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Writers' Guidelines

Written by people from all walks of life, Guideposts articles present tested methods for developing courage, strength, and positive attitudes. They help readers achieve their maximum personal and spiritual potential.

A typical Guideposts story is a first-person narrative written in simple, dramatic, anecdotal style. The story may be the writer’s own or one written in the first person for someone else. Even our short features use this format.

Here are some important tips when writing a story:

  • Don’t try to tell an entire life story. Focus on one specific happening in a person’s life. The emphasis should be on one individual. Bring in as few people as possible so that the reader’s interest stays with the dominant character.

  • Don’t leave unanswered questions. Give enough facts so that the reader will know what happened. Use description and dialogue to let the reader feel as if he were there, seeing the characters, hearing them talk. Dramatize the situation, conflicts, and struggle, and then tell how the person was changed for the better or the problem was solved.

  • Most important: Study the magazine and website.

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.

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