“So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install,
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”
— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
In this age of pervasive Internet, ubiquitous smart phones and addictive video games, it is not just the TV any more that is the great distraction from reading. But in retaliation to this modern era, the bookshelf should perhaps not be the only source for children’s stories. References to mountains and Mohammad spring to mind. That’s why I decided to create a website dedicated to providing short stories that will showcase a large range of classic and original stories for children, free of charge. My vision is for the site to be the best resource available on the web for short stories for kids, either for adults to read to them or to be read by children themselves.
I live in Dublin with my wife and two daughters. I have a busy day job, but in my spare time I do enjoy writing, mostly short stories. My daughters also keep me very busy with made-up-on-the-spot stories being demanded on an almost daily basis. Software engineering is my original background and I also enjoy web design as a hobby. This site is the combination of two great interests – story-telling and the web. I really do hope it will become a really helpful resource for people looking for good-quality classic and original short stories for kids.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
— Emilie Buchwald
The benefits of reading to children are well documented, however books with individual stories, albeit often beautifully illustrated, are expensive and digested in minutes. I’ve noticed that it has become harder in recent times to find larger collections of stories for kids.
The site will of course feature all the out-of-copyright stories and fairy tales that we all grew up with. I will be lightly editing them to freshen them up somewhat for a more modern audience. The site will enable any of the stories to be printed, viewed online on desktops computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones, emailed or sent to an e-reader device such as a Kindle. The objective is to make stories for kids as accessible as possible for parents and children alike.
I am very keen however that the site will also be a source of good original content and I believe that there is a tremendous writing talent out there with no platform to get started. If any authors – budding or established – would like some of their work published on the site when it is launched, I’d be delighted to evaluate any submissions for inclusion. In return, accepted authors will have a dedicated profile page with photo, bio and links to any other material they wish to promote. Readers will be able to leave comments on the site and I am also considering some sort of feedback mechanism for individual stories. This will ultimately result in significant author exposure to tens of thousands of unique visitors per month visiting the site from all over the world. I will only use material of a good standard on the site. Authors will of course retain full copyright but give a non-exclusive right to publish.
If anyone would like to submit work to be included on the site, the guidelines for submissions are as follows:
- Details required per story submission:
- Author name and email address
- Story Name
- Word Count
- Target age range
- One line synopsis of the story
- Stories should be suitable for ages 1 – 15
- Illustrations are very welcome, particularly for stories aimed at younger children, however there must be a story at the heart of each submission
- Maximum of 3 stories per author, submitted in one file
- Stories in the range of 200 to 2,000 words are welcome
“It is my opinion that a story worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even then.”
– C.S. Lewis
For me, it’s all about the story. When you read a good children’s author, for example Roald Dahl, you can’t help admiring the incredible imagination, wicked sense of humour and adept story-telling. If you can entertain the child and the reader at the same time, then I think you are really on to something!
If you would like to submit work to be included on the site, please fill out the submission form at http://www.shortkidstories.com. Currently it is just a placeholder site while I build out the full functionality in the background.
You can also subscribe to the email list to keep track of progress towards the launch in September 2013. If anyone has any feedback or suggestions, I’d be delighted to receive it at email@example.com
(c) Brian Martin