WRITING TIPS - Submit Your Ministry Ideas

If you have been in children's ministry for years, you probably have lots of ideas which you have tried successfully.

Why not share them with others?

Here's how:

1. Study Sally Stuart's Christian Writer's Market Guide, which covers everything you need to know about locating markets and submitting your manuscript. This resource may be ordered from Sally's web site: http://www.stuartmarket.com/

2. Request writer's guidelines from publishers in your interest areas.

3. Send for sample magazine copies and file writer's guidelines with them. Peruse the magazines to learn all you can about slant, audience, doctrine, and types of material used.

4. Compile a target list of potential markets.

5. Carefully edit your material.

6. Editors look for the following:

* Main idea stated clearly so readers recognize significance of the article

* Stories, anecdotes, examples and figures to support the major proposition

* Logical, point-by-point case with transitions

* Avoidance of technical jargon and professional academic language

* Fresh, creative ideas with new insights or wisdom

* Relating to real problems and needs

* Applications of Christian values and principles

* Introductory paragraph which holds attention

* Ending which summarizes and provokes thought

* Adherence to word limits

* Vulnerability - showing you have wrestled with the subject matter in your own life

* Realistic, positive and practical tone

7. Use one-inch margins on all sides of your manuscript.

8. In the upper left corner, type your name, address, phone number, and social security number.

9. Purchase rights, and the word count, go in the upper right corner.

All Rights - publication is buying all publication rights to the material

First Rights - publication is buying the right to be the first to publish a specific piece of writing

Reprint Rights - offers a periodical the opportunity to use something that has appeared in print elsewhere. (If you submit a reprint, indicate where it was previously published.)

One Time Rights - selling the right to publish the material one time to any number
of periodicals which do not have overlapping readership.

10. If a Simultaneous Submission (same piece of writing offered to multiple markets which
do not have overlapping circulation and are not of the same church denomination) is being offered, type this under the rights.

11. Halfway down the page, center your title in all caps.

12. Drop four lines and center your byline in upper/lower case letters.

13. Drop down six lines and begin your lead sentence.

14. Double-space, using only one side of the paper.

15. On the tops of consecutive pages, type the page number, your last name and the title.

16. Keep a copy of your manuscript.

17. Enclose a SASE (Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope) with correct postage.

18. Don't stuff an envelope.

* Manuscripts less than 6 pages should be folded like a business letter and mailed
in a #10 envelope.

* Manuscripts 7-10 pages may be folded in the middle and mailed in a 6x9 envelope.

* Manuscripts more than 10 pages should be sent flat in a 9x12 envelope.

19. Keep in touch with your manuscripts. If your material has been out with no response for
longer than the holding time listed in the market guide, write a status inquiry.

20. Four or five rejections probably means:

* Your piece needs revision

* It has been sent to the wrong markets

* The timing is not right

21. Keep accurate records:

* Title of manuscript

* Name of periodical

* Date sent

* Response (accepted/rejected)

* Date of publication

* Tear sheet received

* Amount paid