Make Your Talent Pay Up: Getting Your Writing Published
by Heather Lackey
The time has come to fan those latent sparks of creative genius that have been smoldering quietly ever since you discovered, whether in high school or in English 101, that you really could write. Even though you know you have talent, you still haven't done anything about it. Maybe you thought you weren't good enough for publication, or maybe you didn't think any magazines would be interested in your work. But, in fact, there are magazines actually begging for young writers to submit quality stories and articles. Your time has come.
Why write for a magazine? Besides the intrinsic exhilaration you experience when your work is published, there are practical reasons to share your ingenious gift with the printing press. First of all, whether or not we like to admit it, we all have a little mercenary streak. For indigent college students, the money the magazine will give for a story is a definite advantage. But even if you already enjoy the benefits of affluence, there are still reasons to start submitting your writing. If you are published, then you have the start of a great writing portfolio. This is an advantage, even if you don't plan to be the next Tom Clancy. Most professions recognize the value of good communication, and they will appreciate the prospective employee that has proof of these skills.
Now the problem you have been facing: you know you want to write, but who can you write for? Your options are extremely diverse, but let's focus on a few individual publications. One magazine that is looking specifically for good stories from young writers is Insight. You've probably read it before; but if you haven't, it is a weekly Christian magazine, targeted specifically for young people. Depending on the type of story or article published, Insight pays from $25 to $100 for a story. The magazine is looking mostly for true stories from a teen's perspective. It wants stories that are dramatic, believable, and realistic and that focus on a topic of teen interest, using a positive, Christ-centered approach.
Perhaps you want to move beyond the story format and address some issues that face young adults today. If so, a magazine to target is View, an Adventist publication aimed specifically at discussing the issues and interests of young Christians, ages 18-35. View accepts a larger variety of articles, and targets a more mature audience.
The Adventist Review is another Adventist publication to consider writing for. Right now, this magazine is especially starved for articles that have a fresh, young perspective - so this is the perfect opportunity for you, the fresh, young college student. If you have an idea that you think would interest the Adventist Review, write them about it. They will be thrilled to hear from you.
If you need a little more information about a publication and what it is looking for, there is a notebook in the Nelson Memorial Library entitled "Adventist Publications." This contains the writing guidelines and specifications of most Adventist publications. The notebook will also provide you with the proper address for submitting your work, as well as the name of the magazine's editor.
If you are interested in other publications, there are many to choose from. Believe it or not, there are publications not produced by Pacific Press. Some examples include Sharing the Victory, a Christian sports magazine that is looking for articles combining athletics and faith. Perhaps serious sermonettes interfere with your personal style, and you'd rather write something hilarious. If you are truly funny, submit your work to the Christian publication The Door. For more information on these and other Christian publications, there is another notebook at the library entitled "Christian Publications," with the information you need about many non-Adventist, Christian publications.
With numerous opportunities for publication and the promise of tempting rewards, there is no excuse for the prospective author NOT to write. Hopefully, you will go forth, ablaze with creative genius, to warm the waiting masses with the inferno of your talent.
Note: This is an archived article and does not necessarily represent current issues at Pacific Union College.