Round Table Session: Steps to Write and Market Articles

Our April 5 meeting featured six different round tables. This post is the second of six describing the different sessions. This round table was presented by our “Queen” of article authorship, Lydia Harris.

Is 26:8 “Your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.” If God has asked us to write than we need to be writing and submitting our articles. This along with helpful hints was the theme of Lydia’s presentation.  She suggested 6 steps to getting started:

Choose a topic. Write about something that interests you or about which you are passionate. Do some research.  

  • Find a Market. Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide, Writer’s Market and attending writing conferences were the best ways to find a market for what you write.  Sally Stuart’s book gives concise information about topics, publications that want articles about those topics along with specific guidelines for each publication.  Writer’s conferences offer a chance to meet editors and agents that can lead to many opportunities to market and publish.  Other ways of finding a market: blogging, writing for church newsletters and church magazines such as Christian Communications.  She emphasized the importance of starting small, choosing smaller publications even if you do not get paid. These often lead to larger assignments.
  • Plan a rough outline of your article. How will you present your topic: as an inspirational, personal experience, humor, interview, etc. Write a one-line sentence that has a single focus. Join a critique group, on line or at NWCWA, and don’t be afraid to send your articles in or to be rejected.
  • Query the magazine that publishes the type of article you plan to write.
  • Write the article according to the periodical’s guidelines.  She emphasized the need to be writing for the editor or magazine and not for yourself.
  • Submit the article on speculation in the specified format.

Lydia’s presentation was peppered with personal stories about her own publishing experiences.  She fielded questions and answered all of them.  Two additional handouts she gave us were a Query Letter Checklist and The Anatomy of an Article. 

This roundtable discussion was very beneficial to me and I believe to the 15+ people who attended.  I would recommend attending one of Lydia’s round-tables to get the basics on writing and publishing articles.   

Lydia E. Harris served on the NCWA board for five years and has taught at the Writers Renewal and other conferences. She writes devotionals, book reviews, articles, true stories, recipes, and the popular column, “A Cup of Tea with Lydia.” She has contributed to thirteen books. This June her first book will be published by AMG. Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting is a six-week Bible study for grandparents at any stage of the journey.

Marlene Anderson, the author of this posting, is a licensed therapist/counselor, author, and speaker.  She has worked in clinical, educational and church settings and has developed and delivered course material for classes, workshops and retreats. Her book, “A Love so Great, A Grief so Deep” is available on and her relaxation CD is available on request.  To learn more about Marlene, visit her website:


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