Studies show that kids who read for pleasure do overwhelmingly better in life than kids who don’t. At U.S. Kids Magazines (Humpty Dumpty, and Jack and Jill), providing fun, entertaining reading material is our priority. We accept humorous, playful, and witty stories that kids would love to read—not stories that grownups think kids should read.
As part of the Children’s Better Health Institute, we are always in need of high-quality stories, articles, and activities with a broad health and fitness focus. Please keep in mind that we would rather show kids living a healthy lifestyle than dictate a healthy lifestyle to our readers. In other words, health topics should be incorporated into the story or article, not be the focus of it.
If you have a story that fits with the general philosophies of U.S. Kids Magazines, please review the following submission guidelines:
1. Writers should present their material in a way that is appropriate for kids and does not talk down to them.
2. For independent readers (some of the kids who read Humpty Dumpty and all of the kids who read Jack and Jill), the material should start at a basic level but include a sprinkling of more advanced information.
4. Stories should appeal to a broad audience. Our subscribers are girls and boys located across the United States and beyond.
5. If you are writing a story but have not been around kids in awhile, please make sure your dialogue and characters are up to date. We are looking for stories that appeal to today’s children.
6. Writing for children has the same standards as writing for adults. The rules of good story construction and character development still apply. Make sure you are familiar with quality children’s literature and current market trends before submitting.
7. Seasonal material should be sent at least 8 months in advance.
8. Reading these guidelines is not enough. Careful study of current issues will acquaint writers with each magazine’s personality and also familiarize writers with what has already been published. Sample copies are $3.99 (USD) each and can be purchased from U.S. Kids, PO Box 567, Indianapolis, IN 46206
9. If you want a response from us, please include an SASE.
10. Submit specifically to one of our two magazines–Humpty Dumpty, or Jack and Jill–not U.S. Kids.
Manuscripts must be typewritten and double-spaced. The author’s name, address, phone number, email address, date of submission, and word count should appear on the first page of the manuscript. If you include a cover letter, please keep it brief. Cover letters are not required and sometimes hurt more than they help.
Mail entire manuscript. (Email submissions are not accepted unless specifically solicited by our staff.) Work is on speculation only. Queries are not accepted except for nonfiction pieces submitted to Jack and Jill magazine. Keep a copy of your work. Material will not be returned unless accompanied by an SASE and sufficient return postage.
Please do not send artwork. We prefer to work with professional illustrators of our own choosing.
We do not purchase single photos. We do purchase short photo features (up to 8 or 10 images) or high-quality photos that accompany articles and illustrate editorial material. Digital format is best with high resolution (300 dpi in an image size of at least 4×6 inches). We purchase one-time rights to photos but reserve the right to use the images on our websites. Please include captions and signed model releases.
Please allow about three months for a response. Do not send status inquiries before that time. Your submission may be considered for the other U.S. Kids magazines so please do not send multiple copies to different U.S. Kids editors.
We purchase all rights including web use and pay on publication. Simultaneous submission are allowed but should be noted as such. One-time book rights may be returned when the author has found a publisher and can provide an approximate date of publication.
SUBMISSIONS FROM CHILDREN
Except for features that request reader submissions, we do not encourage manuscripts from children. We do not pay children for their contributions.
Humpty Dumpty Magazine (ages 5-7)
- FICTION: Short stories 450 words or less. Payment: $70 and up.
Build a Book: We are accepting short mini-stories of 70-125 words. These should be positive and light-hearted; often humorous. Characters can be children or animals. We welcome material that deals with kindness, love, good manners, friendship, holidays, and seasons.
- NONFICTION: We accept short articles of 300 words or less on science and nature, as well as age-appropriate how-to projects. Payment: $70 and up.
- POETRY: We accept poems 4-12 line poems. Please remember the age of your audience. Payment: $35 and up.
- RECIPES: We accept simple, healthful recipes of 200 words or less that generally require no cooking and minimal adult help. If possible, include a photo of the recipe with submission. Payment: $40 and up.
- CRAFTS: We accept fun crafts of 250 words or less that young children can make with a bit of adult help. Crafts can celebrate holidays or seasons. Materials should be inexpensive and easy to obtain. Include easy-to-understand steps and directions and, if possible, include a photo of the finished craft. Payment: $40 and up.
Jack and Jill (ages 6-12)
- FICTION: We accept full manuscripts of 600-800 words. The tone of the stories should be fun and engaging. Stories should hook readers right from the get-go and pull them through the story. Humor is very important! Dialogue should be witty instead of just furthering the plot. The story should convey some kind of positive message. Possible themes could include self-reliance, being kind to others, appreciating other cultures, and so on. There are a million positive messages, so get creative! Kids can see preachy coming from a mile away, though, so please focus on telling a good story over teaching a lesson. The message—if there is one—should come organically from the story and not feel tacked on. Payment: 30¢ per word.
- NONFICTION: We accept nonfiction manuscripts of 700 words or less. We are especially interested in features or Q&As with regular kids (or groups of kids) in the Jack and Jill age group who are engaged in unusual, challenging, or interesting activities. No celebrity pieces please. Payment: 30¢ per word; $15 per photo.
- POETRY: We accept poems of up to 30 lines. Poems should include unique topics that appeal to kids like sports, pets, friendship, seasonal activities, vacations, and school activities. Payment: $25 to $50.
- RECIPES: Recipes should have limited ingredients and require minimal cooking. They must be appropriate for kids (ages 6-12) to complete without much adult supervision. The recipes also need to reflect the healthy lifestyle philosophies of U.S. Kids magazines. Payment: $25 to $40.
- PUZZLES, ACTIVITIES, & GAMES: In general, we prefer to use in-house generated material for this category but on occasion we do receive unique and fun puzzles, games or activities through submissions. Please make sure you are submitting a truly unique activity for our consideration. Payment: $25 to $40.
(Name of Magazine)
P.O. Box 567
Indianapolis, IN 46206