Important Pointers Before Submitting a Children’s Short Story or Article to a Magazine Editor

You have research the magazine markets and writers guidelines for various magazine. Your imagination has soared to develop and write what you believe is a great short story or article. But before you send your finished piece out, please consider the following points first to make sure that it is fine tuned:

1. Make sure that you have introduced the character from the onset.

2. State the conflict within the first few paragraphs.

3. Not only should there be the main conflict, but obstacles should arise for your main character to overcome before resolution. Whether by circumstances or another person. Both are considered the antagonist. An antagonist is somebody or something opposing or in conflict with another.

4. It is important to show that your main character has grown throughout the story and to make sure that the problem is solved at the ending.

5. Do not let an adult become the problem solver for your protagonist. A protagonist is the principal character in a story.

6. Review the magazine markets again and adhere to their submission guidelines, theme list if appropriate, the age level, and length of story.

7. Make sure your cover letter is completed with the correct contact name, name of magazine, and address. Include short synopsis and word court of your submission, publishing credits, your contact information, and always thank them for their time.

These are important points that you must cover at all times while researching, developing, and submitting your magazine piece.

Good luck in achieving the ultimate prize of publication!

Leading Toy Story Inspired Halloween Costume Tips for Men and Women

Pixar’s Toy Story 3 led the film and home video charts last year, and for good reason – this popular film brought together all of franchise’s beloved cast members in a heart-warming and inspiring sequel that has been a runaway hit, out-grossing pretty much every other movie released in the past year.

As Halloween comes around, you’re likely to see kids and adults alike running around dressed as Buzz, Jessie, and Woody – why don’t you stick out a bit, and complete your Toy Story crew by considering a few of these lesser-used but wonderful Toy Story costumes?

Hamm– The unforgettable pink piggy bank is really an outstanding costume for young boys and girls. This particular Halloween costume is comprised of Hamm overalls, filled out with comfortable foam, making for an easily-recognized and much loved costume that is lightweight and cozy for long-term wear.

Bo Peep– Girls and moms alike will get a lot of mileage by dressing up as this fantastically feminine shepherdess. The costume includes a fluffy dress, bonnet, in addition to a shepherd’s crook, Bo Peep is able to keep her lambs under control whilst drawing the eye in the entire room.

Rex– This carnivorous softy is undoubtedly a vital part of the Toy Story crew, and is an excellent costume choice for anyone. This Halloween costume consists of a shirt, gloves, a sturdy T-Rex tail, and a headpiece that leaves the face uncovered for safety. An excellent costume option for children and adults.

Mr. Potato Head – Another fun Toy Story costume, a Mr. Potato Head outfit is instantly recognized even by people unfamiliar with the film. This classic toy has been in around forever. There is a wide selection of certified Mr. Potato Head costumes out there, many of which come complete with easily-removed features.

Claw Machine Aliens– A viral hot, these little green guys had been meant as a throwaway joke by the folks at Pixar, nevertheless they’ve grabbed enough of a following to return for sequels. These three-eyed invaders and worshipers of “The Claw,” make a excellent choice for a costume.

Slinky Dog – Sadly, presently there aren’t a whole lot of commercial outfits to choose from depicting this wonderful Toy Story character. A quick Google search, however, will show you a number of innovative and impressive home-made Slinky Dog costumes that are well worth your consideration. Be assured – you’ll be the only one at this year’s Halloween party dressed as the cynical and delightful Slinky Dog.

This Halloween, don’t choose the same exact outfits as everyone else. Differentiate yourself from the crowd with one of these fantastic Toy Story Halloween costumes!

Story For Children – 10 Ways to Be the Best Storyteller!

All children love stories, for in this way they are allowed to imagine and even dream without being reprimanded. There have been many lessons learned from story tales where the children believed they were just having a bit of “time out” or having fun. How sad it is when they lose their power of imagination as they get older, by well-meaning adults who tell them that their imagination is not a good thing: “you’re just imagining it, don’t get carried away!” The other side of the story is when the story-teller is unable to keep the children’s attention and by all appearances is racing through it as fast as possible, for no one is listening.

  1. When beginning story times it is helpful if the children are all sitting in a semi-circle or similar position where they are all able to see you. If they are seated on suitable chairs, they will be less likely to wriggle and knock one another. If possible, try not to have toys within easy view and reach of the children, so that there are as few distractions as possible.
  2. Be well prepared (without spending too much time and feeling burdened), by making sure that you are well familiar with the story and the concept you want to bring out of it. If possible, read it through several times beforehand so that you do not need to read it on the day. Have any props ready to hand, so that there are no gaps when you might lose the children’s attention. Choose a story that you like and can get excited about!
  3. Think of fun things to do when telling the story that will illustrate or get a message across, such as using props, e.g: an umbrella if it is raining in your story, and other accessories such as hats, jewelery, bags etc, or food if it part of the story. However, be careful that the props don’t become a distraction after they have been used. Put them well away afterward!
  4. Use your own body as the main illustration of story time and encourage the children to do the same. For example, use lots of facial expressions, voice alternation, stand up, sit down, crawl, clap or mime adjectives such as big or small- as applicable. Keep eye contact with the children, look at your props and don’t be distracted yourself by outside distractions- let other team members deal with them. This can also include using role play. If the children are characters in the story they will much more easily take it in!
  5. Be passionate in your story times and don’t be afraid to use your emotions. There have been many an adult who has been moved to tears by the simple message of the story tales that were meant for children! Don’t be complicated and come down to the children’s level. If you aren’t interested in your story, you can’t expect the children to be either.
  6. It helps if your story fits in with the theme of the session. Therefore, any story activities on the same theme can enhance your message. You might want to pause and play a short game or sing a song. Nursery rhymes are great during story times if related to the story and theme. They really help to involve the children. You can even borrow a tune and add your own words- you don’t have to be a professional musician to do this as children are quite forgiving! When interspersed with short activities in this way, a story can be much longer than if it is simply just told all in one go.
  7. Always speak loud and clearly, especially if there are background noises going on. Keep words and sentences short and simple and express things in ways that they will understand. Try to think how they would relate to what you are saying and use examples that they can warm to.
  8. Asking questions throughout story times helps to keep childrens attention. Direct questions at a distracted child to bring them back, but be careful that you don’t show favoritism to the most demanding. Keep grabbing their attention also with surprises, changing movements and keep everything short for younger ones.
  9. Allow time at the end for questions and to reflect on the story and share what they have learned.
  10. Finally HAVE FUN!