During my first Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, I experienced a divine appointment with one of the industry’s leading agents, owner of The Steve Laube Agency, acquiring agent serving through Enclave Publishing, and manager of an award winning writing blog.
Under a canopy of redwoods, I thanked God for the opportunity and asked Steve Laube what advice he had for a fledgling writer.
Steve responded with a question and forever changed the way I approached my writing journey. “Are you in this to see your name on the cover of a book or to use writing for ministry?”
Without hesitation I said, “Ministry. I want God to use my writing to share His truth and love to the ends of the earth.”
He smiled. “Then don’t neglect the ministry of magazine writing.”
The discussion that followed brought me to tears, filled me with hope, and nudged me toward a path I never dreamed possible.
Please help me welcome Steve Laube, as he shares a snippet of our discussion.
Xochitl: Thanks for joining us, Steve. Please explain why you believe writing for magazines is such a huge ministry opportunity?
Steve: The nature of magazines is that they show up at someone’s house automatically whereas a book must be brought in intentionally. A book feels like a commitment of time. A magazine can be read anytime, anyplace. It is there where ministry can happen. Due to space considerations the writer must be laser focused to convey the point of the article. In that “big idea” moment wonderful things can happen.
Xochitl: Would you please share an example of how God has used a magazine article to minister to you?
Steve: I use magazines as a way to keep in touch with the varied ideas, philosophies, and even theologies that make up our world. Occasionally, I am confronted with a skilled writer who makes me think differently on a topic. But other times I appreciate the differing opinion because it helps me refine my own understanding as a counter.
And yet most often I am inspired by incredible stories of God’s goodness in someone’s life. A story that I would not read in book form but am happy to see in a magazine.
Xochitl: In what ways can writers benefit from contributing their work to magazines?
Steve: It teaches you to “write tight.” No unnecessary elaboration to fill the page. It makes a writer a better communicator on many levels.
I am also looking for great writers. In one situation I had repeated seen a specific author’s byline on articles that I appreciated. I did some digging and contacted them wondering if they had ever considered writing a full book. That author’s first full length came out shortly thereafter.
Xochitl: What tips would you offer writers who are considering submitting their work to magazines?
Steve: Do your homework. Review The Christian Writers Market Guide and the magazine’s web site guidelines. You can save yourself a lot of time by doing so. Also, think ahead. Start thinking now about a Christmas article for 2017.
Xochitl: Why would you advise established writers to invest their time in writing for magazines?
Steve: It can be another source of income for those who are full-time writers. I know of one author who was contracted to write three different monthly columns by three different magazines. The work paid well and gave the author great visibility. The writer was able to write all 12 of the annual columns in less than two weeks, for each magazine. Which is a great way to plan your writing.
Xochitl: What final word of encouragement would you like to share regarding the ministry of magazine writing?
Steve: Try not to fall into the trap in thinking that magazines are the “minor leagues” when it comes to writing. You can slave for years to write and publish a book and sell 5,000 copies. Or you can write one magazine article and reach 10,000 or more!
Xochitl: Thank you for being a wise guy who is willing to share your vast knowledge and experience with growing writers, Steve.
Attention Writers: My next post will include links to a few magazines that offer wonderful ministry opportunities, welcome unsolicited submissions, and pay writers!
Xochitl (soh-cheel) E. Dixon encourages women and teens to embrace God’s grace and deepen their personal relationships with God and others. Her devotions will be featured in Our Daily Bread, starting Spring 2017. She’s been published in The Upper Room, ENCOUNTER, and Devo ‘Zine magazines, in Inspire’s Victory, Promise, and Forgiveness, and at www.xedixon.com.