Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Write for the Christian Market by Tina Cho

How to Write for the Christian Market


illustrated by Anna Cho via iPad


Writing for the Christian market is one of the most rewarding kinds of writing out there because you can change lives! And the best-selling Book of the ages is our mentor text from God himself. There are all sorts of ways to write for this market from children to adult.

Devotions
Devotions or meditations are small articles of encouragement that focus on a verse of Scripture, and the author shares an anecdote or something personal that emphasizes the point of the verse. You can practice writing devotions by starting a devotional blog. That's what I did. My friend Gloria Stockstill wrote such wonderful devotions, that an editor took notice and signed her up for a book deal! How's that! Study different devotion formats, and when you find a venue you like, submit. I've had a devotion published with The Upper Room, and I have a kids' devotion and craft book forthcoming from Legacy Press Kids. Another friend, Laura Brooke Keith has a great devotional book coming out from Warner Press. Online devotions for kids are also popular, such as Keys for Kids. And Proverbs31 Ministries has awesome devotions for women. 

Vacation Bible School
If your church puts on a VBS, check the publisher of the curriculum. Go to their web site and see how to write for them. They might want freelance writers. Perhaps your own church needs a writer for a VBS script for dramas or lesson materials. Volunteer to write. I just critiqued one of my friend's fabulous VBS scripts for her church.

Sunday School
Just like with VBS curriculum, check the publisher of your church's Sunday school materials. Go to their web site and see if they need writers. Someone writes the flyers, stories, take-home materials, crafts, and lessons that your children do each week. I wrote a coloring book for Warner Press that is used in Sunday schools and children's church.

Magazines
Every denomination seems to have materials for children. Check yours. Some popular Christian children magazines are Clubhouse, Clubhouse Jr., Pockets, Guardian Angel Kids e-zine, Little Lutheran, and The Kid's Ark. Study 3-5 issues of each magazine and the submission guidelines. These magazines like to have Bible stories, fiction and nonfiction stories, crafts, puzzles, and articles about kids doing great things for God. Last year I came across a little-known piece of Scripture that I knew would make a great story, (1 Chronicles 25:1-8), and it's in the June issue of Clubhouse Jr., for Father's Day!

Books
If you want to publish a children's book or adult book in this market, study Christian publishers. See the kinds of books they publish. Query them with ideas. That's how I landed two of my books. Granted, some publishers only accept agented submissions. Then write your best and get yourself an agent. (I know, easier said than done.) My writing mentor, Nancy Sanders, and my friend Laura Sassi, both have agents and write for big Christian publishers like Zondervan and Tyndale.

Inside: God says to stay in the place we are
until He shows us the next step. May God
give you peace as your wait on Him.
Cards
Some Christian publishers sell greeting cards. Study their cards, guidelines, and submit your poetry and encouraging thoughts. One of our grog writers, Sherri Rivers, has written greeting cards for Warner Press.

Writing for the Christian market is a fun and rewarding job. We have the greatest story of the gospel to share. I love being one of God's scribes. If I can do it, so can you!

Inside: We all know where babies come from...God! Congratulations.

Thanks, Sherri, for sharing your cards. Thanks, Anna, for your illustration.


30 comments:

  1. Tina, this is a wonderful overview of writing for the Christian market. And you are so right, it's a chance to encourage others in their journey.

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    1. Thanks again, Sherri, for the use of your cards! I really like the message on the first one.

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  2. Tremendous resource, your blog and this post. Kudos to Anna for being your illustrator!

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    1. Thanks, Mirka! I love having a daughter who can draw!

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  3. Thanks for these helpful ideas, Tina! I'm stashing them away to review later. This is a market that I have been attempting to break into for sometime.

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    1. Yes, you'd be awesome in this market, Jarm!

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  4. Tina, thanks for this post. You are so lucky to have Nancy Sanders as your mentor. She's mine too, but I'm not sure she's aware of it!!!

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    1. Nancy is wonderful. I'm glad you're following her, Mona!

