Writer’s Guidelines

1. Editorial Profile: Today’s Christian Living is a bimonthly magazine that encourages, equips, and engages Christians of all ages. It features inspirational stories about how the Lord has touched the lives of both ordinary and well-known Christians in remarkable ways. Regular columns include humor, health, finance, book reviews, and more. The goal of each issue is to challenge Christians in their faith so they may be strengthened to fulfill the call of God in their lives.

2. Editorial Personnel:
• Publisher: Diana Jones, diana@cross-life.us
• Editor: Dan Brownell, dan@cross-life.us
• Senior Graphic Designer: Beth Krogwold

3. Queries: We discourage queries, as we rarely assign articles, but welcome and read all submissions of completed articles. We prefer purchasing articles “on spec,” which means we review and make decisions on completed articles, rather than contracting them based on pitched ideas.

4. Article Submissions: To better understand the kind of articles we are seeking, read and study articles published in Today’s Christian Living. That’s the best guide to the type, length, and style of articles that we are looking for. We generally reserve our teaching-type articles for our staff columnists. For our freelancers, we are looking for more story-based, testimonial type articles because we are an inspiration-focused magazine. Also, we don’t publish fiction or poetry.

Article Types:

Personality Profile (1,400-1,600 words, plus a 150-250 word sidebar): Personality profiles feature well-known Christians who have impacted our world for Christ. These articles are testimonies to the power of God and are role-model stories that teach by example, rather than by preaching or teaching. Sidebars include more detailed information about a specific aspect of the person. Personality Profile articles must be accompanied by at least 3 to 5 quality, high-resolution color photographs to illustrate the story (see Photos for more info) and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.

Ministry Profile (1,400-1,600 words, plus a 150-250 word sidebar): Ministry profiles feature a Christian ministry that is making a difference for Christ. A ministry may be a large or small organization, or an informal group. The focus is on the effect the ministry is having on the world. Sidebars include more detailed information about a specific aspect of the ministry. Ministry Profile articles must be accompanied by at least 3 to 5 quality, high-resolution color photos to illustrate the story  (see Photos for more info) and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.

Personal Story/Anecdote (700-1,500 words): Personal stories/anecdotes are compelling testimonies that focus on how the Lord works through everyday people, events, and circumstances. Personal stories/anecdotes must be accompanied by three to five quality, high-resolution color photos to illustrate the story, a quality, high-resolution color photo (headshot) of the author, and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.

Turning Point (650-700 words): Turning Point stories show how God has changed someone’s life. This could involve a salvation experience or could be an important lesson learned through a life event. Turning Point articles must be accompanied by a quality, high-resolution color photo (headshot) of the author and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.

Grace Notes (650-700 words): Grace Notes articles show how important biblical principles and attributes like self-control, generosity, and sacrificial love are illustrated in everyday life. Grace Notes articles must be accompanied by a quality, high-resolution color photo (headshot) of the author and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.

Hospitality (700-1,500 words): Hospitality articles include a recipe or two with an associated inspirational story. Hospitality articles must be accompanied by  a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words and at least 3 to 5 quality, high-resolution color photographs that illustrate the recipe. (See Photos for more info.)

Humor: (50 –200 words): Humorous anecdotes are funny stories that show the lighter side of the Christian life. Anecdotes, like other articles, must be original and previously unpublished.
• Laugh Lines is geared toward humor involving adults, i.e. church life, pastors, etc.
• Kids of the Kingdom focuses on children.

Annual Writing Contest: Today’s Christian Living holds an annual writing contest. Each year, the top three winners will have their articles published in the November issue. Themes, prize amounts, and other details will be published in the magazine several issues in advance. Writing Contest articles must be accompanied by three to five quality, high resolution color photos to illustrate the article, a quality, high resolution color photo (headshot) of the author and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.

5. Article Titles: Article titles must be submitted with articles. The title is a promise to the reader about the contents of the article. Therefore, the title must relate to the needs and interest of the readers and accurately reflect the actual contents of the articles. Often these criteria are best met by the inclusion of a subtitle. Titles must make it explicit what the reader will find interesting about the topic matter. If the subject has a unique idea, bring that out in the title. For an inspirational story, tell the reader what specifically is inspirational about the subject. Always keep in mind the benefits to the reader. Assume readers will not read your article unless the title and subtitle are compelling enough to convince them. Titles may be revised or changed at the discretion of the editor.

6. Photos: Photos must be copyright-free, color digital images that are high-resolution (at least 5” x 7” at 300 dpi). If you send a 72 dpi image that’s 3″ x 3″ on screen, it will be less than one inch when it is converted to 300 dpi for print. So, it’s important that the image is large enough to convert. Photos do not need to be taken by a professional, as most digital cameras are capable of taking high quality photos, but make sure the camera is set to the highest resolution setting. High resolution print quality photos are generally 2 to 3 MB or larger. However, to ensure photos are able to be emailed, keep each photo less than 8 MB. The standard digital camera format JPEG is the best format to submit. Keep in mind that good composition, lighting, and focus are essential to good photography.

7. Payment for Published Articles: Payment is rendered within 60 days of publication. Payment is generally based on approximate word count after editing. Less than 650 words: $25; 650-800 words, $75; 801-1,199 words, $100; 1,200-1,800 words, $150.

8. Formats for Queries and Completed Articles: Files may be sent via email as a Word attachment. The documents should be in Times New Roman font, 12 pt, with ½-inch margins. Line spacing should be 1.5, and there should only be one space between each sentence.

9. Where to Send Article Submissions: Email submissions to: dan@cross-life.us

10. Rights and Requirements: Do not submit articles that you have written for other publications. All articles and photos must be exclusive to Today’s Christian Living, and the content must be original. Today’s Christian Living purchases all rights, not just first rights. Manuscripts should be edited and all information contained within confirmed by the author. All completed articles are subject to editing for space, style, and content. (Additional rights and requirements are outlined in an Author’s Contract, provided to writers upon article acceptance. Contracts must be signed and returned.)

11. Authors must be available to provide additional information as needed for the completion of an article to the satisfaction of the editor.