Write For Us

Entries are received beginning March 15 and must be postmarked or received by email no later than August 15.

 

  • All submissions should include an accurate word count and the writer’s contact information – name, mailing address, and email address or phone number.
  • There is no set theme and no entry fee.
  • Stories should be 750–1,000 words. (Stories shorter than 750 words or longer than 1,000 words will be disqualified.)
  • Stories should contain lots of action, use believable dialogue, be simply written, and be relevant to the problems faced by this age group in everyday life. Children need to be able to see themselves in the pages of the magazine. It is important that the tone not be “preachy” or didactic. Use short sentences and paragraphs. When possible, use concrete words instead of abstractions. However, do not “write down” to children.
  • We do not accept stories about talking animals or inanimate objects.
  • Biblical and historical fiction based on real events is not accepted for the contest, but is welcome for regular submissions.
  • Multiple submissions are permitted.
  • Past winners are ineligible.
  • The winner will be announced November 1 at pockets.upperroom.org.
  • Award: $500 and publication in the magazine.
  • Entries with a SASE will be returned.
  • Entries submitted by email will not receive a response unless they are held for further consideration or chosen for publication.

 

SEND MANUSCRIPTS WITH SASE TO:

Lynn W. Gilliam, Editor

P.O. Box 340004

Nashville, TN 37203-0004

Please write “FICTION CONTEST” on the outside envelope.

 

OR BY EMAIL TO:

pockets@upperroom.org

Please write “FICTION CONTEST” in the subject line.

 

 

POCKETS is a publication of THE UPPER ROOM.  POCKETS, THE UPPER ROOM, and design logos are trademarks owned by THE UPPER ROOM, Nashville, TN.  All rights reserved.

What is Pockets?

Designed for 6- to 12-year-olds, Pockets magazine teaches about God’s love and presence in life. The content includes fiction, scripture stories, puzzles and games, poems, recipes, colorful art, activities, and scripture readings. Freelance submissions of stories, poems, recipes, puzzles and games, and activities are welcome. The magazine is published monthly (except in February).

The purpose of Pockets is to help children grow in their relationship with God and live as Christian disciples. It is designed to help children pray and to see their faith as an integral part of their everyday lives. The magazine emphasizes that God loves us and that God’s grace calls us into community. It is through the community of God’s people that we experience that love in our daily lives.

What should I write about?

Each issue is built around a specific theme with material that can be used by children in a variety of ways. Submissions should support the purpose of the magazine to help children grow in their faith, though all submissions do not need to be overtly religious. They should help children experience a Christian lifestyle that is not always a neatly wrapped moral package but is open to the continuing revelation of God’s will. Seasonal material, both secular and liturgical, is appropriate. Most of the magazine’s content is written by adults, but we also welcome submissions from children.

Pockets is inter-denominational, and our readers include children of many cultures and ethnic backgrounds. These differences should be reflected in the references that are made to lifestyles, living environments (suburban, urban, rural, reservation), families (extended families, single-parent families, and blended families as well as more “traditional” families), and individual names. Stories should show appreciation of cultural differences.

What ages are Pockets readers?

The magazine is for children ages six through twelve, with a target reading age of eight through twelve. Though some children may share it with their families and some churches use it with groups of children, Pockets is designed primarily for children’s personal use.

What type of material should I write?

Fiction and scripture stories should be 600 to 1000 words. Our primary interest is in stories that can help children deal with real-life situations. We do not accept stories about talking animals or inanimate objects. Fictional characters and some elaboration may be included in scripture stories, but the writer must remain faithful to the story.

Stories should contain action, use believable dialogue and characters, be simply written, and be relevant to the problems faced by this age group in everyday life. Children need to be able to see themselves in the pages of the magazine. It is important that the tone not be “preachy” or didactic. Use short sentences and paragraphs. When possible, use concrete words instead of abstractions. However, do not “write down” to children.

Poems should be short, not more than 16 lines. Both seasonal and theme-related poems are needed.

Non-fiction articles should be 400 to 1,000 words. We particularly seek articles about children involved in environmental, community, and peace/justice issues. These do not need to relate directly to an issue theme, but a natural tie-in to the theme is a plus. Please include photos of these children involved in their activities and supply a statement of parent’s permission to use the photos.

How should I submit my writing?

We accept manuscripts submitted by email or post. You can email your contribution to us at pockets@upperroom.org. Your contribution should come attached as a Microsoft Word document, double-spaced with page numbers. You should include your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address within the body of the email as well as on your manuscript. In the subject line, please describe the manuscript type (fiction, poem, game, etc.) as well as the intended issue and theme, for example “Fiction for September/Courage.”

If you submit by post, contributions should be typed, double-spaced, on 8 1/2″x 11″ paper, accompanied by a SASE for return. Writers who wish to save postage and are concerned about paper conservation may send a SASP for notification of unaccepted manuscripts, and we will recycle the manuscript. Please list the name of the submission(s) on the card.

How will I know if my meditation will be used?

If we choose to use your meditation, we will notify you before publication. Along with your letter of acceptance, you will receive a contributor agreement and a W-9 (IRS form) that must be completed, signed and returned before you will receive payment. Meditations not chosen for publication will be returned only if you have sent a SASE. Because of the number of meditations we receive, we are unable to check the status of submissions.

Will Pockets pay to use my writing?

Payment will be made at the time of acceptance. We sometimes place manuscripts on long-term hold for specific issues. Authors are free to request the return of their manuscripts at any time during the long-term hold.

Stories and articles: 14 cents a word

Poetry: $25 and up

Activities, games, recipes: $25 and up

How do I submit my manuscript?

 

Mail manuscripts to:

Lynn W. Gilliam, Editor

Pockets

P.O. Box 340004

Nashville, TN 37203-0004

USA

 

Or email manuscripts to:

pockets@upperroom.org

We will post 2019 themes as they become available. No 2018 themes are available to write for. Thanks!

 

Send Us Your Stuff!

Your Bible verse, joke or pet photo could be chosen for the Pockets website! What would you like to send us?