Today, writing a blog feels inadequate as I shift under the weight of yet another personal loss. In a short week, I found I had lost a dear family member and a co-worker whom I really liked.
“Words are like nets – we hope they’ll cover what we mean, but we know they can’t possibly hold that much joy, or grief, or wonder.”
Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart
I feel like any combination of words cannot capture the wistfulness of wanting everything to stay the same; for everyone to remain alive; for grief to pack its bags and visit somewhere not so close-to-home.
What a relief to know we don’t have to cast out our nets and fish for words to express how we feel.
There are other ways to reach out for meaning. Or to stay folded-in.
In difficult times, carry something beautiful in your heart.
Beautiful Things You Might Carry in Your Heart…
An anticipated event
A person you love
A landmark place where you discovered God
A rare and splendid moment
Let these treasures sustain you, carry you, ground you and tie all your loose ends to something real. Something of substance.
We know we must carry on even during a time of grief. How is that possible? Here is a quote I often turn to.
Just for Today
Just for today, keep it simple.
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Look at your life
for all you have gained
rather than lost.
Look at your path for everything
you’ve gotten through, rather than
where you think you should be.
Celebrate rather than criticize.
Experience rather than expect.
Stand in the sunlight
Rather than the shadows.
Quietly honor your heart
rather than disown pieces of yourself.
Take a break from all that.
See how that goes.
Just for today.
Author, L.C. Lourie
Maybe today you need this. If not, I’ll not be offended.
The power of empathy is often felt deeply in silence.
Building publishing credits is more common for traditionally published authors than it is for independent or hybrid authors, but it is something that is extremely important. Why? Because it helps establish and grow your brand. It puts you in front of people. Not just people that might want to buy your books, but people that might want to interview you on blogs, podcasts, or (gasp!) TV. It can help put you in front of school administrators that might decide to invite you to do a presentation. There are many reasons why building publishing credits are equally as important as building your platform (which I’ll talk about in another article).
But what are publishing credits?
An author earns publishing credits by having their work published. There are different ways you can do this. A nonfiction author can pitch to blogs, magazines, and journals that have to do with the topic they write about. A fiction author can submit to literary journals. There are different kinds of literary journals, some accept fiction, flash fiction, short stories, and poetry. Another great way to build up publishing credits is to enter writing contests. This is a simple way to build up your credits, and could help you win some neat prizes at the same time.
Some examples of magazines that accept fiction writing are Boulevard Magazine, The Sun Magazine, and SubTropics. These magazines accept fiction, poetry and essays. Boulevard Magazine pays $300 for prose of no more than 8,000 words, and $250 for poetry of no more than 200 lines. The Sun Magazine pays anywhere between $300 and $2,000 upon publication of between 500 and 7,000 words, and SubTropics pays $1,000 for stories and essays and $100 for poems upon publication. Articles written for SubTropics should be no more than 500 words, and novellas can be up to 15,000 words.
Some examples of magazines that accept non-fiction pieces are The Southern Review, Black Warrior Review, and AGNI. The Southern Review pays $200 for essays under 8,000 words. Black Warrior Review would like submissions that are less than 7,000 words. Their pay is unspecified. AGNI has no word limits for their submissions, and they pay $300 for essays upon publication.
There are several different writer’s associations you could become a member of also, such as the International Association for Professional Writers and Editors, and the Evangelical Press Association. There are roughly two-hundred different denominational newspapers, magazines and other outlets that can be found through the Evangelical Press Association that say they are welcoming new writers with thought-provoking content.
Keeping a List
One place that you can find a list of potential faith-based publications to write for is The Write Life. This book, Christian Writers Market Guide, also with its online resource, has been helpful to some looking for content writing resources.
Always review the writing guidelines for any place you submit. Here is one example of writing guidelines. Notice that these guidelines for Discipled magazine indicate that the article itself should be an end in itself not a way to promote your other books or interests.
Keep a list of what the writing guidelines require from your submission.
Keep a list of places you have submitted material.
Keep a list of these magazines, journals, association emails, and blog sites on which you have appeared as a guest or expert writer. A ready list makes it easy to include these subjects as part of your topics of presentation and build your publishing credits up.
Publishing credits are something many editors look for when reviewing your book proposals.
The more publishing credits you have, the more your brand will grow. It gets your name out there, establishes your credibility, and helps drive more traffic to your website.
Here is a list of curated most visible Christian publishing sites to write for. Credit goes to Jake Doberenz at Theophany Media for the list.
10 Christian Sites with a High Domain Authority
This is obviously not an exhaustive list but this list is one that openly accepts guest posts, which easily allow you to get a link on their site.
Washington Post(Score: 93) – The “Religion” category accepts pitches that are related to the news. Pitches were closed in 2020 but hopefully will be open for 2021. They should pay.
Christianity Today (Score: 81) – They accept pitches for articles on a variety of topics, mostly related to current events. Sometimes paying.
Patheos (Score: 81) – Patheos host blogs under categories that include Christian perspectives like General Christian, Evangelical, Progressive Christian, and Catholic. You have to find the individual blogs of categories and talk to their editors individually to discuss writing for the blogs. But it’s all built on this high domain authority site.
Focus on the Family(Score: 80) – This big Christian media company has a few different open pitches related to family and Christian living. They pay for certain articles.
Relevant Magazine(Score: 76) – The generally target millennials with information relevant to current events and culture. Their blog does not pay.
Guideposts (Score: 72) – This publication mostly seeks personal stories related to a variety of topics. You must send the full article. They do pay.
The Christian Century(Score: 71) – A publication for progressive Christians. They accept blog posts on faith in the public square and human rights issues. Pay is unclear.
Busted Halo(Score: 69) – A Catholic site that seeks to be fun and accessible. Pitches preferred. No payment listed.
Plough Quarterly(Score: 64) – Lots of different topics accepted, including poetry and short stories. Might pay.