click here for print version Sparkle Writer's Guidelines

Writer's Guidelines 2015/16


Sparkle is an exciting magazine designed especially for girls in the first through third grades. Sparkle is published by GEMS Girls’ Clubs (Girls Everywhere Meeting the Savior), an international ministry that starts Bible-based club programs in churches and Christian organizations. The mission of GEMS is to help bring girls everywhere into a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ.

 

>> SHINE brightly Guidelines

 

Sparkle Mission

Sparkle’s Mission is to help girls discover who God is and how He works in His world and their lives. We strive to give girls the building blocks to create a living and dynamic faith in Jesus Christ. The tagline is ‘Sparkling Jesus’ light into the world’.

Sparkle mission image

Included in Sparkle:


We are looking for stories, articles, quizzes, poems, games, puzzles, and crafts that are fresh, present the Christian life realistically, and cause young readers to see how God’s Word—His Truth—applies to their daily lives. Submissions to Sparkle are selected based on the following criteria:

  • The manuscript must fit with the Sparkle Mission.
  • The application of Scripture to everyday life.
  • The ability to engage culture–meaning it must be relevant today while still maintaining and upholding the truth of Scripture.
  • The ability to delight the reader.
  • The ability to cause the reader to evaluate her own life in light of the Truth presented.
  • The ability to teach a practical life skill.

Each season, Sparkle dedicates its pages to the exploration of an Annual Theme. The next theme is Choose Truth (See below.)

Sparkle fills up quickly, so get your manuscripts in early. We read manuscripts each week. You can expect to hear from us in eight weeks.

 

Fiction: Our readers like stories with adventure, fantasy, and mystery, stories about animals, and situations they can relate to in their daily interaction with family and friends. Each season we focus on a different theme. We are interested in seeing how each Annual Theme connects to our overall mission—to help girls discover who God is and how He works in His world and their lives. We strive to give girls the building blocks to create a living and dynamic faith in Jesus Christ. More information about this season’s theme is provided below. Stories should be realistic and need not always have a happily ever-after ending. Stories with religious clichés are not of interest to us. Length: 100-400 words

Nonfiction:
Nonfiction articles about topics that interest our readers include: animals, activities, games, sports, music, musicians, famous people, interaction with family/friends/siblings, exciting and fun service projects, and dealing with school work. Length: 100-400 words

Poetry:
Sparkle publishes a limited number of poems per year. We prefer rhyming poems since they help early readers. Length: 5-15 lines

 


Introduction to the Theme

Each season Sparkle dedicates its pages to the exploration of an Annual Theme. The next theme is Choose Truth. Below you will find a summary of the theme as well as needs for each issue.

Theme Concept - Choose Truth

The Bible is like no other book! It’s God’s story, and it reveals His character and His heart. In short, it’s truth! The storyline of the Bible is redemption, and all of its pages point to Jesus. Each story uncovers His radical love and His plan to rescue us.

The Choose Truth theme will challenge women and girls to be lifelong hearers and doers of His Word. We will learn to take God at His Word by studying it, clinging to it, and digging into its richness. And in the process we will walk in its light and pass on a contagious love for it to the next generation.

Theme Verse

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path (Psalm 119:105).

 

Aims

  • To teach girls that the Bible is God’s story; it’s all about His plan to rescue us.
  • To show girls that God’s Word is a light to guide our steps.
  • To stir a contagious desire to be lifelong hearers and doers of His Word.

 

Take the Sparkle Challenge!

We are looking for fiction and non-fiction stories and articles that weave the theme of Choose Truth through each issue of our publication. We want to help girls discover who God is through His creation, the work He does in His world, but also through His Word.

We will also be focusing on a specific issue girls deal with each month. Submissions are not limited to these ideas—each issue will highlight a variety of fun, engaging truths—but we will be looking for articles that can touch on these issues in subtle ways. We look forward to your creativity!

Sparkle fills up quickly, so get your manuscripts in early.
We read manuscripts each week. You can expect to hear from us in eight weeks.

October 2015
Deadline: March 11, 2015
Theme: Being a Good Friend

Going back to school means seeing old friends and being reunited with people you forgot about over the summer. This issue is all about what it means to be a good friend and how girls can continue to support the friends they have and invite new friends in.

