I was well published with essays, articles, children’s stories and poetry appearing in both religious and secular magazines. But there was one genre I had never thought to explore – devotionals – until a writer friend suggested I delve into this genre. Because these magazines publish daily devotionals, there is plenty of opportunity for sales.
I quickly learned the fundamentals of writing a devotional. A meditation of 100-250 words is required. The meditation is a personal, real-life experience written in a conversational tone that illustrates a close connection with God. A Bible verse is presented that correlates to the story. Sometimes a memorized verse comes to mind, and sometimes I peruse my Bible. A convenient way to search for the perfect Scripture is by using the website www.biblegateway.com. A prayer that summarizes the meditation concludes the devotional. I discovered I had a heart toward writing devotionals and was soon selling them to The Upper Room, The Secret Place and a theme-based, devotional magazine for teens titled Devozine.
Devotionals are uplifting to write and don’t take a lot of time. An example of a devotional that The Upper Room published was about how I merely quoted a Bible verse to a friend having financial troubles instead of helping her family. Later, our family was in financial need because my husband had brain surgery. Friends and family provided meals, gift cards to the grocery store, and gift cards to the gas station. I connected my experience to show how God works through other people to help us. I added an appropriate Scripture (Philippians 4:19) and a prayer.
The following are links to the writers’ guidelines for the three devotional magazines that consistently publish my devotionals:
The Upper Room
The Secret Place
If you have never written a devotional, now is the time to explore this genre. Like me, you might find you have a tender heart for writing devotionals, and you will also enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you are inspiring your readers.
Sue Carloni is a freelance writer who lives in Wisconsin. She has been published in more than 70 magazines. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Guideposts, Woman’s World, Mature Living, Living for the Whole Family, Writers Weekly, Christian Communicator, Fellowscript, Byline, Funds for Writers, Lutheran Digest, Teaching Tolerance, and Teachers of Vision. She writes for both children’s and adult publications in the religious and secular markets.