Submission Guidelines for Writers
*UPDATED MARCH 2018: Our submissions are currently closed. We’ll let you know here and on social media when submissions are open again. Thank you for your interest in Storytime!*
Storytime is a monthly illustrated magazine for children aged 3 to 9. It is created in the UK, but we have subscribers all over the world. We like to think globally rather than locally. Our subscribers include parents and schools, including schools who teach English as a second language.
Our mission is to help even the most reluctant or struggling readers to fall in love with reading via a selection of beautifully illustrated stories in every issue. You can read more about our passion for reading for pleasure and improving literacy here.
In 2017, we launched a new section in Storytime magazine called Tales from Today, featuring one contemporary short story per issue. This is where we are looking for submissions. If you would like to see your children’s story published in Storytime, please follow our submission guidelines for writers below.
Storytime Submission Guidelines for Writers
This is what we are looking for:
- A short contemporary story (not a poem or story told in verse) appropriate for girls and boys aged 3 to 9.
- Your story should be between 500 and 750 words long.
- Your story should be original and should not plagiarise any other existing content,
- We are not looking for folk tales, legends, myths, fables or fairy tales. We already have those in our magazine. We are looking for new stories with a contemporary style and setting.
- Your story should not have been published before.
- Your story must be in the English language, though we accept submissions from all over the world.
- Writers only please! We cannot accept submissions from writer/illustrator teams and we aren’t looking for illustrated stories.
- We aren’t looking for serialised stories – only self-contained short stories.
- We accept submissions by email only, ideally in Word (.doc or .docx) or other Mac-friendly word processing programs. Please do not send links to click and download files, as we won’t click on them.
- Please send submissions in a standard, easy-to-read font, like Helvetica. Please not Comic Sans in a rainbow of colours – honestly, we’ve had several of these.
- Please do not send stories in picture book formats (we get this a lot) – we’re a short story magazine.
- Please do not send stories with illustrations or photos embedded in them. We’ve had this a lot too.
- Email your story submission to: editor(at)lumacreative(dot)co(dot)uk. Please put the words ‘Story Submission’ in the email subject heading. Please include your name and story title in the email itself.
- Please do not use this email address if you are an illustrator. See our Contact Us page instead. Thank you!
Further hints and tips for writers:
- Please read Storytime – it’s the best way to know what we’re about and what we like. You can buy back issues here. Tales from Today features in Storytime magazine from Issue 29 onwards.
- Kids love stories that entertain them, engage them, excite them, surprise them, teach them something new or unexpected, or challenge them to think differently. They especially love stories that make them laugh, but please… no farts.
- We love to see stories with diverse characters.
- We love good spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- No synopsis or cover letter is required. We’re mainly interested in the quality of your story. If you want to write something about yourself, please keep it very brief.
- Lack of writing experience will not put us off. The first thing we do when we get a submission is read the story. We don’t care if it’s the first story you’ve ever written. We don’t care if you’ve had 40 books published and climbed Mount Everest (though, good for you!). The quality and originality of the story is more important than anything else.
- Please do follow our guidelines if you wish your work to be considered. We simply won’t read anything that doesn’t.
- Read our 8 Top Tips for Short Story Writers here.
Once you’ve submitted your story, here’s what happens:
- We read every submission that follows our guidelines, however…
- … we are a very small team, so we cannot reply to submissions that aren’t successful. If you don’t hear back from us within 2 months, please assume that you can submit to other magazines.
- Unfortunately, we cannot offer advice to individuals. However, we do offer a Short Story Critique Service here.
- We aim to reply to successful submissions within 2 months. We endeavour to be as quick as we can.
- The editor has the right to request revisions and also do reasonable edits on each accepted story to make it as good as possible and will confer with you if your story is selected. We like to collaborate with our contributors.
- The Storytime team will select and commission the illustrations to go with each story and keep you up to date on this part of the process. We will also send you a final PDF of your illustrated story to approve.
- If your story is selected, you will be credited in the magazine, receive a copy of the magazine with your story in it and a fee of £150 when it is published. We will also promote you on social media. We will send you a commissioning form to confirm this.
We hope you find our submission guidelines for writers helpful and that is has got you excited about becoming part of our readers’ happy childhood memories. We want to create nations of joyful, passionate readers and imaginative thinkers – and we hope you do too. Watch our video below to see inside Storytime magazine.
Happy writing and good luck!
The Storytime team