2017 Summer Conference Magazine and Newspaper Editors

If you want to expand your reader circle, think seriously about submitting to periodical editors. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you could turn your research into an article or a devotional. Writing for magazines or e-zines gives you publishing experience and a wider (often much wider) audience than a book will—and more immediate compensation. Also, as your career progresses, you can market your books through your bio printed with the articles. It’s a great way to build those bylines. Editors and agents love to find writers with exposure! Note: Not all are paying markets.

Remember: Bring extra articles/pitches to the conference and sign up for on-the-spot meetings with these editors in the Writing Center.

Review the editors’ preferences and what they’re looking for. Note:

  • Magazine and newspaper editors may accept articles or devotionals through the Manuscript Submission Program. See manuscript submission guidelines.
  • Some will review submissions only at the conference.

Jesse Floreawww.FocusOnTheFamily.com

Workshop: “Do’s and Don’ts of Writing for Children”
Magazine Editor Panel (Wednesday)
Writing Center
Critique Nite Owl (Wednesday)

Jesse Florea

Jesse Florea has worked at Focus on the Family for more than 23 years. For the past 19, he’s been the editor of Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse magazine (for boys and girls ages 8 to 12) and is currently the editorial director for youth publications where he oversees Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines. He co-hosts the bi-weekly Official Adventures in Odyssey podcast that often exceeds 1 million listeners. He has written or co-written nearly 30 books, including The Case for Grace for Kids, The One Year Father-Daughter Devotions, The One Year Devotions for Active Boys, The One Year Devos for Sports Fans, Linspired: The Jeremy Lin Story, and Playing With Purpose: Mariano Rivera. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from Wheaton College. He lives with his wife, Stephanie, in Colorado Springs and enjoys hanging out with his two adult children, their spouses, and his granddaughter.

Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. Magazine (for kids 3-7) is looking for:

  • Fun, interactive and short (400 words or less) Bible stories. Stories could be in comic format, in panels, rhyming couplets, or from a different perspective (i.e. grasshoppers on backpacks telling the story of Gideon’s victory in battle).
  • Rebus stories with solid takeaway (200 words or less).
  • Personality stories of ordinary child (9 years or younger) doing something extraordinary, with faith angle (400 words or less).
  • Fiction—800 words or less—generally fits theme of specific month. Upcoming theme list will be posted here in May. Could be historic, animal, modern-day, sci-fi, choose-your-own-adventure.
  •  Animal factoid with spiritual takeaway (400 words or less).

Clubhouse Jr. Magazine is not looking for: Fiction set in middle America or suburban settings. They want fresh fiction set in interesting settings with real conflict that needs to be solved.

Focus on the Family Clubhouse Magazine (for kids 8-12) is looking for:

  • Biblical archeology or apologetics stories (1,000 words or less) for “Truth Pursuer” section of magazine. Stories must include insightful, fun writing. Needs to take a heady subject and make it kid-like and engaging.
  • Personality stories of kids 13 or younger, with faith angle (900 words or less). Again, ordinary kids doing something extraordinary.
  • Crafts or recipes geared toward holidays or specific times of year.
  • Quizzes (400 or 800 words). Could be multiple choice, True or False, arrow quiz. Use humor to engage and make your point.

Clubhouse Magazine is not looking for: Fiction. They have a stable of writers who provide their fiction needs. “But if you have something that will blow me out of the water, I want to see. I actually bought a fictionalized true-life story from a writer I met at this conference last year. But fiction is the most difficult place to break into Clubhouse.”

