Jan 28, 2014

Writing to a Theme

Many years ago, when I first began writing seriously, I took the plunge and entered the Highlights Fiction Writing Contest. Although I never won, I continued to enter each year for several years just for the little thrill of taking part in such a fabulous contest. It was a wonderful way to flex my “writing muscles,” and each new contest assignment provided an opportunity to write to very specific criteria.

As I started zeroing in on trying to get a book published, however, I eventually stopped entering this contest. What little writing time I had was dedicated to longer projects, and January 31 always seemed to sneak up on me—a chance missed. Realizing that I’ve been missing out on a great opportunity, I promised myself that I would enter again this year. And I am happy to say that my “holiday story” (this year’s contest category) is written, stamped, and awaiting a trip to the post office later this morning. (I know, I’m cutting that deadline really close…)
Writing with a specific theme in mind was really fun for me, and a great writing challenge. Since I don’t want to wait until next year’s Highlights contest to do this again, I’m revisiting other writing opportunities where writing to a theme is required. Below is a short list. If you know of any other “theme writing” opportunities, please post in the comments!

Good luck to all of my writer friends who’ve entered the Highlights contest this year, and Happy Writing!
Magazines that publish theme lists:
Ask   http://www.cricketmag.com/19-Submission-Guidelines-for-ASK-magazine-for-children-ages-6-9

Hopscotch, Boys’ Quest, and Fun 4 Kidz   http://funforkidzmagazines.com/writers


  1. Hurray Becky!!! I squeaked my entry in today!!! Good luck to all who entered.
    Love theme lists too ... one word can spark a huge number of ideas!!!

    1. Good luck, Vijaya! I hope you stay warm and safe tomorrow--I can't believe that Charleston is getting snow! = )

  2. I remember entering that contest a couple of times, years ago. Deadlines are really motivating for me. Good luck!

  3. Very cool and what a great way to get out of any self-imposed box. Thanks.

  4. Good luck, Becky- maybe this is your year...
    And *quickly*- off to the post office you go!

  5. Thanks for sharing the list, Becky. Good luck. You have to be in it to win it, right?

  6. Good for you! Highlights is such a great magazine. Fingers crossed! :)

  7. Dear Becky,
    Thanks for sharing these publishing opportunities. I appreciate it.

    Celebrate you
    Never Give Up


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