Updated April 9, 2001


~Nonfiction -- Writers must understand and empathize with a Christian world view, but that's not enough. Freelancers must be pros who understand our unique style and editorial philosophy. Don't query until you've studied at least one issue of Campus Life (sample copy available for $2).

What Type of Article Works Best?

First-person stories that capture experiences from the lives of teenagers are our readers' favorite. These can be dramatic narratives or stories that highlight a "life lesson" learned through common everyday adolescent experiences. A first-person story must be highly descriptive and incorporate fictional technique. While avoiding simplistic religious answers, the story should demonstrate that Christian values or beliefs brought about a change in the young person's life. Since this is our editorial bread and butter, experienced freelancers should consider writing "as told to" first-person stories based on an experience from an interviewee's life.

What Else Does Campus Life Print?

Humor, fiction and information for teens considering a Christian college. All such writings must be tied to the teenager's life experience. We also offer several regular departments that are largely staff written. Specific writer's guidelines for fiction, first person and humor pieces are available upon request.

What Doesn't Work?

Essays and how-to articles are not wanted. There are a few exceptions, yet even exceptions must be highly anecdotal and demonstrate a clear understanding of our style and editorial philosophy. Manuscripts are rejected if they: become moralistic or preachy; offer simplistic solutions; take an adult tone; use religious clichés and overuse/misuse religious language; lack respect and empathy for teenagers.

Guide for Writing First-Person Stories

The first-person or "as told to" first-person story is the best way for a new writer to break into our freelance pool. It is also the best way for a seasoned writer to remain there. It's no overstatement to say that the personal narrative is our editorial "mainstay." Follow these guidelines and your manuscript will receive serious consideration.

1. Study first-person stories. Guideposts© and Reader's Digest© are excellent resources. Most of all, study the first-person stories that appear in Campus Life before submitting anything.

2. Interview thoroughly. For "as told to" stories, be sure to tape a thorough interview with your subject. During the interview, probe for details that will add life and color to your story.

3. Show, don't tell. Appeal to the five senses through strong descriptive writing. Use fictional technique: Pay attention to plot (problem focus), character and scene development, setting, dialogue, and credible resolution.

4. Focus on the best scenes. Don't try to "tell it all." Pick scenes that are germane and develop those to the fullest. If possible, try to keep your story within a short interval of time.

5. Don't force your message. Weave your "life lessons" into the fabric of the story.

6. Think readers. Your story needs to have "universal appeal" to all of our teenage readers, both male and female.

7. Don't force religious values. A Christian world view should be represented, yet creatively and in a manner that won't alienate or puzzle the non-churched teenager. If the story becomes preachy, brings characters "out of character" to deliver a message or uses religious clichés, it won't work for us.

8. Mechanics. Campus Life does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Query first. Requested manuscripts should be typed/keyboarded and double-spaced. Simultaneous submissions must be indicated on the first page. Length should be between 1,200 and 2,500 words.

Based on difficulty and length, we pay $.15 to $.20/per word. Expect a response in three to six weeks.

Guide for Writing Fiction

It's not uncommon for a writer to query us with: "I know a teenager who had a problem and I have written a fictional piece based on that problem." Our usual response: "So why not tell the story in a true, first-person narrative?" That is the most helpful advice we can offer. At tops we print three short stories a year, and those are usually written by experienced, seasoned professionals. With that caution, consider these guidelines.

1. Know Campus Life. Do not query without a thorough understanding of this magazine.

2. Style and technique. Pay attention to strong descriptive scenes, credible dialogue and realistic action, conflict and resolution.

3. Setting/perspective/tone. Story must take place in the world of today's high school or college student and must be told from a teenager's perspective. Tone must not be condescending and/or adult. The overall "feel" must show a respect and empathy for the teenager's life and experiences.

4. Language. Strive for simplicity. Keep adjectives and adverbs to a minimum. Go instead with active, appropriate verbs. Remember: Lions roar, parents yell; rain trickles, people cry; cars travel, eyes look; etc. Exchange clichés for fresh expressions. Use metaphorical language sparingly and without mixing. Faddish, teen colloquialisms are not acceptable.

5. Predictability. We quickly reject stories that are simplistic, dependent on coincidences or end too neatly. A good fictional piece reflects life's shades of gray and complexities.

6. Point and message. In keeping with our editorial philosophy, each story we publish must contain a "lesson life" that represents a Christian world view. Yet this life lesson must be natural -- not forced. "Religious message writing" is out. Give the reader credit for a good measure of intelligent, analytical thinking. Offer a credible resolution, yet strive for subtlety.

