SUBMISSION AND FORMATTING GUIDE
Thanks for considering a submission to Short Kid Stories.
To make it as easy to review your submission and, if accepted, format it for the web, can you observe the following guidelines:
Please copy your story from the file it is written in (Cntl-A -> Cntl-C in Word on Windows computers for example) and paste it into the correct section in the submission form. Please paste as plain text – so either right-click in the paste area and select Paste as plain text. Alternatively, you can use Cntl-Shift-V (Hold down the Cntl and Shift key at the same time and then select the letter V.)
Check it’s formatted OK, and please don’t indent the first line of new paragraphs.
Word Count Limit
Maximum of 2,000 words in length
Please note that stories of an overtly religious or political nature will not be accepted.
Additional Information Required
- Please come up with a synopsis of your story in 75 characters (not words, i.e. letters, spaces or characters) or less. Make it snappy, interesting and intriguing. It’s what potential readers will use to determine whether they decide to read your story or not as they are browsing the site. Write the synopsis in your submission file under the story title and before the first paragraph of your story.
- Indicate the target age range(s) for your story. Note that on Short Kid Stories, the age range categories are:
- Provide a brief bio of yourself, including whether you have been published elsewhere before. If your story is accepted, you will have another opportunity to provide a final version of your bio before publication on your author page.
Ideally, please provide an illustration or picture which summarises your story. The picture, along with the synopsis, is what potential readers (young and older) will use to determine which story to read. Stories that have a nice illustration to go with them attract much more readership.
If you cannot illustrate yourself, or know someone who illustrates, Fiverr is a useful site where you can commission someone to create one or more illustrations for you at a very reasonable cost. I have used Fiverr before myself and it’s really handy for this type of thing. You can follow this link if you are interested: Fiverr Children’s Illustrators category
Spelling and Grammar
As this is an international site, all stories should use International English spelling
Please check the spelling, punctuation and grammar of your story before submitting it. Our audience wants to read and value stories that are free of spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. Also, a submission free of these errors is much more likely to be accepted.
I use Grammarly to review submissions and check them for spelling and grammar errors. It really speeds up my ability to spot issues. Check it out if you don’t have a tool to detect mistakes automatically. If you run your story through Grammarly before submitting, it reduces my workload quite a bit and makes it easier for me to accept and publish new stories.
Proofreading and Editing
We recommend you find someone to proofread and edit your story. Even the most famous and successful authors have editors and proofreaders. If you are not confident yourself in your ability to submit a quality story, you can use Fiverr to have someone proofread or even fully edit your story. You can follow this link if you are interested: Proof Reading and Editing
The proper use of paragraphs is essential to good writing. Please make sure to separate your paragraphs by paragraph characters in Word and not just line breaks. Otherwise, they don’t transfer correctly to the web environment without a lot of editing. You can check this in Word by clicking the ¶ symbol in the Paragraph section of the ribbon above your document in Word (under the “Home” menu). If you see the symbol ↵ then you have a line break, not a paragraph break. Go back and type Return at the end of the last line of the previous paragraph and you will see the ¶ symbol inserted correctly.
Please don’t insert a tab at the beginning of new paragraphs. The formatting on the site will automatically insert an indent at the start of every correctly formatted new paragraph.
If you do want to indent the first line of each paragraph in your Word document, then please do it using the following automatic facility in Microsoft Word:
1. Put the cursor anywhere in the paragraph.
2. On the Home tab, right-click the Normal style, and choose Modify.
3. Select Format, and then choose Paragraph.
4. On the Indents and Spacing tab, under Indentation, select First line.
5. Select OK.
6. Select OK again.
When to use a new Paragraph
Another common problem I sometimes see is not enough use of paragraphs and a lot of text that should be in separate paragraphs all bunched together. Here are some simple rules for when you should start a new paragraph:
- When a new person begins to speak
- When there is a change in time
- If you move to a new location
- To break up a segment that has become too long
- For dramatic effect
Before you submit a story please review your draft for these points to see if you need to break it into more paragraphs.
Dialogue: Requires a comma inside the closing quotes:
“This is my dog,” said Peter.
Unless it’s something like a question or exclamation:
“This is my dog!” said Peter.
“Is this my dog?” asked Peter.
There should always be a space after a full stop (period) before the next sentence starts within the same paragraph.
Proper Nouns: They name specific one-of-a-kind items, and they begin with capital letters, no matter where they occur within a sentence.
Common noun: I’d like to adopt a cat. Proper noun: Tiddles is the cutest kitten ever.
Common noun: Let’s go to the city. Proper noun: Let’s go to London.
Common noun: My teacher starts work before dawn. Proper noun: Mr Jones seems to understand what students need.
Common noun: I think that’s a planet, not a star. Proper noun: I can see Jupiter tonight.
Common noun: I think he’s a great dad. Proper noun: When I speak to Dad, he always listens.
I hope you have found this useful and will use it to help make sure your story is published and gets the readership it deserves! Good luck with your submission. When you are ready, you can submit your story via the Author Submission Page.
Note: Considerable time and costs are involved in running Short Kid Stories. Reviewing submissions, posting content, providing feedback, paying for hosting of the site and so forth. Therefore, some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means that if you follow the link and decide to purchase a product or service, Short Kid Stories may, at no additional cost to you, receive a small referral commission that will help contribute towards some of the costs of running this site.