Clubhouse/Club Jr. 2018 Themes

Jan – Be Deliberate. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. To grow as a person and in your relationship with God, you need to pay attention, be focused and listen to guidance. Also this month: Sanctity of Human Life. (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Feb – Love in Action. Love isn’t about gushy feelings. It involves sacrifice, attention and connection. Laughing and playfulness help bring a family together.  (Colossians 3:14)

March – Adaptability. Life’s curveballs—a family move, back-stabbing friend, a poor grade—can come out of nowhere. By being adaptable, kids can adjust to new situations and deal with different personalities. (Philippians 4:12-13)

April – Faithful to Forgive. Grace and forgiveness are the glue that keep imperfections from destroying relationships. That’s true in our relationships with family, friends and God. Thank God for His grace and strive to show grace to others. Also this month: Easter. (Ephesians 4:32)

May – The Freedom of Limits. Boundaries protect us. Living within limits, especially those set by parents and the Bible, builds trust and gives us freedom to safely grow in maturity. Also this month: Mother’s Day. (Psalm 16:5-6)

June – Wisdom. Truly desiring the Word of God and applying it allows us to make good judgments and decisions, which is important during the summer when there’s more free time. Also this month: Father’s Day. (Proverbs 16:16)

July – Good Attention, Bad Attention. Sometimes you have to fight for attention. Acting out, immodesty and clowning will get you noticed. Showing respect or being a leader will make you stand out, too, but in a good way. (Isaiah 1:17)

Aug – Care to Share. Showing consideration for others’ needs and feelings. Being willing to share and cooperate with others. (1 Timothy 6:18)

Sept – Creative Problem Solving. God gives us creative minds to deal with difficult people and situations. By being creative we can find unique solutions when dealing with loneliness, anxiety, differences or faith issues. (Luke 17:3-4)

Oct – Courage to Act. Take brave action when facing a dilemma. Courageously stand for faith, following God’s Word. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Nov – Forever Grateful. Focusing on what you have, instead of what you don’t have. Genuine gratitude means saying “thank you” and realizing that nothing is deserved, but rather it is given. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Dec – A Time to Give. Looking for ways to make others’ days and lives better by giving of your time, talent and treasure. Giving cheerfully and sacrificially. Also this month: Christmas. (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

Jesse and his editorial team will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.


John Fortmeyerwww.cnnw.com

Workshop: “Not Dead Yet—Why Traditional Print Media Still Has an Important Role” (with Chad McComas)
Writing Center

John Fortmeyer

John Fortmeyer is the publisher of Christian News Northwest, a 29,000-circulation monthly newspaper he founded 23 years ago. The publication serves the evangelical Christian community in western and central Oregon and southwest Washington. He was formerly the director of public information at George Fox University for seven years. A native of Seattle, he received a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1977 from Seattle Pacific University, where he was editor of the campus newspaper. He and his wife, Sandy, have four grown children and eight grandchildren.

Christian News Northwest serves the evangelical Christian community in western and central Oregon and southwest Washington. As the name of our newspaper implies, it has a strong focus on ministry-related news in our part of the Pacific Northwest.

CNNW is looking for:

  • News articles pertaining to Christian outreach in the region served by our newspaper. Articles should be concise and follow standard journalistic style.
  • Expressions of opinion as submitted in letters to the editor or in special one-time commentaries. Letters should be written concisely, and are subject to editing for brevity, clarity, legality, and taste. Letters should be issue-oriented and should avoid personal attacks on individuals or group.
  • Special commentaries pertinent to ministry concerns here in the Northwest. Gives top priority to writers living in Oregon and Washington. Commentaries should be approximately 700 words in length.

CNNW is not looking for: Poetry submissions.

John will review articles through the Manuscript Submission Program.


Susan King http://devotional.upperroom.org/how-to-write

Coaching Class: Writing Great Devotionals—or How to Write Well in Any Genre, nonfiction
Magazine Editor Panel (Wednesday)
Writing Center

Susan King

For more than 22 years, Associate Editor Susan King has been with The Upper Room, a magazine that reaches millions of readers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Also, for more than 27 years she taught English and feature-writing classes at Lipscomb University, Biola University, and Abilene Christian University. Formerly, she served as writer, book editor, and radio program producer/on-air talent for The Institute of Scriptural Psychology, wrote magazine features as a freelance writer, and functioned as a seminar facilitator in leadership and group dynamics.

