Writer’s Guidelines

Updated 02/13/2020

  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 health, finance, book reviews, humor, 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, dianab@jpmediallc.com
    • Editor: Dan Brownell, danb@jpmediallc.com
    • Senior Graphic Designer: Bill Kuffel
  3. Queries: We discourage article pitches, as we rarely assign articles but we do welcome and read all submissions of completed articles. We prefer purchasing articles “on speculation” (on spec), which means we review and make decisions on completed articles, rather than contracting them based on pitched ideas.
  4. Article Submissions: We’re looking for story-based, testimonial articles from freelance writers because TCL is an inspiration-focused magazine.  You’ll get a good feel for those articles by reading published examples. Subscribe to Today’s Christian Living at http://bit.ly/TCLsubscribe or sign up to receive a free digital issue, available at http://bit.ly/TCLfree-dig-issue.
  5. Articles Not Accepted: We don’t publish fiction, poetry, Bible studies, sermons, or freelance book and movie reviews. We also don’t accept teaching or “how-to” articles from freelancers. We reserve our teaching and advice articles for our staff columnists.

Types of Freelance Articles Accepted:

  • Feature Testimony (1,200-1,400 words): A testimony article is a compelling true story about how the writer or someone else came to salvation in Christ, or how the Lord made an impact on a believer’s life, bringing him or her into a deeper walk. The story illustrates the power of God and how He works through people, events, and circumstances. It shows how that person’s life was changed rather than telling the reader he or she should do. In other words, it’s powerful without being “preachy.” Feature articles should be accompanied by three to five quality, high-resolution color photographs to illustrate the story (see 7. Photos below for more info) and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.
  • “Turning Point” (750-800 words): “Turning Point” articles are one-page stories similar to a feature testimony article but shorter. It could feature 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 portrait (head shot) of the author and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.
  • “Grace Notes” (750-800 words): “Grace Notes” articles are one-page stories that 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 portrait (head shot) of the author and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.
  • Humor: (35-50 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. Information about the current 2020 Writing Contest is available at http://bit.ly/TCLContest2020. Entries are due by May 29, 2020. 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 portrait (head shot) of the author, and a brief author bio of 35 to 50 words.
  1. 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.
  2. Payment for Published Articles: Payment is rendered within 60 days of publication (the date the issue is mailed from the printer). Payment is generally based on approximate word count after editing. Less than 750 words: $25; 750-800 words, $75; 801-1,199 words, $100; 1,200-1,800 words, $150.
  3. 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.
  4. Simultaneous Submissions: Today’s Christian Living accepts simultaneous submissions. We typically keep good article candidates on file for possible future use. If we select an article for publication, we will contact you at that point to check to see if it’s still available for a “Write for Hire” contract (all rights). If so, we will send you a contract. Unless we contract an article, you are free to continue submitting it to other publications. But as explained in 11. Rights and Requirements below, once we contract an article, it can’t be sold to another publication.
  5. Rights and Requirements: Do not submit articles that have been published by 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.)
  6. Authors must be available to provide additional information as needed for the completion of an article to the satisfaction of the editor.
  7. Where to Send Article Submissions: Email submissions to: danb@jpmediallc.com

Article Selection Process
We rarely select an article immediately after receiving it because we want to choose a good cross-section of topics for each issue. Therefore, we typically select most or all freelance articles for an issue at one time to make sure the themes create a well-rounded issue and avoid repetition of a topic within an issue or with previous issues.

Potential articles will be placed in a holding file for possible future use and will be reviewed each time an issue is being planned and prepared. An article may be used relatively soon, or after a year or two, or it may never be used at all. But remember, you’re free to submit an article to other publications unless we purchase and contract it. If we decide we would like to publish an article, we will contact you at that point to see if it’s still available.

Common Reasons for an Article Being Rejected

  • Wrong demographic
  • Wrong genre (an article type that we don’t publish)
  • Too similar to a past article
  • Content not compelling
  • Poorly written
  • Wrong length
  • Wrong timing for seasons or events. (Because of editorial workflow and publishing deadlines, we have very long lead times.)
  • Doesn’t agree with the Evangelical Statement of Faith  http://todayschristianliving.org/statement-of-faith

 

 

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