Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in writing for Shattered magazine! We are excited you want to share your story with our readers. Our mission is shattering the barriers to hope, help and purpose by harnessing the power of stories. Ready to start breaking down barriers?

About Shattered Storytelling

Shattered Media is a strategic storytelling company. Our online magazine is one way we use stories to shatter barriers.

Strategic storytelling is telling stories with a purpose that moves the audience to action.

Shattered stories are:

Transformative, not just informative.

  • Have a purpose for the story that goes beyond telling the facts.
  • Compelling, not combative.
  • Start a conversation, not an argument.
  • Emotional, not devotional. Let the story be the point of the story. (Don’t get preachy.)

    General Guidelines and Expectations

    Shattered Media is committed to publishing original content that will help readers break down barriers to hope, help and purpose. All published content must be original to Shattered Media and cannot have previously appeared on any other publication or blog.

    Pitch Your Story

    Explore your passions and networks for stories. Find a story you want to tell and pitch it to us. Your pitch should identify the main character, the story summary, the barrier to break down, and any time constraints the story might have.

  • Describe the story in 300 words or less.
  • If your pitch is approved, you may move forward with writing your story. Please note, once you submit your first draft, our editors will work with you to polish the story and get it ready for publication. Content editing may include editing for flow of thought, structure, title, or going back to the story to dig in deeper. In most cases, two rounds of editing take place (see next point).
  • You will receive $50 for any accepted story that requires no more than two rounds of content edits.
  • Storytelling should reflect Shattered’s style. While our stories do not typically reflect a devotional model, we want the Gospel to be skillfully woven into the stories, wherever and however it fits. Tell compelling stories to keep readers engaged.
  • Report the facts accurately (like a journalist) but also tell the stories winsomely (like a creative writer).
  • We do not accept devotionals, Bible studies, fiction or poetry.
  • Stories should be between 750-1,000 word and fall into one of these categories:
    Life: Stories that break down personal barriers
    Community: Stories that break down barriers in community
    Mission: Stories that show people and communities breaking down barriers for others

  • Use the Associated Press Stylebook, available at www.apstylebook.com, and free helps are available at the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

    Here are some common AP Style mistakes and special issues for Shattered:

  • Use only one space after periods.
  • Do not use commas before the “and” in a simple series.
    Example: She painted with red, blue and yellow.
    Punctuation always goes inside the quotation marks.
    Example: “Do you want a cookie?” or “I do not want a cookie.”

  • Use quotation marks, not italics, for titles of books, songs and movies.
    Shattered Exception: Italicize Shattered when referring to the magazine, but the company itself is not italicized. Example: “I wrote an article for Shattered, but I hope Shattered Media, Inc. will publish my book.”

  • When quoting Bible verses, put the verse in quotation marks, followed by the reference in parentheses, and end with a period.
    Example: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).

  • When paraphrasing Bible verses, put a period after the paraphrase and end with the reference.
    Example: “When he heard the news, Jesus cried.” (John 11:35)

  • Capitalize the words Bible and Gospel.
    Divine pronouns: When referring to God, use capital letters unless directly quoting Scripture.
    Example: When I said my prayers last night, I felt strongly that He heard my cry.

  • We reserve the right to remove links in submissions if we deem them inappropriate or inapplicable for what we’d like to have on our website.
  • We reserve the right to decline any submission that doesn’t meet our guidelines or doesn’t fit within our topics.
  • Submit all articles with a conscious effort to ensure no one is unintentionally or intentionally hurt by the stories you have to tell. While we value authenticity and only tell true stories, be sure you have the right to tell that story or have sought permission to tell the story. Our stories are personal in nature, and we take great care to make sure we are not hurting or causing any more pain through our storytelling.
  • We desire to stay away from the salacious nature of certain types of stories while still being raw and honest about what we’ve been through and the emotions (doubt, anger, failure, etc…) we’ve experienced. Tell the story in a delicate manner and avoid gossip or accentuating the dirt. Let’s be classy and sensitive to the people in our lives.

    Legal Info

    As a freelance writer, you are working as an independent contractor, and we are publishing your product — the story. As such, Shattered has the rights to your story for six months after we have published it. After six months, you are welcome to sell the story to another website or publication with proper attribution and provide a link back to the Shattered magazine website: “This story originally appeared in Shattered magazine.”
    Please read our and accept our full legal terms and conditions before submitting your article.

    Formatting Your Submission

    Please do not submit your article until you have read these formatting requirements carefully.

