7 Steps to Writing Personal Experience Stories

Do you blog or journal your experiences? Do you have a story to tell? Here are
seven tips to follow as you develop your story for publication.

  1. Consider what magazine you would like to submit your story to. Get a copy or two and study its style, departments and columns so you can suggest how your article will fit into their periodical. Find their writer guidelines. Do they want queries first? Do they want submissions by U. S. Mail or e-mail?
  2. Think of an attention grabbing title.
  3. Start with a powerful hook–action, problem, or conflict.
  4. Use fiction techniques–show (don’t tell), multiple scenes, plot, climax, dialogue, description.
  5. What is the point of your story? Make it your takeaway. Christian editors are looking for takeaways.
  6. Write your query or cover letter. This has to be every bit as good as your manuscript or better. Make the editor want your article.
  7. If the publisher sends you an assignment based on your wonderful query letter, submit your story exactly as assigned and within the prescribed deadline. Sometimes assignments are on a speculation. Make your story excellent so it will be accepted and so you can get more assignments with this publisher and  build a working relationship.

Check out these great books on writing:
Writers on Writing-Top Christian Authors Share Their Secrets
Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins
On Writing Well by William Zinsser

About Elizabeth Thompson 48 Articles
Elizabeth M. Thompson writes contemporary nonfiction, articles and devotionals using her experiences as a Bible teacher, wife, mother and grief navigator. She also enjoys speaking at writer’s conferences and women’s ministry events. Although her background includes marketing and education, writing has always been a driving force in her life. She is currently pursuing publication for her one-year grief devotional book, When the Waves Crash. Her most rewarding adventures to date include her marriage to Michael, parenting her three children, and serving Christian writers through Inspire. Her publication credits include articles published by Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian, and contributions to Whispering in God’s Ear (Waterbrook 2005) and Inspire Promise (Inspire Press 2014).

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