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Writing Guidelines

Christian Courier is an independent Christian bi-weekly publication. Our content is an eclectic boutique of styles, opinions and flavors from a Reformed perspective. We serve North American Christians with thoughtful response to the stories, issues and trends of today.

Content

Our content is sorted into three areas: News, Opinion, and Features. News items report and/or comment on current events both national and international from a Reformed Christian perspective. News stories or article pitches should be sent to angela@christiancourier.ca.

Opinion pieces consist of editorials and letters. Letters may be sent to editor@christiancourier.ca.

Features may be any of a number of things, including but not limited to reporting on an event, excerpt from other works, meditation, interview, travelogue, arts & culture, essay, social analysis, religion, review, creative writing, biography, memoir or history. Features content may be sent to cathy@christiancourier.ca. Book, movie and music reviews can be sent to reviews@christiancourier.ca

Content need not be overtly of a Christian nature but should reflect the Reformed Christian principles of God’s sovereignty and our mandate to interact with and reform culture. Likewise, writers need not be a member of the Reformed community but should have something to say to that community.

We look for writing that can appeal to a wide audience of all ages and ethnicities, although this may include pieces intended for a more specific demographic. 

Style

Writing should be at about a Grade 10 reading level and in a loosely formal style fit for print.

Use a single space between sentences instead of the typical double space.

  • Do not indent the beginnings of paragraphs.
  • Use double quotation marks (“”) instead of single (‘’) except in the case of quotation marks within a quote, in which case the outer marks should be double and the inner ones single. Another exception is in headlines.
  • Use a font that makes curved quotation marks (“”) rather than straight (\" \").
  • Do not use the British “oxford comma” in lists; instead, use the American style (ex. “red, white and blue” rather than “red, white, and blue”).
  • When employing a dash, please use an en-dash, or “double dash” (--, –) instead of a hyphen, or “single dash” ( - ), and instead of the em-dash (---). Put a space on either side of the dash – like that, for example.
  • Do not capitalize pronouns referring to God.
  • Use the word “percent” rather than “per cent” or %.
  • Write out numbers under ten (ie: two cars crashed) and use numerals for numbers above 10 (ie: 14 people spoke . . .).
  • Keep citations as simple as possible. “In a recentPagan Christianity? -- (125).”
  • Ellipses should be separated by spaces . . . . Use a fourth ellipses only when it represents a period.
  • Avoid using decimal points in dollar figures (ie: $60 rather than $60.00).
  • Don’t capitalize every word in a headline or sub-heading, only the first word (and proper nouns).
  • Don’t put quotation marks around call-outs.
  • Captions should end with a period.
  • Other languages should be in italics.
  • It helps if you submit material in Times New Roman font, 12 pt.
  • Do not use periods in all-capital abbreviations (HST, NATO) unless the abbreviation is geographical (B.C.) or refers to a person (J.R.R. Tolkien).
  • Titles and subtitles are subject to editorial change.
  • Use Canadian spellings whenever possible.
  • Include a recent bio at the end of every article.
  • Use bold font for web addresses, and omit the www.

For other details, consult Stylebook: A Guide for Writers and Editors 15th edition. 

Submission

Not all submissions will be printed in Christian Courier. We look for a variety and balance of theme, tone and topic. We will try to respond in a timely manner; however, we may wish to hold on to your work for a future issue instead of printing it right away.

Please submit articles by email. You may also wish to submit a pitch for consideration before beginning work on an article.

If possible, submit photos for your work, which may or may not be used for publication.

Include a one- or two-sentence bio of yourself and a photo (head and shoulders). We also like to include writers’ email addresses so that readers may respond to you directly. You will retain rights for your work.

We pay by cheque upon publication. 

Pay rates are as follows (subject to change):

Columnists $45.00

Writers
Full page $70.00 (increments of $8.00 for every additional page)
3/4 page $60.00
1/2 page $50.00
1/4 page $40.00

Poetry Between $20.00 and $30.00

Cartoons $25.00

Drawings $25.00

News articles are typically due two weeks before the publication date. Features and columns are due three weeks before the publication date.