Writer's Guidelines

SHINE brightly is a magazine for girls ages 9 to 12 and is published by GEMS Girls’ Clubs—an international, club-based ministry for girls. The mission of GEMS is to help bring girls into a living, dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ.

SHINE brightly Mission

We believe when young girls are equipped, motivated, and passionately engaged in living out their faith in Jesus Christ they have the potential to be world changers.

Christ was an activist. He did not neglect the needs of others as He brought His message. We strive to encourage girls to look more like Christ by reaching outside of themselves to serve the needs of others—at home, at school, in communities, and across the world—as they see how God works through individual personalities, situations, and talents.


Included in SHINE brightly:

We are looking for stories, articles, interviews, quizzes, games, puzzles, and crafts that are fresh, that present a realistic look at Christian life, and that cause young readers to see how their faith can play out in their daily lives.

We accept articles that relate to girls ages 9-12 and the experiences they connect with. Most of their time is spent at school, in sports, involved in afterschool activities, with friends, dealing with peer problems/pressure, with family, in church groups, and learning to reach out beyond their immediate world.

Manuscript topics should build girls up in Christian character, but they should not be preachy. Pollyanna endings, where everything turns out perfectly, are not always realistic and our readers want realistic stories. Our readers have a great sense of humor, so your manuscripts should be fun as well as educational and inspirational. Stretch our readers by challenging them to new vision, new experiences, and setting new goals.




SHINE brightly fills up quickly, so get your manuscripts in early. We read manuscripts each week. You can expect to hear from us within eight weeks.

Fiction: Our readers like stories with adventure, fantasy, and mystery—stories about animals—and situations they can relate to in their daily interaction with family and friends. We do not print stories with religious clichés. We have found that there is a great void when it comes to adventure and mystery stories for girls. Whether fiction or actual accounts, we are looking for stories that highlight our theme within the context of an exciting story. Length: 700-900 words or 1,000 to 1,300 words

Nonfiction: Nonfiction articles about topics that interest our readers include: animals, sports, music, movies, musicians, personal care, fashion, famous people, interaction with family/friends/siblings, cross-cultural experiences, international issues, exciting service projects, dealing with schoolwork, and crafts. Length: 200-700 words.




The SHINE brightly Challenge Topic: Loved.

We’re looking for fiction, non-fiction, inspiring biographies, activities, and sidebars that weave the topic that girls are loved by God, no matter what, into each issue.

Monthly Themes

We are looking for fiction and non-fiction stories, articles, activities, quizzes, interviews, and sidebars that incorporate the topics below.


September/October 2018

Deadline: March 9, 2018

Topic: Friendship

This issue will focus on friend issues (peer pressure, inclusion, loneliness, etc.) and help girls navigate these issues as they start a new school year.


November 2018

Deadline: June 5, 2018

Topic: Bullying

This issue will touch on the tough topic of bullying. We’re looking for articles that help girls identify bullying of all kinds while also giving them the tools they need to stand up against it.


December 2018

Deadline: July3, 2018

Topic: Family

Family is an important part of our readers’ lives. No matter what their family dynamic looks like (and we are open to stories about all kinds of families), this issue will help girls navigate conflicts with their parents/caregivers, jealousy with siblings, and what it looks like to be respectful even when things are hard.


January 2019

Deadline: August 5, 2018

Topic: Health

The New Year often means we are inundated with images of what it means to be “healthy”. This issue will help girls navigate what true health is and what it takes to develop and maintain a healthy body image.

February 2019

Deadline: August 27, 2018

Topic: Value and Worth

This issue will help girls remember they are valued and loved by God. We will also help girls take a look at the unique gifts God has given them and the ways they can use them to help others see they are valuable, too.


March 2019

Deadline: September 25, 2018

Topic: Gossip

This issue will focus on helping girls recognize gossip and work on cutting it out of their lives.

April 2019

Deadline: November 1, 2018

Topic: Anxiety/Stress

This issue will be focused on giving girls tips to navigate potentially stressful situations as well as helping them find healthy ways to move through the tough feelings they may be experiencing.


Summer 2019

Deadline: December 4, 2018

Topic: Technology

This issue will focus on all things technology. From social media, YouTube, and texting, girls’ lives are immersed in technology. We want to give them tips and tools to help them utilize each avenue of technology well and with respect for others.



Criteria for Selection of Manuscripts:

Submissions to SHINE brightly are selected based upon the following criteria:

  1. The manuscript must fit with the SHINE brightly
  2. The submission applies Scripture to everyday life.
  3. The ability to incorporate cultural issues while still holding to Biblical truths.
  4. The ability to relate to the reader and encourage her to apply concepts, life lessons, skills, and experiences to her own life.

Preparing Your Manuscript

  1. At the top put your name, address, phone number, word count, the issue and topic you are submitting, as well as the rights offered.
  2. Indicate fiction or nonfiction.
  3. Include desired byline.
  4. Give sources for all statistical information or quoted material.

Basis for Rejection of Material

  1. Does not show girls how God is at work in their lives and the world around them.
  2. Too young or too old for readers 9 to 12.
  3. Simplistic, unrealistic, too predictable, or the theological perspective differs too greatly from our own.
  4. Does not fit our themes.
  5. Duplication of material already published or submitted.
  6. Editorial needs filled.
  7. Limited need for poetry.
  8. Inept writing—poor opening, transitions, grammar. Lacks the drama or crisis that appeals to our readers.

Submitting Your Manuscript

To honor God by being responsible stewards of His creation, we are no longer accepting mailed submissions. Thank you for helping us reduce unnecessary paper waste. Together we can make a difference.

Please place manuscript within the body of your email. Do not send attachments. Email: shinebrightly@gemsgc.org

Query: We do not accept queries. Please send the completed manuscript you wish to have published.

Compensation: Compensation for all pieces that are published in SHINE brightly is made upon publication. Fiction and nonfiction writers receive 3-5¢ per word up to $35.00 depending on length, quality, and rights (see below for list of rights). Poetry receives $5.00 to $15.00 depending on length, quality, and rights. Games and puzzles are paid from $5.00 to $15.00. All published writers receive two copies of the issue in which their piece is published.

Editing Privileges: The editorial staff of SHINE brightly Magazine reserves the right to edit any accepted manuscript. This is done with a conscious effort to preserve both the writer’s style and the intent of material. If editing is extensive, the edited manuscript will be submitted to the author prior to publication.

Rights: We purchase the following rights:

  1. First North American Rights—The author retains copyright, and may submit the manuscript for publication elsewhere after it appears in SHINE brightly. SHINE brightly has first time printing rights.
  2. Second Rights—Rates are for a previously published article. Author must own copyright, or submit proof of permission to resell from the copyright owner.
  3. Simultaneous Rights—The author must notify publisher that the submitted article is being offered in another market that should not overlap our readership.




For a Sample Copy of SHINE brightly

You may view a sample copy of SHINE brightly here.