devozine Weekend Feature Guidelines
Weekend Feature Articles are recruited rather than freelance. If you have an idea for a weekend article for a particular theme, please email Sandy Miller a brief proposal of what you would like to write. This gives us a chance to offer input or to let you know if the weekend for that theme has already been recruited before you write the entire article.
If my proposal is accepted, how do I write an article?
- Word Count: 500-600 words. Article should build on theme for the week—with a “twist.”
- Format: Make your article invitational and reader-friendly. Try not to have long blocks of copy; or use subtitles, sidebars, or bulleted lists to break copy into smaller sections.
- Next Day Stretch: As you write, think about how you might craft a reflective element to encourage readers to dig deeper into the theme by offering a question or questions for reflection, a suggestion for action, tips for ongoing practice of a spiritual discipline, a directed or open-ended prayer, a biblical passage to explore, a suggestion for journaling or starting a journal, a website for researching further, or some combination of these ideas.
- Include a Short Bio: Credentials and/or something fun about yourself.
- Images: If you have ideas for graphics or have high-res digital photos to accompany your article, please send them to the editor with your article.
- Contact Info: Include your contact information:
- Age/Birth Date (if you are younger than 25)
- Mailing Address
- Email Address
- Phone Number (Please alert us if your contact information changes after you submit a meditation.)
Tips for Adult Writers
If you are an adult writer who has never tried writing for youth before, here are a few tips from the devozine staff.
- Be simple, honest, vulnerable.
- Be original. (Don’t quote a lot from other sources. For any quotation you use, please include a copy of the excerpt and of the title and copyright pages of the book or magazine.)
- Be personal (not just general).
- Use a conversational tone rather than a scholarly, academic tone.
- Write about a theme we are featuring in an upcoming issue (rather than a random topic). You can always find upcoming themes on this website or send us a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to receive a printed copy.
- Offer a scripture suggestion that ties in to your meditation.
- Write a reflective element at the end of your meditation (prayer, thought for the day, reflection question, journal or action suggestion). See Write for devozine for more information.
- Stick to the suggested word count.
- Use inclusive language for God and humans.
- Be open to editing.
- Don’t give up if your meditation is not selected. Try again!
Some Things to Try:
- Ask a teen to read your meditation before you send it in and to give you feedback on its relevancy to his or her life. Besides helping you become a better writer, this practice will help you to build trust and stronger relationships with young people.
- Try writing a meditation with a teenager and share the byline.
- Try using a different format from time to time: poetry, song, psalm, litany, prayer, prose, letter, and so forth.
And a Few Things to Remember...
- The Upper Room® is an ecumenical, interdenominational publisher; so don’t write denominationally-specific material. If you do, we will probably make it more general or add parenthetical explanation for our broader audience.
- Your material will be relevant to teenagers if you understand them and their world. Spend time with some of the teenagers in your life. Listen to them and try to understand their culture.
- Be patient with us (the devozine staff) about your submission. You may not hear back from us for a while, especially if you submit a meditation for themes appearing later in the year. If we do not choose to publish your meditation and if you have not sent us a self-addressed stamped envelope, you will not hear back from us.
What happens when my article is accepted?
- You will receive a copy of your edited article to review and the paperwork that must be signed and returned before your work can be published.
- Payment is $100 and will be made upon receipt of your completed paperwork.
Thank you for helping us to encourage young people to spend time with God!