After writing for secular publications, I was looking for a new market to tap into. I knew that having a wide net of markets to write for would increase my chance of publication, and add to my income. I turned to writing for the Christian market as it incorporates thousands of publications that touch nearly every aspect of life and faith. With its diversity of markets, often boasting large readerships and broad spectrums of content, the Christian niche presented a wonderful opportunity for me.
Some tips I learned to break into writing for Christian magazines which you may find helpful are:
1. Buy a copy of the Christian Writer’s Market to find information on Christian markets. Similar to the Writer’s Market except the publications are religious. It’s a great resource for publications that only provide information through churches or subscriptions.
2. Check to see if the publication you’re approaching uses a theme list. Many of them do as they follow a curriculum for Sunday classes and Bible studies. Follow these themes and watch the dates for deadlines as this will increase your chances of acceptance.
3. Use your life experiences. Many Christian publications like stories from or based on real life. Reflect on your life experiences for inspiration. Stories don’t need to be overtly religious but should have an inspirational theme.
4. Find out who your readers are. Have a basic understanding of the denominations you want to write for. For example, most Catholics baptize by sprinkling babies, while evangelicals believe in full immersion. Being aware of different beliefs can mean the difference between a sale and rejection.
5. Take note of the frequency of publication. Breaking into these might be favorable to you as some of them publish once a week while others are monthly or quarterly. Weekly markets give you more opportunities to write as more content is necessary.
6. Research to see what percentage of articles and stories come from freelance work. Some publications rely solely on staff writers, rarely using freelancers.
7. Focus on positive, uplifting stories. In both fiction and nonfiction, Christian publications are always looking for redemptive stories. Stories of people finding hope through difficult circumstances, or through a conversion experience.
THREE PAYING CHRISTIAN MARKETS
Pockets – “Designed for 6- to 12-year-olds, Pockets magazine offers wholesome devotional readings that teach about God’s love and presence in life. The content includes fiction, scripture stories, puzzles and games, poems, recipes, colorful pictures, activities, and scripture readings.”
Creation Illustrated – “Our purpose is to share the wonders of God’s creation. By revealing fresh insights of His infinite wisdom, gentle touch, undeniable justice, redeeming love, and flawless design, pure truth shall bring renewed peace. Each part of this publication is offered as a reprieve from the daily rigors of life so that all can look to the future with unbridled gratitude and hope.”
Pays $50-$100 depending on department.
Now What? -“Now What? is looking for personal experience stories that show a person’s struggle that either led him to faith in Christ or deepened his walk with God. We’re also looking for related articles that are instructional and practical, with Bible teaching and tips for readers. Material in our online magazine is more geared for those interested in the Christian faith who are seeking answers to life’s toughest questions.”
Pays $25-$55 depending on length.
Julie Guirgis has been writing for Christian magazines for three years. Her work has appeared in several publications including Creation Illustrated, Alive Now, Significant Living, Madonna, Insight, Vibrant Life, Signs of the Times, Majellan, The Aquarian Online, Back Home, War Cry, Guide, Kaleidoscope, Transition, Now What? Adventist Review, Insights, The Edge and have upcoming work in Friend, Spotlight on Recovery, and Postmortem.