“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
Writer Submission Guidelines
Thank you for your interest in writing for us
We are delighted that you wish to share your heart with our readers. We are committed to bringing solid, well-written, Christ-focused encouragement to women by partnering with strong writers and authors who share the heart and vision behind The Joyful Life.
about the joyful life
THE JOYFUL LIFE is a quarterly lifestyle print publication for Christian women seeking the authentic JOY found by inviting JESUS into our everyday lives.
Our goal is to help women find the joy and see the beauty in every area of their lives—Home, Work, Marriage, Motherhood, Family, Friendship, Fellowship, and Community. It’s a publication about REAL LIFE…as raw, vulnerable, beautiful, fragile & joyful as it is.
We hold fast to the truth that Christ is the only source of true and authentic JOY and that it’s only by walking closely with Him that we are able to rejoice and be glad in each and every day and circumstance. We lean on this truth as the foundation and guiding principle of our publication and company.
We believe joy can be embraced by every woman and we aim to be a treasured source of encouragement, inspiration & community in your journey toward living a joyful life.
Join Our Writer List
While we accept open submissions for articles and essays based on our current editorial calendar, we communicate most effectively with those subscribed to our writer list. Calls for specific topics and content are shared with our writer list first, as well as advanced notice of themes for the print publication, the blog, and for opportunities to write for our social media platforms. If you’d like to be included on our writer list, please sign up below.
*IMPORTANT NOTE — Upon joining our Writer List you will immediately be sent our Welcome Email. If you do not receive this email within a minute or two of submitting the form — please check your junk mail. The Welcome Email contains very important information about our communication process with our contributors. Adding our sending email address to your contacts will also help in making sure that our emails are delivered to your inbox in the future.
General Guidelines and expectations
The Joyful Life is committed to providing new and original content to our readers, both in our print publication as well as on our blog. All published content must be exclusive to The Joyful Life.
– We accept original content only. Your piece must not have been published elsewhere, including your own personal blog and must not be currently pending review with another publication.
– We seek strongly written pieces that reflect the message of The Joyful Life in heart and tone. Submissions should demonstrate skilled writing, a vulnerability gained by personal experience, and an overall friendly tone of coming alongside other women in order to encourage and challenge them in their walk with Jesus.
– All submissions will be simultaneously considered for both the print magazine and the blog. Whether a piece is selected for publication to the print magazine or to the blog will be at the discretion of The Joyful Life.
– If your piece is selected for publication, we request 90 day exclusivity from the date it is published. If selected for our blog, we would love for you to post a brief excerpt on your blog and/or social media platforms linking to the full post on The Joyful Life.
– Authors selected for publication on the blog will receive a ‘Featured on The Joyful Life Blog’ badge that they may include on their blog with a link to The Joyful Life. Authors selected for publication in the magazine will receive a ‘Published in The Joyful Life Magazine’ badge.
– All published work will be credited and linked (when applicable) to the author’s blog and social media platforms.
– Please note that submissions are on a volunteer basis and at this time we are unable to financially compensate for submissions that are chosen for publication.
– We strongly encourage you to have someone proofread your piece prior to submitting. Pay particular attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar, and clarity.
– Please do not submit essays under an alias. If privacy is a concern, due to the content of your piece, please make us aware of your concern. If selected for publication, we will work with you to determine how best to credit you while respecting your privacy.
– If chosen for publication, we will source images to accompany your piece. Please do not include images with your submission. If you have high resolution photos that you feel would strongly compliment the piece, please make note of it with your submission and we will request them for consideration upon acceptance. Photos submitted for consideration must be your original work only.
– We require that all of our writers agree with our Statement of Faith. We are committed to transparency in our beliefs and in our intention as a company to point women to Christ through our content. Because of this commitment we exercise caution when considering writers to partner with and will only accept submissions from those who stand in agreement with our Statement of Faith.
– We are particularly drawn to pieces that carry a profound and emotionally compelling message—words that challenge women to genuinely pursue growth and heart change that glorifies the Lord.
formatting your submission
– Submissions should follow the word count recommendation listed on our call for submissions. We recommend using an online word counter, such as Easy Word Count, to keep your submission within the guidelines.
– Submissions must be sent via our SUBMISSION FORM.
– Please include a proposed title with your submission.
– When quoting a Bible verse, we strongly prefer verses to be quoted from the ESV translation. It is vital that you make note of which translation you are quoting from for every verse reference.
– Please be judicious in your use of italics, bold, underlined text, and exclamation marks.
– Submissions should be single spaced with a double space between paragraphs and sub-headings. Please do NOT indent paragraphs.
