Guideposts is an inspirational magazine that reaches more than five million people each month. For a writer, the chance to reach such a large audience is irresistible. However, the editors at the magazine receive thousands of stories and ideas each month so if you want to see your name in Guideposts, you need to have a stand-out idea and follow the submission guidelines.
Study the magazine and learn what the editors will publish. They ask for articles that "will give goose bumps or bring us close to tears." Read the articles, even the ones that don't interest you. Look through articles over a number of issues. The article lengths run from around 500 words for the departments to 1000 words for the feature articles. Guideposts seeks articles in the areas of: Health & Wellness, Prosperity, Relationships & Family, Faith & Living, Personal Change, Inspirational Connection and Inspirational Voices. However, as the writers guidelines note, "We do not use fiction, essays or sermons, and we rarely present stories about deceased or professional religious people. We do not evaluate book-length material."
Brainstorm ideas until you come up with one that shows strength, courage and positive attitudes. Your idea should give the editors what they are looking for while being told in your own unique voice.
Write the story. Use 12 pt. type and one-inch margins all around. Double space the text and use an easy-to-read font, like Times New Roman font. Write in a simple, dramatic and anecdotal style in the first-person. Get into the story and feel the emotion of it. Keep the story focused on one person and give it a fulfilling conclusion.
Leave the story for a few days and come back to it with fresh eyes. Reread it carefully and edit it. Make sure the story still affects you emotionally.
Have others read the story. Do they react to it as you intended? Consider their comments. Give the story a final polish, incorporating the reader's comments, if desired.
Submit the story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guideposts will only notify you if they accept the story.
Don't wait around for a reply. Come up with your next article and submit it.