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YouthWorker Journal Writer Guidelines

Greetings from the YouthWorker Journal editorial team—

YouthWorker Journal has been the leading resource for thousands of youth workers for more than two decades. Through the years, we have published many of the field's leading voices. We also have worked with and nurtured unpublished writers, some of whom are still writing articles and/or books and other material today.

If you have an article that our readers need to read and are able to write it for us in a clear and compelling style, we want to hear from you. However, we'd also like you to check out our themes. If you want to hear from us, you need to follow these guidelines. If you've never read the Journal, order a copy now.

1) Why We Exist

We serve thousands of committed men and women who work in a variety of church, parachurch and other ministry settings around the world and are devoted to helping young people know, love and serve Jesus Christ. Everything we publish is designed to help youth workers be more effective in fulfilling this important calling. When you contact us, clearly explain how your proposed article or contribution will help fulfill this mission.

2) Print and Web

YouthWorker Journal
is published in print, digital and online formats. It's easier to get published online, which is updated regularly and has unlimited space. We currently do not pay writers for online-only content. When you submit material to us, please specify your intention for the piece (that is, if your expectation is to be published in the print journal or solely online). Click here for more information about compensation to writers.

3) Dates, Deadlines and Themes

YouthWorker Journal is published bi-montly (Jan/Feb, March/April, etc.). Each issue contains numerous articles focusing on a given theme. So, please study our 2014 themes and observe each issue's deadline dates.

4) Veterans and Newbies

YouthWorker Journal publishes established and new writers because we believe those with various levels of experience have valuable things to say to our readers.

  • If you have been published before, send us a proposal. In addition, please let us know about your previously published work.
  • If you are unpublished, send us more than a proposal: proof that you can execute the idea. That means you will need to include an explanation of why this article is important to our readers and why you should be the one to write it, as well as a detailed outline for your proposed article and a written introduction section that helps us assess your skill and style.

5) Our Departments and Features

Every issue of YouthWorker Journal contains most of the same departments and columns along with an ever-changing selection of feature articles. Here's a look at the different areas of each Journal, ranked by freelancer-friendliness (easier areas for new writers listed first) along with the relevant contact info:

a) Tools

Readers count on us for our unbiased reviews of books, music, curriculum products and other items of interest to youth workers.


We typically work with a stable of established reviewers. If you want to be a YouthWorker Journal reviewer, please review our Tools Reviewer Guidelines and send us two sample reviews you have written.

You may do so by using the form at the bottom of the page and selecting the "Submit Tools" option.


If you are:

  • A publisher or distributor of books, music, curriculum products and other items of interest to youth workers;
  • The producer of conferences, seminars, workshops or other educational or training events of interest to youth workers;
  • Involved with a Website or other online resources of interest to youth workers...

Please email us your information and snail-mail us a copy of your products. Please tell us in which category your product fits (Youth Ministry Programming, Youth Worker Development, Parents, Teens, Youth Worker Interest, Music, Online/Internet Resources, etc.). See Section 6 for info on submitting photos.

You may email us by using the form at the bottom of the page and selecting the "Submit Tools" option.

Mailing address:

YWJ/Salem Publishing

402 BNA Drive

Ste. 400

Nashville, TN  37217-2509

b) Feature Articles

We publish a handful of articles in each issue based on a theme. Articles range in length from 200 to 1,800 words with longer articles typically being assigned to established youth workers/writers. Articles usually focus on one of the following three areas:

  • Theology in youth ministry;
  • Practical matters (successful approaches, programs, teaching activities, etc.);
  • Affirmation/encouragement of youth workers.

If we select your article for publication as a full-length print feature, we'll need a high-resolution, color image of you. Specifically, we need a frontal headshot at least 300 dpi at 2-inch high (from mid-chest to top of head). It must be in a .jpg format; and we prefer the files to be RGB or CMYK and saved as a Mac file and 300 dpi for 6-inch wide or wider.

You may e-mail us by using the form at the bottom of the page and selecting the "Submit Articles" option.

c) Columns

Our regular team of columnists writes most of our regular columns, and we usually handpick proven writers to tackle Stirring It Up, the back-page column that for many years was written by Mike Yaconelli.

Freelancers frequently write Worldview columns. Worldview columns show readers how youth ministry is being done outside the walls of churches and beyond the borders of our country. The purpose of the column is to show readers a new way of serving an important group in redemptive and culturally significant ways so they might be able to do something similar where they are. Word count: 600-1,800 words.

6) Art & Photos

We're also looking for provocative and/or funny cartoons, illustrations and photo illustrations.

You may e-mail us a link to your work by using the form at the bottom of the page and selecting the "Submit Art" option.

7) News

If your organization has news and information of interest to youth workers, send us your press release.

You may e-mail us your press release by using the form at the bottom of the page and selecting the "Submit News" option.

8) Nuts and Bolts

     • Pleez spell yore stuff rite and rite it good.

     • Provide complete contact information (e-mail and daytime phone) and current affiliation (job title, etc.) on everything you send us.

     • If you send us a complete article, please accompany it with a brief summary of the article's contents.

     • Send all articles as MS Word files.

     • We recommend that writers subscribe to and read YouthWorker Journal to better understand what we do.

     • For more information about writing, consult the "Getting Published" section of the latest edition of Writer's Market.

     • Our snail-mail address is: Amy Lee, YouthWorker Journal, 402 BNA Drive., Ste. 400, Nashville, TN 37017-2509.

9) Publication Rights and Payment

As a rule, we purchase and publish only articles that have not been published previously. We pay respectable rates for major articles, depending on length.

We only publish articles for which authors allow us unrestricted rights to continual print and online use of the content, which means we can republish them again in any form without further concession or permission on the part of the author.

We encourage writers to seek publication elsewhere of their article(s) we publish provided these cite YouthWorker Journal as the outlet where they were originally published.

Author contracts will be issued once we decide to use your material. Payment (when appropriate) will be processed once we have:

  • An edited version of the article;
  • A signed contract or invoice from the writer; and
  • W9 form (needed only once).

You should receive payment within six weeks after returning the required documents the first time you're published, four weeks thereafter. If payment is not received in a timely manner, please contact your assigning editor.

Thanks for your interest in YouthWorker Journal. We look forward to hearing from you.

(Updated Nov. 14, 2013)

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