What kind of stories do you write for children? Are they funny or whimsical? Do they have a happy ending? These are the kinds of stories that Kid's Imagination Train likes to publish.
Every now and then, a few writers submit scary stories. Though there are markets for these kind of stories, they just aren't right for KIT. We publish for a young audience—our lower age group is five-years old. Children of this age have not learned how to express their fears verbally and because of this, we may never be sure of the impact of scary stories.
Young children may however, send other clues or signals to indicate that they have been frightened. For instance, years ago my husband and I could not figure out why our four-year old daughter suddenly became afraid to go to sleep by herself. She needed one of us in her room every night. After a few weeks of this behavior, I talked to Sister Marsha, one of my daughter's teachers. Marcia asked if we allowed our daughter to watch a scary movie or television program. I remembered that the three of us had watched the classic The Wizard of Oz, but we had fast-forwarded through the frightening scenes.
“There’s your answer,” said Sister Marcia.
While our young daughter seemed to enjoy the movie, it had actually scared her. And, we were clueless. She simply couldn't express her fears to us.
Though this personal episode is about a movie not a story, l always think about it whenever scary fiction is submitted to KIT. If you are writing for very young children, I would suggest staying away from scary and save it for the older kids. Instead, focus on creating an upbeat story. Give it a positive message and end it on a cheerful note.
Take a look at the July issue of Kid's Imagination Train: www.kidsimaginationtrain.com