click here for print version Sparkle Writer's Guidelines

Writer's Guidelines 2014/15


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 Bring the Message (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 Bring the Message. Below you will find a summary of the theme as well as needs for each issue.

Theme Concept - Bring the Message

Bring the Message focuses on sharing the good news of Jesus. God sent Jesus to the world to deliver the message that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Jesus is love, light, and life to a dark and dying world. And when we’ve been changed by His message, we need to share the good news of Jesus with others. This season we are focusing on ways people in the Bible shared the message. As the Father sent the Son, so He sends you and me. Let us be as quick to respond and say in agreement with Isaiah, “Send me!”

 

Theme Verse

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

 

Aims

  •   To show girls what it means to have a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ.
  •   To teach girls to bring the message by talking about Jesus with as many people as they can.
  • To teach girls to demonstrate the message by showing God’s love to as many people as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Take the Sparkle Challenge!

We are looking for fiction and non-fiction that weave the theme of Bring the Message throughout each issue. We want to help girls discover who God is through His creation and the work He does in His world. You will notice that each issue will highlight a specific topic, but submissions are not limited to these ideas—each issue will highlight a variety of fun, engaging truths. We look forward to your creativity!

Issue: October 2014
Deadline: March 24, 2014
Theme: Saying, “Send me!” to God
Spiritual Gift: Evangelism
The first step of sharing Jesus with others is saying, “Send me!” But what does that look like for girls today? In this issue we are exploring what it looks like to tell others about Jesus and practical ways girls can evangelize today.


Issue: November 2014
Deadline: June 9, 2014
Theme: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
Spiritual Gift: Serving
What does serving others look like for a second grader? This issue will look at practical ways girls can do justice and give of themselves to help others.


Issue: December 2014
Deadline: July 7, 2014
Theme: Jesus Was God’s Message
Spiritual Gift: Giving
We remember the greatest gift we’ve been given at Christmas! This issue will focus on the amazing gift of a baby in a manger but also how girls can give generously of their time, resources, and hearts.


Issue: January 2015
Deadline: August 11, 2014
Theme: Obeying God
Spiritual Gift: Faith
When a girl has faith, it shows. Girls around her will notice and she will set an example for them. But what does it look like to have faith? This issue will explore what faith is and how girls can grow it.


Issue: February 2015
Deadline: September 8, 2014
Theme: Sharing Jesus in Ordinary Ways
Spiritual Gift: Leadership
Before girls can be a good leader they have to follow the best Leader—Jesus! This issue will look at what following in Jesus’ footsteps look like and how they can be a Christian leader for their friends and family.


Issue: March 2015
Deadline: September 29, 2014
Theme: Using Your Gifts for God
Spiritual Gift: Creative Communication
Girls express themselves through art, conversation, music, fashion, and so much more! But what does it look like when that creative communication is used to tell others about Jesus? That’s exactly what we are exploring in this issue!


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.


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


Leaders' Blog

Girls' Blog



Called to Zambia

© 2011 Gems Girls' Clubs | www.gemsgc.org