4 Essentials to Include in Your Article Submissions


By Katy Kauffman


It’s a bit nerve-wracking—hitting “send” on an article submission. Even though I’m a magazine editor, I still get nervous when I submit an article to someone else’s publication or website.

How can we have peace of mind when we submit a Scripture-based article or devotion to an editor? Here are four essentials for every submission, along with a checklist. Editors will be looking for these must-have’s which help our articles to be accepted.

4 Essentials That Can Give Us Peace of Mind When We Submit 

1. Evidence that we’ve looked at the submission guidelines:    

  • Have we followed the formatting guidelines provided?
  • Have we used the website’s or publication’s structure for an article (the outline) if it was given?
  • Have we cited all of our Scripture references, giving the Bible translation used?
  • Are we sending our submission to the correct email address and including the name of the editor if provided?
  • Does our byline appear in the text of the article?
2. A clear main idea:

  • Is the main idea for our article clearly developed in the paragraphs?
  • Have we streamlined our paragraphs to only include those that build to or explain our main point?
  • Have we streamlined our stories to include the pertinent details?

 3. Reader interest: 

  • Have we drawn the reader in with an intriguing first line?
  • Have we shared stories that our target audience will find interesting, funny, or touching?
  • Have we crafted the first lines of our paragraphs to grab the readers’ attention, so they want to keep reading?
  • Have we explained Scripture in a conversational way?
  • Have we included enough reader takeaway (application)?
4. Concrete takeaway: 

  • Have we steered away from giving pat answers or easy fixes?
  • Have we shared enough of the why or the how of our main point?
  • What action step are we calling our readers to take, and is it attainable with God’s help?
  • If we’re sharing a how-to article, have we shared proven strategies for overcoming challenges?
  • Have we ended the article with one last solid point of encouragement or with a final step in trusting God or walking with Him?       

Editors can tell if we have looked at the submission guidelines provided, and they can also tell if our submissions will minister to both the minds and hearts of their readers. Not only do we want to include a clear main idea, but drive it home with reader interest and meaningful takeaway.

Every hour we give to editing and polishing our submissions will create an article worth sharing. What will you write about next?

In the comments below, tell us which of these four essentials you think is the easiest to include and which is the easiest to forget.


(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, satit_srihin, and Stuart Miles.)


Learn the 4 essentials for submitting an excellent article. via @KatyKauffman28 (Click to tweet.)


Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. She loves connecting with writers and working alongside them in compilations, and she is faculty at several writers’ conferences.


In addition to online magazines, Katy’s writing can be found at CBN.comthoughts-about-God.com, and three blogs on writing. Her Bible studies for women focus on winning life’s spiritual battles.


Katy loves to spend time with family and friends, paint with watercolors in her Bible journal, and do yard work in the morning sun. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and through The Lighthouse Connection, a monthly writers’ newsletter.  



  1. It always amazes me when I receive submissions for Arise Daily that are way outside of our writers guidelines. From professional writers!! That's what I see right off. And it can color my view of the article itself.

  2. Thank you, Katy, for this helpful information.
    Easiest should be #1 because guidelines are usually clear.
    Hardest is often #4 because it's sometimes hard to stay away from pat answers and effort is required to come up with creative takeaways and action steps.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts