© 2017 Andrew Breeden
Part of my job as acquisitions editor for The Upper Room magazine is to travel across the country teaching workshops. The approach I take is pretty cut and dry. I thought I would take a similar approach here. For anyone interested in writing for The Upper Room, you will find below what we are looking for, how to write it, and how to submit it.
The Upper Room has more than three million readers across the globe. Our daily devotional guide is published worldwide in 75 editions, translated into 33 languages, and reaches over 100 countries. Each meditation we publish is written by one of our readers, someone just like you. Meditations should be 250-300 words in length and written at about the eighth-grade reading level.
We like for each meditation to contain three elements: a personal story, a connection to scripture (theology), and universal application for the reader. It is the application, or “takeaway,” that is most often missing from the submissions we receive. When you are writing your meditation, think about what you want the reader to take away from your piece. What do you want the reader to do? What insight did you glean from your experience that can be applied to the reader’s life?
As you think about submitting to The Upper Room, I would encourage you to look over our writer’s guidelines. I also recommend reading some of the meditations in our archives that we have published in previous issues. This tends to help writers—new writers especially—get a sense of the form and style of writing we typically publish. The one piece of advice that I give to writers, whether they have been writing for a long time or are just starting out, is to read what you want to write. Whether it’s The Upper Room or some other publication, familiarize yourself with it before submitting your work.
When you are ready to submit, use our online submissions page. Click “Submit a Meditation” and the online submissions form will walk you through the steps.
At The Upper Room, we count it a special joy to publish the first piece a writer has ever sold. We welcome all submissions, and we are always looking for new names. We look forward to reading your work! Moreover, we are always happy to answer questions or help you in any way we can, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Andrew Garland Breeden is acquisitions editor of The Upper Room magazine in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a graduate of Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School, both in Nashville, Tennessee. He lives in Charlotte, Tennessee.