7. Mechanics. Campus Life does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Query first. Requested manuscripts should be typed/keyboarded and double-spaced. Simultaneous submissions must be indicated on the first page. Length should be no longer than 2,000 words. Based on difficulty and length, we pay $.15 to $.20/per word. Expect a response in three to six weeks.

Amber Penney
Campus Life



Clean Sheets -- We are a professional online magazine which showcases intelligent and sexy erotic fiction, poetry and art, as well as information and commentary on sexuality and society. We're looking for sensual, original work which adds something different to our perspective on sex and sexuality.

We are looking for poems on a broad range of erotic themes. We are interested in provocative poems about all types of lifestyles and cultural perspectives, all forms of sexual play and insights on the nature of eroticism. All sex-positive material will be considered; however, the editors reserve the right to reject any work based on content or quality.

We would like to see all of the following in all of the work: Sexuality of the oozing kind; clear, clean, sharp images maybe (or maybe not) cloaked in filigree; explicit language used in different ways; inventive use of line breaks and fresh, fresh metaphors. Allusion, innuendo, crescendo and diminuendo, and always in blue. The best way to see what we are looking for is to read the poetry at Clean Sheets.

We do not accept or reject poems solely on the basis of style, meter or rhyme. We accept simultaneous submissions and reprints. Please be sure to note such submissions in your cover letter.

We prefer poems of 100 lines or shorter. We request that authors submit no more than five poems per month. Unsolicited submissions in excess of this count will not be considered.

Authors will be asked to attest to the originality of the work submitted and that no part has been borrowed or copied from another work.

Poems can be published under a pseudonym, but contributors should remember that payment will be made by check and therefore we will eventually need a real name, address and (for U.S. contributors) a Social Security number; this information will be kept strictly confidential.

Pays $10/poem; donations are also gratefully accepted. Your poem will run for four weeks on our front page, and then will be included in our Archives if you grant us permission to do so.

Send three to five poems in the body of your e-mail -- plain text, no attached files, and all poems in one e-mail. Subject line should read: POETRY SUB: Your poem title.

Single space the poem, and double space between stanzas. Please explain any spacing concerns for figured poems; Web pages appear differently on different browsers, and we need to know your intentions so that we can translate them into Web markup. The text should be plain ASCII format in the body of your e-mail message, not an attachment.

Response time will vary, but we try to respond to all submissions within a month. If you haven't heard from us after six weeks, send us an e-mail inquiry.

Pasquale Capocasa, Poetry Editor
Clean Sheets



Conversely -- Today there are dozens of published magazines and Web zines that offer advice and commentary on relationships, but there isn't a single source for high-quality, intelligent and entertaining writing on this topic.

We seek writers, new or established, who can produce articles and essays on all aspects of male-female relationships that are well-written (as in good technique, grammar, spelling, etc.), intelligent (as in gives the reader credit for having a brain), witty (this is very important -- intelligent humor), engaging (so that people actually read through to the end) and fun (meaning creative and unpredictable, so that it doesn't feel like you're reading the Financial Times on relationships).

Though we value the individual stamp each writer brings to her or his work, we do highly recommend that you read through some of the essays and stories posted on the site, as well as What We're About, to get a feel for our style. Also, please be sure to review the list of topics we don't consider.

Writers should have a lively interest in, and strong opinions about, relationships ... as well as a passion for writing about them. We expect our readers to be both female and male, primarily in their 20s and 30s. Thus, we focus on topics that relate to the types of relationships, and relationship issues, facing this group.

Writers should consider submitting to any of the following sections:

Antidote embraces essays ranging from personal opinion to social observation, intimate critique, satirical commentary and factual reports. The goal is to explore the motivations and underlying emotions that are reflected in our behaviors.

Topics can be anything that has to do with relationships. Small topics are as valid as large ones, for example: the importance of remembering a phone number vs. the implications of marriage.

While we don't expect essays to be arrow-straight and perfectly structured, this is our most "traditional" form: essays must make a point or have a thesis, and reach a conclusion. Word count: 750 to 1,500.

Memoirs and personal stories about your own experience in or out of relationships: Writing that examines any or several aspects of relationships; preferably instances, or events, that haven't become clichéd. We prefer writing that is not overly dramatic or sentimental.

We look for honest, well structured pieces that carry the reader's attention throughout the narrative. In general, we expect these stories to be in the first person. Word count: roughly between 750 and 2,500.

Nothing surprising here. We're looking for stories that deal with romantic relationships: at any stage, any age, from any angle. However, this is not to be confused with "romance genre" writing, which is not for us.

We prefer tales that focus on the inside as much as the outside, that reveal something unexpected and true about the characters and their motivations. We favor compelling narrative that grabs from the outset and never lets go. Stories that examine commonplace situations are less likely to be chosen, unless they take a fresh approach to the topic.

