What is Pockets?
Designed for 6- to 12-year-olds, Pockets magazine offers wholesome devotional readings that teach about God’s love and presence in life. The content includes fiction, scripture stories, puzzles and games, poems, recipes, colorful pictures, 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 written and produced for children and 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.
The primary purpose of POCKETS is to help children grow in their relationship with God and to claim the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ by applying it to their daily lives. POCKETS espouses respect for all human beings and for God’s creation. It regards a child’s faith journey as an integral part of all of life and sees prayer as undergirding that journey.
Upcoming Writing Deadlines
We’ve all heard of the poorly behaved sports or entertainment star who says that it’s not his or her job to be a role model for children. And we ourselves tend to forget that we are role models—whether of good traits or bad ones—in all that we do. Children are always looking up to someone. But how often do they think of themselves as role models? This issue should help children understand that they too are called to be role models of the Christian life to those around them, to both adults and other children. Paul’s words to Timothy inspire us here: “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12, NRSV).More Info
What is enough? We live in a society that encourages us to buy, buy, buy. Whether we admit it or not, we often behave as if happiness is just one more purchase away…and then one more…and then one more. And what do we do with all that stuff? Use it up and throw it out, or stow it away somewhere and forget about it. We don’t like to consider how these tendencies affect the people in developing nations who produce much of what we consume. Our children watch and learn from our behavior. How do we help them understand that the world has limited resources; and therefore, we must practice good stewardship of money and things? How do we help children understand that happiness doesn’t depend on wearing the best clothes or having the newest toy? Are we ever truly thankful in the midst of trying to obtain more?More Info
The December issue of Pockets takes on a life of its own as we turn to Advent themes such as waiting, hoping, journeying, giving, and sharing love, joy, and peace. This issue should help children begin to understand how Jesus’ birth, God’s incarnation, is made new for them each Advent and Christmas and how this sense of Emmanuel, God with us, guides our lives throughout the year.
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. 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.
Copies of our themes are also available by mail with a SASE. Please note deadlines for each issue; late manuscripts cannot be considered.
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 6–12. Though some children may share it with their families or use it in church group settings, 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 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.
Poems should be short, not more than 20 lines. Both seasonal and theme-related poems are needed.
Non-fiction articles that are open for submissions include: theme-related quizzes; Kids with a Mission profiles of children involved in charitable, environmental, community, and peace/justice issues; biographical sketches of persons, famous or unknown, whose lives reflect their Christian commitments and values; and Family Time activities for families to do together (seasonal or theme-related). The length of these features varies greatly, and we strongly suggest sending a SASE (please send 6 x 9 size envelope) to receive a sample copy of the magazine if you are interested in submitting any of these.
Special note: In addition to receiving regular submissions, Pockets sponsors a fiction contest each year.
How should I submit my writing?
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. Because of the volume of manuscripts we receive, we do not accept manuscripts sent by FAX or e-mail.
How will I know if my submission will be used?
If we use your submission, we will notify you before publication. Along with your letter of acceptance, you will receive a contract and a W-9 (IRS form) that must be completed, signed and returned in order for us to process your payment.
Submissions not chosen for publication will be returned only if they are accompanied by a SASE. Because of the number of submissions we receive, we are unable to check the status of submissions.
Send all submissions to:Pockets Magazine ATTN: Editor PO Box 340004
Nashville, TN 37203-0004