The Upper Room is looking for:

Devotionals—maximum 300 words, including

  • Quoted scripture
  • Body
  • Prayer
  • Thought for the Day (a sentence—designed for the readers to remember throughout the day—that encapsulates the main thought of the devotional)

Each author may submit up to three devotionals (300 words each). Devotionals should be double-spaced.

The Upper Room is not looking for:

Non-devotional material

Susan will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.


Ginger Kolbaba – www.gingerkolbaba.com

Coaching Class: Get Published Fast: The Art to Writing Great Articles
Workshop:  “Writing for the Web,” nonfiction (Wednesday)
Magazine Editor Panel (Wednesday)
Writing Center

Ginger Kolbaba

Ginger Kolbaba acquires articles for a national Christian parenting publication and website. She is specifically looking for parenting articles that focus on tweens, teens, adopted, or special needs children. Ginger is an accomplished, award-winning author, editor, and speaker. She has written or contributed to more than 30 books, including Your Best Happily Ever After, and more than 400 magazine and online articles. In the publishing industry for more than two decades (she started very young), Ginger is the former editor of Today’s Christian Woman magazine, Marriage Partnership magazine, and the founding editor of Kyria.com, all award-winning resources of Christianity Today. Four years ago, she started her own writing and editing business, in which she works with both major publishing houses and individuals. You can visit her at www.gingerkolbaba.com, Facebook.com/gingerkolbaba, or Twitter @gingerkolbaba.

Ginger is looking for: Practical, insightful parenting pieces for the following departments:

  • Parenting tweens (ages 8–12) – 700–800 words
  • Parenting teens (ages 13–18 and still at home) – 700–800 words
  • Parenting adopted children (newborn to 18) – 450 words
  • Parenting children with special needs (newborn to 18) – 450 words

She is not looking for:

  • Pieces written to the child – they should be written to the parent.


Sherri Langton http://baonline.org/

Workshop: “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”
Magazine Editor Panel (Wednesday)
Writing Center
Worship Team

Sherri Langton

Sherri Langton, associate editor of the Bible Advocate magazine (baonline.org)  and of Now What? e-zine (nowwhat.cog7.org), has worked in Christian publishing for more than 25 years. She is an award-winning freelance writer whose work has appeared in Focus on the Family, In Touch, Upper Room, Today’s Christian Woman, Marriage Partnership, Discipleship Journal, Decision, Quiet Hour, and other publications. Sherri also has contributed to Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood, My Turn to Care, Teatime Stories for Women, Becoming a Godly Man, Faces of Faith, and Hurray God! In addition, she teaches workshops at several Christian writers’ conferences. Sherri lives in Denver, Colorado, where she has played drums and percussion at her church for more than 35 years.

Bible Advocate is looking for:

Teaching articles on just about any topic. Freelancers can also submit articles exploring their organization’s vision points: Christ-Centered, Spirit-Formed, Bible-Based, Sabbath-Celebrating, Distinct Yet Inclusive, Passionate in Worship, Compassionate in Service, Engaging in Witness, United in Fellowship, and Committed to Discipleship. Make sure to build your articles and reflections on a sound biblical foundation, utilizing at least a couple of key passages.

Now What? is looking for:

Personal experiences that portray a problem the writer went through that either led the person to Christ or, if already a Christian, deepened their faith in God. The magazine relies heavily on solid storytelling, using fiction techniques (dialogue, scenes, description, etc.).

Neither publication is looking for: Articles or stories with Christmas or Easter themes, Bible studies, sermons, personal experiences about miscarriages.

Sherri will review magazine articles through the Manuscript Submission Program.