Generally speaking, we focus on literary stories; gothic, sci fi, fantasy and erotica are not for us. Memoirs are fine. Both traditional and experimental forms are considered. Word count: below 3,000.

If you have something that's not an essay, or a story or a memoir, then it might be right for us. This section is not terribly well defined yet; in a sense it serves as a catchall for writing that doesn't fit neatly into our other categories.

In general, this is a section for nonfiction written in experimental, creative formats. It should have to do with relationships, or with the emotions and actions that are often associated with them. In some way it should reflect the writer's views or observations, that is, it should have a reason for being told, even if it's not told in the traditional forms. Word count: below 3,000.

At this time, we do not need writers for our advice column. Also, we don't consider poetry.

If you are interested, we want to hear from you! Conversely accepts submissions by e-mail and regular mail. We strongly prefer e-mail. Send e-mail submissions with your name, e-mail address and phone number (in case we need to contact you and e-mail isn't working). We regret we will not consider any e-mail submissions without full name and phone number.

Simply paste your text into the body of the e-mail message and be sure to add "###" or "THE END" at the bottom of the message so we can quickly ensure it arrived complete. Alternatively, you can attach the file in either TXT or RTF formats. Please do not send us attachments in any other format, as we will be unable to read them.

If you use regular mail, send it to Conversely, PMB #121, 3053 Fillmore St., San Francisco, Calif. 94123-4009. Be sure to include your name, your clearly marked e-mail address and phone number. Include a SASE if you want the material returned or you have no e-mail. We regret we will not consider any material sent to us without either a SASE or an e-mail address.

Whether you use e-mail or regular mail, please indicate what section you are submitting to. If you'd like, a brief paragraph about yourself is also welcome. We will consider both new and previously published material, and we accept simultaneous submissions. Please tell us if (and where, when) your submission has already been published, or if you are submitting simultaneously, in your cover note.

There is no need to query before submitting. However, if you are wondering whether an idea would work for us, or if you have any other questions we haven't answered here, please e-mail. We're sorry we can not respond to queries, or send guidelines, over regular mail.

Acceptance of a submission may sometimes be contingent on editorial changes suggested by us. No changes will be made to submissions without the writer's consent. Writers will be able to review their posting before it goes live.

We respond within eight weeks on submissions, less on queries (up to 12 weeks for regular mail submissions). Our decisions are primarily based on our subjective opinion of the submission's topic and style suitability to our publication. Our editorial lead times average two to three months.

Conversely pays $50 to $150 for accepted submissions. Payment will tend to be higher for pieces that:

* Were assigned by us
* Require less (or no) "editorial effort" prior to posting
* Come from writers who have published with us before
* Have a higher word count.

Conversely provides bylines and we require that writers present a short bio on the site. Conversely buys exclusive electronic rights for 90 days, and non-exclusive thereafter (this means we can keep the piece in our archives for as long as we think appropriate).

We pay within 30 days of initial posting (i.e., publication) on the site. We request that writers sign a contract at the time when we accept an article for publication.

We (the founders) believe that Conversely is a great concept, and that, if executed appropriately, it will be very successful. Part of that execution depends on finding other talented writers who are willing to take a chance with us, either for love of writing, for faith in the concept or a bit of cash.

If you have a paying market you would like shared with Inscription readers, send complete freelance writing guidelines, current needs and payment rates to with the subject heading "Markets."


Last Week's Markets


Kafenio is a dynamic monthly e-zine offering intelligent features, photos, columns and insider tips on European life and culture. The e-zine was selected by Writer's Digest Magazine as one of the "50 Best Places to Write Online." There is nothing to join and no way to subscribe, so "Klick on Kafenio" to discover what's going on around Europe. Better yet, bookmark Kafenio.

Writers worldwide are invited to submit columns for Speakers' Table, a regular department of Kafenio. We average 22.4 submissions per month. Each issue will include three or four columns. Never preachy, they offer an informative, sometimes humorous, approach to the surprises of life in Europe. Word count is open (though shorter is better) and a conversational, first-person style is preferred. Don't get hung up about British vs. American style or spelling. Kafenio is a place to be yourself, so use whatever best suits you.

By submitting your contribution, you represent you are its author. The editor may run your column as a feature or a Sports Corner, as needed.

One-time, one-month electronic rights are purchased, running from the first to last days of the month of publication. Then the column is yours again to do with as you please. Kafenio's archives consist only of titles of articles with authors' names, so be assured your work will never be posted in Kafenio beyond "your" month. Reprints are welcome.