– Submissions must be left-justified, including sub-headings.
Response time and EDITING process
You will be contacted within 30 days of our quarterly submission deadline. If you have not heard from us after 30 days, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Request for Submission Update” and include the title of your piece in the body of your email. If your piece is still under review and being considered we will let you know quickly. If it has not been accepted, we will let you know that as well and at that time you are free to submit or post elsewhere.
If your piece is selected for publication it will enter our editing process. We reserve the right to make minor edits for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and clarity that we deem necessary to enhance the piece. If more significant edits are necessary for clarity or context, we will contact you with suggestions and/or a request for edits.
The average reader of The Joyful Life Magazine is female, between the ages of 35-54. She is married with 2-5 children ranging from elementary aged to young adult. She attends church regularly and feels as though her spiritual walk is healthy and growing, but is eager for further growth. She is interested in content that brings wise counsel, encouragement, and conviction. She seeks a return to simpler living, practical life hacks, creative inspiration, and tips for encouraging hospitality. She is interested in Bible Study and journaling techniques, book reviews, and examples of practical evangelism. She looks forward to learning from and celebrating women who find joy in the day to day. She is looking for guidance and support in parenting, marriage, spiritual growth and relationships. She feels the stresses of our current culture on her life and family and struggles with a feeling of disconnection in regards to fellowship.
As a broad topical focus we seek submissions that relate to JOY—your relationship with JESUS, your relationship with OTHERS, and your relationship with YOURSELF. Submissions with a clear focus on personal growth, practical application, or lifestyle related topics that glorify the Lord are welcomed.
The following category descriptions are simply to serve as suggested prompts for thought. We would love to hear your original ideas and stories!
HOME | Relating to making your home a haven for your family and a warm, welcoming and comfortable place for practicing hospitality. DIY projects and crafts, inspiring decorating ideas, cooking, recipes, gardening, hobbies, homemade crafts, inspirations in homemaking, etc.
WORK | Relating to work outside or inside the home, entrepreneurship, or ministry, work/life balance, home office inspiration, etc.
MARRIAGE | Relating to overcoming common struggles, communication, finding joy within, romance, forgiveness, personal testimony of victory through a difficult season, etc.
MOTHERHOOD | Relating to overcoming common struggles of overwhelm, anger, disappointment, and guilt. Finding joy in the midst of the mundane, celebrating our calling as mothers, seeking Jesus through the pain of parenting wayward children, grace for parenting in today’s digital world, stories of intentional and sacrificial choices for the sake of your children, parenting children as they prepare for college and adulthood, etc.
FAMILY | Family fun, traditions, rituals and rhythms, shared activities, crafts with kids, personal testimonies of God’s grace in difficult seasons, adoption stories, fostering children, serving together as a family, etc.
FRIENDSHIP | Relating to developing deep personal connections, recovering the lost art of true friendship, letting others into our lives on a personal level, being real, connecting in a disconnected world. Overcoming envy, the fear of transparency, and the fear of trusting, etc.
FELLOWSHIP | Relating to growing in our relationship with Christ with other women, accountability, serving, ministry, intentional hospitality for the purpose of fellowship, etc.
COMMUNITY | Reaching out to the community for the sake of glorying God, being the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world, serving the lost, showing the joy of Jesus to the world, etc.
Submissions should have a focus on drawing the reader back to finding their purpose, inspiration, worth, calling, and joy in Christ. The heart of our publication is to encourage women to invite Jesus into every area of their lives and to live out their day to day with a focus on glorifying Him in all they do. We are not looking for every submission to be overtly doctrinal or preachy, but rather that the heart of Christ abiding within us be reflected sincerely in the the words, tone, and encouragement of the piece.
We are currently accepting submissions for the Fall 2019 Issue of The Joyful Life Magazine | CULTIVATE. Submissions are simultaneously considered for publication on The Joyful Life Blog as well. For our current topic list, please join our writer email list (please see link above) and our Facebook Contributor Group to stay in the loop.
The quarterly deadlines for submissions are as follows:
Issue 01 | Premier Issue, ABIDE | Published in November 2018 | DEADLINE—JUNE 30, 2018
Issue 02 | Spring Issue, GATHER | Published in March 2019 | DEADLINE—OCTOBER 31, 2018
Issue 03 | Summer Issue, SURRENDER | Published in June 2019 | DEADLINE—JANUARY 31, 2019
Issue 04 | Fall Issue, CULTIVATE | Published in September 2019 | DEADLINE—APRIL 30, 2019
Issue 05 | Winter Issue, TBA | Published in December 2019 | DEADLINE—JULY 31, 2019