- 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?
- Think of an attention grabbing title.
- Start with a powerful hook--action, problem, or conflict.
- Use fiction techniques--show (don't tell), multiple scenes, plot, climax, dialogue, description.
- What is the point of your story? Make it your takeaway. Christian editors are looking for takeaways.
- 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.
- If the publisher sends you an assignment from your wonderful query letter, submit your story exactly as assigned and within the prescribed deadline. Sometimes assignments are on a speculation basis. Make your story excellent so it will be accepted and so you can get more assignments with this publisher and build a working relationship.
Writers on Writing-Top Christian Authors Share Their Secrets
Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins
On Writing Well by William Zinsser