Payment of US$100 or euro100 (check of your choice) is made upon acceptance of a Speakers' Table item. Terms and payment are the same if your item happens to run as a feature or as a Sports Corner piece.

Submissions: No queries please! Simply e-mail your best shot without photos in the body of an e-mail. Editorial response time is a few days. Competition is keen and often editors must select from among top quality submissions. If you don't have luck the first time, just try us again.

We strive to cover a variety of European destinations in each issue of Kafenio. Note that our staff writers are based in Austria, Greece and Britain, so these areas are covered. Presently we have more than enough on file about France, Germany, Italy and Spain and have bought essays through June 2001. If you would like a free editorial calendar for Kafenio, send a blank e-mail ( with "calendar" in the subject line.

Please note that no features, photos or queries will be accepted from freelance writers.

Roberta Beach Jacobson, Editor


Chocolate for a Woman's Soul book series is published with Fireside/Simon & Schuster. We have created a very rich sisterhood together. My intention is to inspire readers and at the same time provide as many opportunities and connections for the Chocolate sisters as possible.

The true, short stories published in Chocolate are written in first person and fall under the broad categories of finding love, following our intuition, divine guidance, overcoming an obstacle, soaring to our greatness, children and pets, and learning to laugh at ourselves. If you've read any stories in Chocolate (there are also several stories under "Chocolate Sampler" in my Web site), you will notice there is a very wide range of topics covered -- all the things that we women and young women encounter. Typically the stories have a moment of learning and a heartwarming ending. Stories are usually two to four pages in length double-spaced. Unfortunately, I receive far more stories regarding the death of a loved one than I can include. Because the competition for stories selected is keen with so many writers participating, please send what you consider to be your strongest stories.

I pay a $100 honorarium for each story accepted. I am currently accepting stories for a teen sequel and a woman's sequel to be published in 2002. Teen stories can be from teen girls, or from women with a poignant or funny memory of those times. Payment is made as soon as my Chocolate publication permission form is signed by you and returned to me. I work personally with each storyteller in the editing process.

Many Chocolate sisters have received calls for work because of their bios in the book, and I have introduced a number of them to my senior editor at Simon & Schuster. Some have gone on to be published with her and others are now represented by my New York agent. Also, Chocolate sisters are able to buy any of the Chocolate sequels at discount and sell them at their own events, parties, fund-raisers, etc. Many writers simply enjoy being a part of a class-act best-selling series!

Chocolate stories can be reprints as long as a "permission" is not required. You can use this same story in newspaper, magazines, your own book, etc. However, it cannot be published in a similar mass-market
anthology such as Chicken Soup. I want to retain the uniqueness of Chocolate and I believe readers should expect fresh stories when they buy various anthologies.

E-mail stories or fax them to (503) 423-8334. Your stories will be in safekeeping as you and I discuss whether they are a good fit for the Chocolate format.

Kay Allenbaugh
Chocolate for a Woman's Soul series



Pixel Press -- Our current needs are novels and picture books (comic book format) in all genres and lengths. We can always use good novellas and longer short stories.

Payment schedule is 30% royalty on download price. Books may be published in electronic and/or paper format. If published as a Print On Demand book, a different contract is used with slightly lower royalty. Generally we report in a matter of days.


General: Send all manuscripts with query letter, short synopsis and short biography, all electronically. No snail mail. Send as an attachment in e-mail and let us know the format. We use Mac computers, but we can read most word processing programs including MS Word.

We are very particular, and it may take a while to get to your submission. Please be patient. We will reply as quickly as possible. All submissions should include a cover letter and brief biographical sketch.

We pay 30% royalties on the download retail price for electronic rights only. Sometimes we acquire other rights by negotiation with the author. You will get the respect and honor your work is due and monetary rewards as fate dictates. If you expect to retire and live a life of luxury on the proceeds of your one book, you'd be better served to send it elsewhere.

Fiction: We are currently seeking quality fiction in all lengths and all genres. We want distinctive characters who are believable.

Nonfiction: In nonfiction, we especially want "how-to" books, articles, booklets and bulletins. We will look at humor, unusual cookbooks, whatever we think will tempt a reader. Nonfiction manuscripts may be submitted as an outline and sample chapter with proposal. Short nonfiction (individual essays, articles, etc.) should be sent complete.

Poetry: We want poetry and poetry collections, both traditional and free verse, that showcase the poet's dedication to and knowledge of the craft of poetry.

Collections: For short story and essay collections, send at least two works from the collection. If we enjoy these, we'll ask to see the entire collection. For poetry collections, we recommend sending the entire collection at once.

Don Johnson

If you have a paying market you would like shared with Inscription readers, send complete freelance writing guidelines, current needs and payment rates to with the subject heading "Markets."


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