HopeKeepers Magazine Writers Guidelines

Tip from the Editor!
Please read the writers guidelines carefully and your query/submission is much more likely to be accepted. It seems obvious, but about 75% of the submissions I receive do not fit what we are looking for and it's because the guidelines were not read.


HopeKeepers® is a magazine of Rest Ministries, Inc., that is published four times per year. It serves people who live with chronic illness or pain. Our foundation is the Christian faith and the articles provide practical, Biblical encouragement and inspiration as well as tools to be a good advocate for one's healthcare. It's 5 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches, glossy, color. We do accept advertising. Our circulation is around 7,500+ hardcopy; 8,000 online in a condensed version.

Our Readers: Writers should keep in mind that they are writing for a diverse group of people: men and women, all ages from 17 to 90 (most in 40-50's), married and single, full-time employed to bedridden, wealthy to extremely poor, and those with a strong faith to non-believers. Illnesses are very diverse; articles should not be about a specific illness-most of our audience would not be able to relate with that particular illness.

Style: HopeKeepers has been described as "a letter from a friend" and "a hug from God." Articles should be written in an upbeat, personal tone about how to cope with and thrive during the day-to-day issues of living with illness/pain, using Scripture to validate the point. Please read the magazine carefully before submitting materials. Some short articles are secular, and articles have a side bar that reflects on scriptures, etc. The magazine is "non-believer-friendly," as it is available in many public locations and we hope non-believers will find it interesting and comforting, as it addresses their health concerns. Articles should refrain from using language that assumes a reader's familiarity with Christian or church-oriented terminology.

Our Editorial Needs: Articles should be of subject matter that "can't be missed." Your title should be able to be on the cover page and motivate someone pick it up, whether at a church or a doctors' waiting room. We are a CONSUMER magazine, not an "about our ministry publication." It should contain real-life anecdotes from yourself or others, as well as quotes/advice from noted Christian professionals. Statistics and research need to be referenced.

We're looking for articles that are not available in any other publication and that will make a subscriber hang onto their copy for years to use as reference and encouragement. Ideas include: Celebrity interviews, "Yoga and Christianity: Where Does it Cross the Line?" "Our Doctors: How to Pray for Them, Not Just Pay for Them," "6 Ways I Used My Illness to Witness This Week," "Mommy, are You Sick Again?" Writers' personal experiences, from going on a cruise to going to a pain clinic, are also desired. Our topics are diverse, with a chronic illness/Christian perspective: family, parenting, friendship, marriage, health, single life, finances, medical, Christian living, fitness, alternative medicine, household, etc.

Writers may share their experience of living with illness/pain, what they have learned, wrapping the article up with Scripture and encouragement for others to "keep fighting the fight…" Note: If you write about your experience of being diagnosed with an illness, refrain from giving details of the medical procedures, doctor's visits and rehab experience. Rather briefly explain the circumstance and then write about your feelings, struggles, how you found hope, etc. Be specific-what worked, what didn't. Don't vaguely say "and then God changed my attitude…" How? Dig deep into your experience for something God taught you and explain how. The article should have an obvious point, other than just sharing your experience. Remember, your experience is likely not unique-your emotions regarding the circumstances are. Express them! Effective organization of ideas is important. Your title must be a "grabber!" If you can't find a title, the content isn't interesting enough.

Articles do not have to be fully about living with illness, but should include "illness examples." For example, an article called "Jealously: Avoiding the Temptation to Compare" would share what the Bible says about jealousy, and give personal examples about how we experience it when living with an illness.

We do not accept articles that address "I've been healed and if you have enough faith, so will you." Although we believe that God can heal, most readers feel as though illness is their "thorn, allowed by God" and they are looking for ways to be encouraged on how to live joyfully, despite the pain, rather than just live in survival mode. Avoid labeling. Rather than writing "the chronically ill," write "those who live with chronic illness." Avoid using words such as "victim" and "suffering."

We accept fillers and short 1-page articles on helpful information, health topics, health-related resources, etc.
We use very little poetry and rarely fiction.

Quotes/Style/Length: Proper acknowledgement and references must be included when applicable. When quoting Scripture, use the New International Version (NIV). (Exceptions can be made). When referencing Scripture it should appear in the following format: "Scripture is here" (book Chapter:verse). [note where punctuation falls.]

  • When quoting an individual with an illness, it is helpful to include the illness. For example, "Shari, a woman who lives with fibromyalgia…"
    Capitalize God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, etc. and pronouns that refer to Him.
  • No upper caps are used in any words, such as "WOW!" Underlines are not used. Emphasis is given with italics and should be used sparingly. Avoid using the following: … more than once in your article.
  • Every sentence should end with one space. Do your best with commas. Remember commas go inside the quotes such as the following: "I want to write," said Mary.
  • Completed articles are accepted for review, but queries are preferred. A typical article is 350-700 words. Occasionally more based on the value of the topic and available space.

Submission: We prefer to receive detailed queries. Your query should state the title, summary of the article, approximate length, why you believe it's a good "fit" for HopeKeepers and it's purpose (ie. "the purpose of this article is to inform the reader about ___ or inspire the reader to ___"). Include your credentials or experience. Provide possible side-bar ideas, professionals you plan to interview, suggested length and date it could be finished. If sending it via postal mail, include a self-addressed-stamped envelope for reply.

With your article submission include your name, address, email, telephone number, and a personal biography 2-3 sentences in length, professional or creative. Articles are not returned. If your submission is accepted we may ask for a photo sent postal or emailed at 300 dpi. All submissions are received on speculation. An accepted query does not guarantee purchase of the manuscript. Editors reserve the right to reject any manuscript at any stage.

Preference is given to articles submitted via email to rest@restministries.org in Word format for PC (as an attachment) or in the body of the email message. If sending in Word PLEASE remember to include ALL contact information in BOTH the email message and the Word file.

If sending it via postal mail (PO Box 502928, San Diego, CA 92150) include hard copy of article, typewritten, double-spaced. Also include article on a 3.5 disk. Handwritten submissions are not accepted. Please ask a friend to type it for you if you must.

Deadlines/Copyright/Compensation: There are no deadlines. If article is accepted there is no confirmed date of publishing until one month prior. You will be notified and sent 5copies of the magazine. Additional magazines can be purchased at a discounted rate.

HopeKeepers and the author sign a contract that Rest Ministries, Inc. has one-time rights to publish the article. We may request permission to include the article on our website.

At this time, there is occasionally monetary compensation, depending on the quality of the writing and depth or research. Generally, we pay in copies, but there are exceptions for articles requiring substantial research. Speak with editor for details.

Sample issues are available for free if you are able to wait until the next issue comes out. Fill out the form here:
http://www.restministries.org/res-newsrequest.asp Otherwise a donation of $4.95 will ensure you are sent a copy immediately upon receiving your request. You can send your check, payable to
Rest Ministries to: HopeKeepers Magazine, PO Box 502928, San Diego, CA 92150 or order here.


Great Resources:
Secrets to Writing Health Features by Kathy Summers available at: http://healthwriting.com.
Writer's Digest Handbook of Magazine Article Writing by by Jean M. Fredette