Contributor Guidelines

For a printable version of the Editorial Guidelines, click here.

For guidelines for children who would like to submit their work to Highlights, click here.

"This magazine of wholesome fun is dedicated to helping children grow in basic skills and knowledge, in creativeness, in ability to think and reason, in sensitivity to others, in high ideals and worthy ways of living – for children are the world's most important people."

Editorial Guidelines

Highlights for Children is a general-interest, advertising-free magazine for children up to age 12. It was founded in 1946 by Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers, and is still owned and run by their family. The magazine has no religious or organizational affiliation. Highlights has a circulation of about 2 million and is published monthly.

  • We encourage writers to read several recent copies of Highlights before submitting work. A sample copy will be sent on request.
  • We do not accept submissions by e-mail or fax.
  • We pay for all material on acceptance.
  • We buy all rights, including copyright and do not consider previously published material.
  • Generally we prefer to see a manuscript rather than a query. However, we will review queries regarding nonfiction.
  • We accept material at any time of the year, including seasonal material.
  • Each submission must include a self-addressed stamped envelope.
  • We do not pay writers younger than 16 years old for their work. Guidelines for young writers will be sent on request.
  • To find a listing of our current needs, guidelines for illustrators and Fiction Contest guidelines, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Submissions

Send submissions to
Manuscript Coordinator
Highlights for Children
803 Church Street
Honesdale, PA 18431

Fiction should have an engaging plot, strong characterization, a specific setting and lively language. No series or continuing stories.

  • Stories for younger readers (ages 3 to 7) should have 500 words or fewer and should not seem babyish to older readers.
  • Stories for older readers (ages 8 to 12) should have 800 words or fewer and should be appealing to younger readers if read aloud.
  • Frequent needs include humor, mystery, sports, holiday and adventure stories; retellings of traditional tales; stories with urban settings; and stories that feature world cultures.
  • For stories that require research, such as historical fiction, please send photocopies of key pages in references and of any correspondence with experts.
  • We prefer characters that set a positive example.
  • We avoid stories that preach.
  • We avoid suggestions of crime and violence.
  • We seldom buy rhyming stories.
  • Payment: $150 and up.

Rebus Stories, geared toward beginning readers, should feature a variety of familiar words that can easily be shown as pictures.

  • Rebuses should have 120 words or fewer.
  • Rebuses with a surprise or twist at the end often work best.
  • Payment: $100 and up.

Verse, which is purchased sparingly, is rarely longer than 16 lines and should be meaningful for young readers.

Payment: $25 and up.

Non Fiction includes science, arts, biography, autobiography, sports, world cultures, economics, service/self-help, careers, adventure and history.

  • All articles should have 800 words or fewer.
  • Nonfiction articles geared to our younger readers (ages 3 to 7) are especially welcome. These should not exceed 500 words.
  • Articles with a tight focus are most successful.
  • We prefer research based on first-hand experience, consultation with experts or primary sources.
  • Articles about cultural traditions and ways of life should reflect a deep understanding of the subject.
  • Biographies of individuals who have made significant artistic, scientific or humanitarian contributions are strengthened by the inclusion of formative childhood experiences.
  • We prefer biographies that are rich in quotes and anecdotes and that place the subject in a historical and cultural context.
  • Complete bibliographies as well as photocopies of key pages in references must be included.
  • Color 35mm slides, photos or art-reference materials are helpful and sometimes crucial in evaluating submissions. Digital images should be no less than 300 dpi.
  • We encourage authors to have their articles reviewed by an expert before submission. Please include the expert's response.
  • Payment: $150 and up.

Crafts should appeal to boys and girls of a wide age range.

  • Crafts should have concise, numbered directions. They typically should have 3 to 5 steps.
  • A well-made sample should be included with each craft idea. If this is not feasible, then a photo or detailed illustration would help.
  • Project materials should be inexpensive and easy to obtain.
  • Projects should result in attractive and useful gifts, toys, games or decorations.
  • Crafts that celebrate holidays or religious traditions are welcome.
  • Frequent needs include crafts that result in games, crafts from world cultures and crafts that appeal to boys.
  • Payment: $25 and up.

Finger Plays and Action Rhymes should have plenty of action and minimal text. They must be easy for very young children to act out, step by step. Include directions for hand, finger or body movements.

Payment: $25 and up.

Puzzles should not require readers to write in the magazine; therefore, no crosswords, word searches and so on. We welcome visual puzzles, math puzzles and code activities.

Payment: $25 and up.

Gallant Kids articles should have 400 words or fewer. They should focus on children who are serving others through unique, interesting, kid-generated projects.

Payment: $150 and up.

Picture Puzzler ideas should be primarily visual and include little text. These puzzles, featured on the inside back cover of the magazine, can include photos, drawings or detailed art suggestions for a full-page illustration. Original board games that can be played on the page are welcome. Picture Puzzlers should not require readers to write in the magazine. Ideas should be original and should appeal to boys and girls of a wide age range.

Payment: $50 and up.

For more tips and information of interest to writers, visit www.HighlightsFoundation.org.

Writers may also find it helpful to search the magazine index or peruse the Fun Finder at www.HighlightsKids.com.

Highlights Editorial
803 Church Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
Highlights.com

For a printable version of the Editorial Guidelines, click here.