Spotlight

Submission Guidelines for Kids



Anansesem welcomes submissions from writers and artists who are ages 8-17. Are you thinking of sending us some of your work? Read the instructions below to find out how. If you are 18 years old or older and would like to submit work, check out our Submission Guidelines for Adults.


General Guidelines

Submissions that do not follow the guidelines below will not be read. UPDATE: Submissions are now closed for the September 2017 issue.




May 2018 Issue / Theme: Review Issue

For the first time ever, we will dedicate an issue solely to book reviews. For the May 2018 issue, we welcome short reviews (800-1,200 words), written by young people, of creative literary works by Caribbean children's and YA authors. The book must have been published in the last 3 years and it cannot be a self-published book. For tips on how to write a good book review, click on the Nonfiction box under the Category Guidelines below.


1. We will only consider work submitted through our online submission form which can be found here.

2. All submissions should be typed in Times New Roman 12 pt. font with one-inch margins. Fiction and nonfiction submissions should be double-spaced.

3. In order for us to publish your work, we need the permission of your parent or guardian. You must include the email address and a phone number of one or both of your parents in your submission.

4. It is okay to send us work you are also sending to other magazines, websites, or contests, just let us know immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere so we can withdraw your submission.

5. We do not publish work that has previously been published elsewhere.

6. Please do not re-submit previous material unless we ask you to do so.

7. Please do not contact us regarding the status of your submission as we are unable to respond to such inquiries.

8. First-time contributors may submit work to two consecutive issues of Anansesem. After that, please wait one year from the date of your latest publication in Anansesem to resubmit work.

9. Spelling and Translation Policy: Both American and British spelling are fine. Caribbean Creoles are fine (and encouraged!). We only accept English language submissions.


Category Guidelines

FICTION []

What is the length limit for stories?

The maximum length for an Anansesem story is 800 words.

What types of stories do you publish?

We publish stories on all kinds of subjects— animals, sports, fun adventures, problems at school, problems at home, magical places, fantastical creatures, science fiction, historical fiction, family, vacations...the list goes on. What matters to us is not the subject, but how interesting your story is. Send us stories about the things you feel most strongly about or about things you have experienced yourself. Whatever you choose to write about, be sure it comes from your heart. And make sure your story has a beginning, middle and an ending.

May I illustrate my own story?

Certainly! If you illustrated your own story, or if a friend illustrated your story, be sure to let us know in your cover letter. Please send the story and illustrations to us as separate submissions. Send the story as a fiction submission and the illustrations as an art submission.


NONFICTION []

What is the length limit?

Nonfiction pieces must be no more than 800 words long.

What counts as nonfiction?

You can send us essays, biographies, book reports, letters to the editor and book reviews. You can also send us articles about topics that interest you (like astronomy, a historical event, or a famous person you admire) or about extraordinary things happening in the world today.

What is a "letter to the editor"?

You can write a letter to the editor to share your opinions or concerns on a current issue in the news, in your country, or in your community. Or you can tell us what you like or don’t like about Anansesem, or about a particular story, poem, book review, or illustration. Letters to the editor appear in The Mailbox section of every issue of Anansesem.

How do I write a book review?

Book reviews are welcome, in fact, they are highly encouraged! First, find your own book to review. Select a book that interests you from your library or bookstore. Email anansesemnonfiction[at]gmail.com to make sure we have not already published a review of the book you chose. Once you get the go-ahead, read the book carefully and think about what it means to you. Don't summarize the story. Instead, we want to know how the characters and situations in the story affect you personally. If there is any part of the story you find especially bad or good, write about that part. Have you had an experience similar to any in the story? If you have, write about your experience and how it compares with the one in the story. What have you learned from reading the book? Has it inspired you in any way? Whenever possible, back up the ideas you express in your review with examples from the book.


POETRY []

What kinds of poetry do you publish?

We accept poems of all types: limericks, action rhymes, haiku, rhyming, non-rhyming, alphabet poems, nature poems, narrative poems, happy poems, sad poems...we want to see it all. A poem can be about anything at all: the experience of learning to ride a bike, or a trip to the zoo, or watching birds fly through the air, or your grandfather's new shoes, or waiting in the line at the supermarket...the possibilities are endless. You may submit up to 5 poems in one pdf or doc file.

I want to send you a poem. Do you have any advice for me?

Our first advice to you is to read lots of poems. This will help you to be confident that what you send us is really a poem, and not just a story with lots of very short lines. Read your poem or poems aloud before sending them to Anansesem. Do they sound beautiful? Do the words take you back to the original experience that inspired the poem? The answer to both of these questions should be "yes!"

We are looking for poems where the words come from your heart. We are also looking for poems that make the reader feel what you feel, whether the poem is about a place, a person, a memory, or something that happened to you. Most of the poems we publish are free-verse poems, not rhyming poems, but we are open to any kind of poetry. A good poem combines feelings and observations with beautiful language. Send us the poems that mean the most to you!


ART []

What kinds of artwork do you publish?

Most of the artwork we publish in Anansesem is in the form of illustrations (drawings, paintings, poster art, computer art, cartoons, comics etc.) but we do occasionally publish photography that is creative and that tells a compelling story. We are looking for artists who can draw or paint complete scenes in color, filling the entire page. If you are accepted to be an Anansesem illustrator, we will match up your artwork with a story. Most of our stories have people in them, so be sure at least one of your illustrations includes people.

What should I send?

Send no more than 5 images. We accept PNG or JPG file formats. In the "Submission Title" field of the submission form, write the title of each piece of art, separated by commas. If the illustrations belong to a set, tell us the name of the set in your cover letter. After we have looked at all the artwork we receive, we will choose a single work of art to appear on the front cover of the upcoming issue. It just might be yours!


What happens next?


After we have received your submission, it may take a few weeks for us to get back to you. Please be patient. We’re always looking for new writers and artists, and we want to encourage all our young readers to send us their work. However, please keep in mind that we receive a large number of submissions and we are only able to publish a small percentage of the work we receive.

If we are considering your work, you will hear from us in 4 to 6 weeks; if you do not hear from us, it means we were not able to use your work. Don’t be discouraged if so! Try again! Many of our published authors tried several times before they were published. Send us your work with a spirit of adventure, and try not to be too disappointed if we can’t use it.


A note to parents and teachers

Parents and guardians are en-couraged to help children prepare their work for submission. You will certainly want to check children's work for spelling and grammatical errors. At the same time, there is a clear line between proof-reading and actually doing children's work for them. Submitting work that an adult has done and attempting to pass it off as the work of a child is heavily frowned upon. Because heavy editing of children's work is generally recognizable, we strongly encourage parents and teachers to refrain from this as it will most certainly result in the submission being rejected.

Our vision for Anansesem is to highlight Caribbean children's work as the meat of the magazine, so to speak. We want artwork and writing by children to be front and center. Perhaps your student has written an essay that he put a lot of thought into. Or perhaps your teenager likes to draw comics in her sketchbook. These are expressions of children's creativity and potential that we must not take for granted. We definitely want to pour over and possibly publish your children's work!

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