Chad McComas www.TheChristianJournal.org

Workshop: “Not Dead Yet—Why Traditional Print Media Still Has an Important Role” (with John Fortmeyer)
Magazine Editor Panel (Wednesday)
Writing Center

Chad McComas

Chad McComas has been the editor of The Christian Journal newspaper since 2000. His passion for sharing the inspiration and encouragement from God’s Word comes from his work as a pastor since 1977. He and wife, Debi, live in Medford in Southern Oregon and together lead Set Free Ministries, which includes two church congregations, the Christian newspaper, a homeless ministry, a food pantry, pop-open cards, and Rogue Retreat, a nonprofit that houses the homeless in its 44 apartments. He is also a voice for affordable housing in Jackson County. For more information, see www.setfreemedford.com and www.rogueretreat.org.

The Christian Journal is looking for:

Short (500 words or less) articles on various Christian topics dealing with sharing God’s Word to inspire and encourage the reader. They can use articles on Bible exposition, devotionals, marriage, money, church leadership, and more.

The Christian Journal is not looking for:

Articles on theology or controversial issues like abortion and politics.

Chad will be available to meet authors in the Writing Center.


Paul W. Smith https://myhealthychurch.com

Workshop: “Preparing Manuscripts for Submission: Making Sure Your Manuscript Meets the Publisher’s Needs”
Magazine Editor Panel (Wednesday)
Writing Center

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is the managing editor of curricula for Assemblies of God publishing (Gospel Publishing House) in Springfield, Missouri. He and his staff provide editorial services for publications ranging from brochures to books and everything in between in both English and Spanish. From 1990–2007, he had direct editorial oversight of Radiant Life adult and young adult Sunday school curricula as well as LIVE, a take-home paper for adults, and God’s Word for Today, an adult daily devotional. Paul is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and is the author of many articles and several correspondence courses, including several institute-level courses.

LIVE, A Weekly Journal of Practical Christian Living, is looking for:

  • Any kind of short story that shows how the Lord meets us in every aspect of the human condition—joy and sorrow, spectacular and mundane.
  • Personal experience stories (preferred)
  • Fiction (no Bible or science fiction)
  • Poetry under 25 lines

Preferred format is MS Word, 1-inch margins, double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman. 400 to 1,100 words.

Paul will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.


Ben Wolfwww.splicketypubgroup.com

Workshop: “Writing Flash Fiction That Sells”
Magazine Editor Panel (Wednesday)
Writing Center – Editor and mentor

Ben Wolf
Ben Wolf

Ben Wolf is a multiple award-winning author and the founder/editor-in-chief of Splickety Publishing Group (SPG), publishers of three flash fiction magazines: Splickety Magazine (young adult fiction), Havok Magazine (speculative fiction), and Spark Magazine (romance fiction.) Ben’s debut novel, Blood for Blood won the 2015 Cascade Award for Best Speculative Fiction. His debut children’s book, I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You, won a 2016 Cascade Award. When not running Splickety or writing fiction, Ben is a sought-after freelance editor, and he specializes in helping speculative fiction authors make their work stand out. For more information, visit his website, www.benwolf.com/. Befriend Ben on Facebook and follow him on Twitter (@1BenWolf).

Splickety Publishing Group is looking for high-quality flash fiction* for their three magazines, Havok, Spark, and Splickety Magazine. Havok publishes speculative flash fiction, Spark publishes romance and women’s flash fiction, and Splickety Magazine publishes a variety of other genres.

Anyone interested in submitting to these magazines should first take a look at their upcoming themes list. (They do not publish stories in our magazines unless they fit one of these themes.) Second, those interested in submitting should do so while following their submission guidelines.

*Note: they define flash fiction as stories of 1,000 words or less. (No need to submit a synopsis.)
Splickety Publications is not looking for:

Anything that doesn’t fit the upcoming themes on their website and/or if it doesn’t adhere to their submission guidelines. (That includes stories in excess of 1,000 words.)

Ben will review through the Manuscript Submission Program.