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  5. Thank you for this wonderful post, Tina. I haven't delved into the religious market, even though Tyndale is in my home town. Time to take a look at the magazines you mentioned -- that would be a perfect starting point.

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  6. How neat Tyndale is in your home town! Yes, do try the magazines.

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  7. Tina you rock! Loved reading about all your good work!

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  8. Tina: Such beautiful ideas you have shared. Spreading the word of the Lord through books published through the Christian Publishing Market is so important. There are so many great Christian stories of hope, forgiveness and healing; fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. Thank you. ~Suzy

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  9. Thanks, Suzy. Have you written for this market?

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  10. Thank you, Tina, for sharing your tips and experiences. I'm always so impressed with the wide variety of places you've been successful with your writing. And using your writing talents to share God's love is extra special. Blessings!

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  11. Oh, thanks, Ev! Glad I've been able to share with you along the way.

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  12. Great post with great tips! I can't wait to read your story, Tina!

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    1. Thanks, Laura, for all your help!

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  13. Great post Tina, wish we had more encouragement in the UK. I am in the process of having my first book published but it is only by a small publisher in the UK, would love my book to hit the American market too. I love writing about God's love, and it has been an awesome journey doing it, sharing it with others would be amazing.

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    1. Congratulations, Victoria, on your book! Do you have a blog or some place that you share about your book?

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  15. A lot of the information in this post has been very useful. I can definitely agree there are great needs for having or developing organizational, writing, and marketing skills.


    Logo Maker

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  16. Tina, this was enlightening. I had not even thought of this market. I write for our Lenten devotional every year, but this was a whole new group of projects for me. Thank you!

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    1. Thanks, Todd. You'd be great writing for this market, too!

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  17. I enjoyed this, Tina, and I love Prov 31 ministries! Good mention.

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    1. Good for you, Kristin! Glad to meet another Prov 31 woman!

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  18. THE ELECTED! BY STEVE FINNELL

    Can those elected by God resist that calling?


    ELECT-ELECTED-ELECTION: Defined (Adjective, signifies picked out, chosen.) (Noun, denotes a picking out, selection, then, that which is chosen).


    Elected means chosen. There is a view held by many that when God elects or chooses people that they cannot resist God's calling. Israel was God's elect or chosen people. God did not just select certain Jews to be saved and other Jews to be lost. Salvation was offered to the whole nation of Israel.


    Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the people who are on the face of the earth.


    The Jews were God's elect. Did any of them ever reject that election? Yes they did; because they had free-will.


    1 Samuel 8:7 The Lord said to Samuel, "Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.


    They rejected God as king.


    Numbers 14:11 The Lord said to Moses, "How long will this people spurn Me? And how long will they not believe in Me, despite all the signs which I have performed in their midst?


    These people were the elect of God, but they would not believe in Him. Even though they were God's elect He did not force them to believe and obey Him. THEY HAD FREE-WILL.


    Acts 7:51 "You men who are stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.


    Israel was God's chosen people; they were His elect, however, they always resisted the Holy Spirit. Most of them rejected Jesus as the Christ. THEY HAD FREE-WILL.


    Does God arbitrarily condemn some men to hell and elect a chosen few for salvation? NO, HE DOES NOT!


    WHO ARE THE ELECT OF GOD TODAY?


    Acts 10:34-43 Opening his mouth, Peter said: "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. 36......Jesus Christ....43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness from sins.


    WHO ARE THE ELECT OF GOD TODAY? All who believe in Jesus Christ. Yes, everyone has the chance to become the elect, the chosen of God.




    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.


    WHO ARE GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE? WHO ARE GOD'S ELECT? EVERY JEW AND EVERY GREEK WHO MEETS GOD'S TERMS FOR PARDON UNDER THE NEW COVENANT ARE THE ELECT OF GOD. THEY ARE ALL GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE.


    GOD HAS OFFERED SALVATION TO ALL WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS THE CHRIST.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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