has been stolen. It's all very lighthearted and the thief ends up having a good reason for having taken the instrument. But it still deals with theft and so I am thinking this excludes the manuscript from consideration from any mainstream pub like Highlights, Spider, etc., that specifically state "no crime" in their guidelines. What would you do with such a story? It is definitely not a potential PB manuscript.

Thanks for any suggestions!
#1 - April 26, 2016, 12:39 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
Hmmm, I would try Highlights or Spider or Pockets even if they don't want 'crime' because kids learn nuances regarding theft. For example, I thought it was perfectly okay to steal mangoes from a neighbor's tree because they had so many and I was hungry. When my mom found out (hello sticky mango mouth), she made me go apologize and I had to do some small chore. The lady of the house would've gladly given me the mangoes had I asked for them. Lesson learned. Alas, the temptation remains.

By the way, I remember a story by Rosemary Wells in her YOKO series that is about theft. It's very well done. You might want to check it out.

Vijaya
#2 - April 26, 2016, 12:49 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Vijaya, thanks for saying that. Actually your post made something click for me, a way to make the thief a little softer and a little sillier, which might help. Thank you.
#3 - April 26, 2016, 01:05 PM

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Christine, years ago I wrote a true story about theft. After a robber stole money, she hurled three bags worth $70,000, into a creek.  Beavers ripped into the bags and wove the money in their dam. I don't remember the reason, but Highlights rejected the piece. They gave me some tips on how to revise it, so I did. It was published in Spider and awarded a letter of merit in the SCBWI magazine contest. So, I'd try Highlights and if they don't want it, maybe they'll give you some tips. Then move on from there.  :goodluck   
#4 - April 26, 2016, 04:49 PM

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region minnesota
Christine, I'm pretty sure I've seen stories about "stolen", or at least missing, items in Highlights recently (one about a stolen pie comes to mind). I agree with the others to try them, at least.
#5 - April 26, 2016, 05:55 PM
"No furniture is so charming as books."
--Sydney Smith

http://saramatson.com/

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region carolinas
That's a cool story, Linda!
Christine, I'm glad something clicked.
V.
#6 - April 26, 2016, 05:56 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Thanks Vijaya! You could also do some research on EBSCO into back issues of Highlights or other magazines. You could search for the word "stolen" or "thief" or "robber," and see if anything comes up.
#7 - April 26, 2016, 06:27 PM

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
In my experience Highlights is a lot stricter than the other magazines, but I'd try them too. After all, it costs you nothing but time. Check out Evelyn Christensen's magazine markets listing and her e-zine. http://www.evelynchristensen.com/mags.html
#8 - May 02, 2016, 08:07 AM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.