November 2015
Deadline: June 8, 2015
Theme: Fitting In

Girls at this age are beginning to figure out what some of their gifts are and, in the process, are realizing they might be different than their peers. This can be hard for girls to navigate. That’s why this issue focuses on the unique person God created each and every one girl to be but also invites her and all of her peers to belong.


December 2015
Deadline: July 6, 2015
Theme: Loving Others

All gifts aside, Christmas is about the greatest gift of love. This issue is focused on showing girls how they can show Christ-like love to everyone around them.


January 2016
Deadline: August 10, 2015
Theme: Being a Good Listener

Learning to listen well is hard! This issue will give girls tips on what it means to listen well and help them apply what they learn to their every day conversations.


February 2016
Deadline: September 8, 2015
Theme: Being a Leader

Leading doesn’t always mean standing out in front. This issue explores what leading well looks like and how girls’ can be good leaders in their schools, neighborhoods, and churches.


March 2016
Deadline: September 28, 2015
Theme: Being Honest

Learning the importance of honesty starts at a young age and is nurtured as girls grow. That might mean testing the boundaries and figuring it out for themselves, too! This issue will look at the importance of honesty and what that looks like in the lives of young girls.



Manuscripts:

Criteria for Selection of Manuscripts: Submissions to Sparkle are selected based upon the following criteria:

  1. The manuscript must fit with the Sparkle mission.
  2. The application of Scripture to everyday life.
  3. The ability to engage the culture—be relevant today—while still maintaining and upholding the truth of Scripture.
  4. The ability to delight the reader.
  5. The ability to cause the reader to evaluate her own life in light of the Truth presented.
  6. The ability to teach a practical life skill.


Preparing Your Manuscript

  1. On the first page put your name, address, and phone number, word count, the issue and topic you are submitting, as well as the rights offered.
  2. Indicate fiction or nonfiction.
  3. Include desired byline.
  4. Give sources for all statistical information or quoted material.

Basis for Rejection of Material

  1. Inappropriate. Does not show girls how God is at work in their lives and the world around them.
  2. Too young or too old for grade one through readers.
  3. Simplistic, unrealistic, too predictable or the theological perspective differs too greatly from our own.
  4. Does not fit our themes.
  5. Duplication of material already published or submitted.
  6. Editorial needs filled.
  7. Limited need for poetry.
  8. Inept writing—poor opening, transitions, grammar. Lacks the drama or crisis that appeals to our readers.

Submitting Your Manuscript

To honor God by being responsible stewards of His creation, we are no longer accepting snail mail submissions. Thank you for helping us reduce unnecessary paper waste. Together we can make a difference Please place manuscript within body of email. Do not send attachments.

Email:
sparkle@gemsgc.org

Query:We do not accept queries. Please submit a completed manuscript for consideration.

Compensation: Compensation for all pieces that are published in Sparkle is made upon publication. Fiction and nonfiction writers receive 3-5¢ per word up to $35.00 depending on length, quality, and rights. (See the next page for list of rights.) Poetry receives $5.00 to $15.00 depending on length, quality, and rights. Games and puzzles are paid from $5.00 to $15.00. All published writers receive two copies of the issue in which their piece is published.

Editing Privileges: The editorial staff of Sparkle magazine reserves the right to edit any accepted manuscript. This is done with a conscious effort to preserve both the writer’s style and the intent of material. If editing is extensive, the edited manuscript will be submitted to the author prior to publication.

Rights: We purchase the following rights:

  • First North American Rights—The author retains copyright, and may submit the manuscript for publication elsewhere after it appears in Sparkle. Spakle has first time printing rights.
  • Second Rights—Rates are for a previously published article. Author must own copyright, or submit proof of permission to resell from the copyright owner.
  • Simultaneous Rights—The author must notify publisher that the submitted article is being offered in another market that should not overlap our readership.

For a Sample Copy of Sparkle

You may write for a sample copy of Sparkle.
Please enclose $1.00 and a 9 x 12 inch self-addressed stamped envelope.

Mail to: Sparkle
Attn: Hannah/Sample Copy Request
1333 Alger St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507


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