My Devotion Marketing Strategy

© 2012 Harriet Michael

Do you enjoy writing devotions but don’t know where to send them? Over the past couple of years, I’ve put together a strategy that has served me well.

I write devotions according to The Upper Room guidelines and send them there first for a couple of reasons:

  • They pay the most ($30.00)
  • They respond the quickest (approximately 3 months)

The Upper Room will notify you via e-mail as to whether they wish to hold your devotion or not. If they choose to print it, you will receive a contract within a year. The publish date may still be another year away. Since they pay on publication, you may not see your earnings for two years after submission.

Those devotions rejected by The Upper Room I submit to The Secret Place, still in the same format, since the two publications’ guidelines differ only slightly. However, I keep the following in mind:

  • The Upper Room calls them meditations and wants them put in the body of the e-mail whereas The Secret Place requires an attachment.
  • The Secret Place word count is slightly shorter (100-200 vs. 250), but they also will print longer ones. So,The Secret Place word count is too short for The Upper Room, but The Upper Room word count is not too long for The Secret Place.
  • The Secret Place will notify you of acceptance within 10 months through a letter of acknowledgement along with a check for $20 per devotion. They pay on quarterly contract in July, October, January, and April.

I keep a flow of devotions constantly circulating between these two magazines.

Also, I recently discovered that Word Aflame publishes reprints. They only pay $8 per devotion, but anything is nice as it is on a piece that has already brought in $20 or $30.

Once established as a devotion writer, you can pitch work to magazines that assign devotions rather than accept freelance work. I have successfully done that and received assignments from both Reflections and Open Windows. Though you’re usually assigned five or more devotions at a time, take note that most assignments are purchased as a “work for hire” in which you forfeit your right to sell reprints.

This plan has proven successful for me, and I hope it will for you as well.
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Born in Africa, the daughter of missionaries, Harriet Michael has been married for 33 years and has 4 children and 1 grandchild. Her work has appeared in magazines,devotionals and anthologies includingCelebrate Life, Parent Life, Mature Living, The Lookout, The Lutheran, Home Life, Power for Living, and more. Devotionals include The Upper Room, The Secret Place, Reflections, Open Window, and Word Aflame. Her manuscript about prayer was named a finalist in the 2011 “Women of Faith” contest.


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