"We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

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Neemster
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"We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby Neemster » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:32 am

Hi,

I'm thinking of submitting a story that made it past the first round of readers in two professional publications ("Cast of Wonders" and "Apex"). But the story features a group of characters who are in high school. Would they be considered children? The story does have some universal themes that apply to all age groups, such as the need to belong and the stupid things people do to avoid loneliness. What do y'all think?

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

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J'nae Rae
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby J'nae Rae » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:52 am

sounds like yours is YA, rather than a Children's Story.
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby Chris533 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:53 am

Funny - I was just wondering this myself. I have some fantasy picture book type stories that I've written for my children which I'm sure would not be acceptable. I've played with the idea of combining them into full book length, but I'm guessing they'd still be unacceptable. But how about, say, The Hobbit? Or Narnia? Or The Golden Compass? Or The Rats of NIMH? etc etc (Edited down to Novellas, of course, since all would be too long as is)
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Neemster
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby Neemster » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:18 pm

J'nae Rae wrote:sounds like yours is YA, rather than a Children's Story.


Yes, it probably is. So is WotF an appropriate publication for a YA story? Offhand, I can't recall reading any winning stories that were targeted for a predominantly YA audience.

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disgruntledpeony
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby disgruntledpeony » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:34 pm

Neemster wrote:
J'nae Rae wrote:sounds like yours is YA, rather than a Children's Story.


Yes, it probably is. So is WotF an appropriate publication for a YA story? Offhand, I can't recall reading any winning stories that were targeted for a predominantly YA audience.

The target audience is teenagers, though. It's hard to say.
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby Chris533 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:08 pm

I was thinking about this. First, just because a book is about children doesn't mean it's a children's book. Second, if it's really good, and it's not a picture book or something clearly for very young children, I'd go for it. I just can't imagine them disqualifying something like Ender's Game, for example, just because its about a young kid.
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MattDovey
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby MattDovey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:49 am

disgruntledpeony wrote:
Neemster wrote:
J'nae Rae wrote:sounds like yours is YA, rather than a Children's Story.


Yes, it probably is. So is WotF an appropriate publication for a YA story? Offhand, I can't recall reading any winning stories that were targeted for a predominantly YA audience.

The target audience is teenagers, though. It's hard to say.


Just to confirm this, it has been explicitly mentioned to me that their aim is to get into high school libraries, which is why they edit the cursing to a minimum. So a group of teenagers would be absolutely fine. (Heck, my MC was no more than 17, IIRC, and I did alright wotf008)
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby LaurieG » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:01 pm

There was a winner several years ago whose main character was a girl of, I think, 11. She was trying to escape a child molester in a space station. Beautifully written, thus it won.
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby amyhg » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:31 pm

I agree with pretty much what everyone else said. I think when they say, "children's stories," they mean stories whose content and themes remain only at a children's level. E.g. Peter Rabbit, The Ugly Duckling, Amelia Bedelia, or Wind in the Willows. However, it may not include books like, The Little Prince or some of Hans Christian Anderson's fables. That's my understanding anyway.
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby amyhg » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:41 pm

Neemster wrote:
J'nae Rae wrote:sounds like yours is YA, rather than a Children's Story.


Yes, it probably is. So is WotF an appropriate publication for a YA story? Offhand, I can't recall reading any winning stories that were targeted for a predominantly YA audience.


There's been a few that could be considered YA. Personally, I consider "Squalor and Sympathy" and "Swords Like Lightning, Hooves Like Thunder" from v. 32 to be YA. I also think "Another Range of Mountains," "Giants at the End of the World," and "The Clouds in Her Eyes" from v. 30 could be considered YA. I figure if a story's themes can be processed and appreciated by an average 13-year-old book-lover and it doesn't contain explicit language, sexuality, or graphic violence, then it's YA. That could just be me though.

And...I also just realized that I named only fantasy stories. huh.
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Re: "We regret that we cannot accept children's stories." Define "children!"

Postby Jeremyteg » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:55 pm

My impression from reading the volumes aligns with what Matt and Amy are saying. Plenty of the stories that win Writers of the Future could be easily considered YA. Some of them are not, but some of them are. By "children's stories" I think they mean something that could appear in a Highlights magazine or equivalent, which is to say targeted to young children as opposed to tweens and teens.


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