  • Submissions must follow the word count listed in the guidelines above (750-1,000).
  • Submissions must include a proposed title as well as subheads throughout the piece where necessary.
  • All submissions must be single-spaced with a double space between paragraphs. Do not indent new paragraphs. Keep in mind these articles appear online, so be sure to keep your paragraphs no longer than four sentences each.
  • Submissions must be left justified, including titles and subheads.
  • Quotations must be stand alone paragraphs with attribution for each quote after the first sentence of the quote.
  • Font must be Times New Roman in font size 12 or Arial in font size 11.
  • If you want to submit your written work to Shattered Magazine (and get it published), you must simply:

    1.) Read the Terms and Conditions Page (if you submit your article, then you concur that you have read to and agree to the Terms and Conditions that we set forth).

    2.) Choose a category from the list below that you feel most qualified to write about and then write!

    a.) Ensure that you use a personal story to relate to your readers through your article. Shattered Magazine is all about sharing personal experiences, and we want to emphasize this to our readers. (This applies to the Real Life categories as well. If you are writing about a recipe, make sure you include a back story about that recipe in your life.)

    b. Ensure that you comply with the “heart behind” the different category descriptions as you write your article.

    c. Ensure that you keep one of the general “Themes” in mind as you write your article. If it fits particularly well with a magazine theme, your submission might be chosen to be published in the magazine.

    d. Stick to the word limit.

    e. Edit, Edit, and then Edit again

    i. Articles should be easy to read and engage the reader right from the beginning. Correct grammar and punctuation are imperatives.

    f. Be creative, honest, funny (if appropriate), and sincere.

    g. Respect those in your life that your story might affect… anonymous entries are accepted and names can be changed to protect the innocent.

    3.) Submit a short bio paragraph (100 words or less) and a headshot of yourself (if not publishing anonymously). You may include a link to your blog, ministry, or business.

    4.) All articles must be submitted with a short excerpt that describes the entire article. The excerpt should be approximately 40 words and intriguing enough to make readers want to read the article.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Writers who wish to be published in the magazine will have a better shot if you keep the following themes in mind. The magazine is published quarterly, and we have established a general theme to go along with each edition of the magazine. *These are subject to change.

    Themes:

    The general themes for each issue (seasonal) of the magazines are:

     Nov/Dec/Jan (Winter, Holidays, and New Beginnings);

     Feb/Mar/Apr (Love, Spring, Hope, Renewal);

     May/June/July (Summer, Fun, Freedom);

     Aug/Sep/Oct (Fall, Family, Friendships).

    Article Categories:

    The articles written for Shattered Magazine (magazine or website) can be for one of four main categories:

    1.) Shattered Features

    2.) Real Life Articles

    3.) Real Hope Articles

    4.) Real Purpose Articles

    Category Descriptions:

    1.) Shattered Features

    Word Limit: 1600 words

    Shattered Features are the main stories that the magazine will be centered around. These stories are intended to share personal experiences, events, or struggles in our lives that people have gone through in which they have grown closer to God, seen His goodness and faithfulness revealed to them, and had their perspective on life broadened.

    These features should be a complete story of one particular struggle / answer / revelation / breakthrough. Each story should attempt to address the following questions as applicable:

    i. How have you struggled? How has God been faithful? For what good have you seen your struggles exist? How can you believe in a God who would allow these struggles in your life?

    ii. How have you been victorious? What have you conquered in your life and how? How was God a part of that journey to true success, joy, peace, hope, etc…?

    iii. What have you learned through your story about God, yourself, or others?

    There are several ways that the word “shattered” can be interpreted, and thus several types of Shattered articles that can be written. Ask yourself “what can be shattered?” and “what has been shattered in my life?” to get started. Some examples are:

    i. Things can be shattered in a negative way: Hopes, Dreams, Lives, Health, Finances, Hearts, etc…

    ii. Things can also be shattered in a positive way: Religion, Walls, Barriers, Addictions, Preconceived Notions, etc…

    Here are some guidelines on how to address the various topics you might have to talk about:

    i. Dealing with separate struggles: if you have struggled with teen pregnancy, a debilitating disease, losing your job, and losing a parent, you could write four different and complete articles about each topic. (No continuations (i.e. part one, two, three, etc.) will be accepted.)

    Of course, we all know that multiple events can tend to build on each other, culminating at our breaking point. It is also possible to combine multiple topics.

    ii. Combining multiple topics: if you have experienced struggles with identity, self-worth, weight loss, losing a parent, and depression, you might choose to focus in on depression and bring up the other struggles in short paragraphs that explain the culminating struggle with depression.

    ABOVE ALL:

    i. Stay away from negative tones in your article. You want to be at a place in your life where you have moved through your struggle and are at a point where you can see how God was at work (or continues to be at work if you are still struggling) in your life.

    ii. Really highlight the lessons you have learned and how to apply it to other people’s lives as well.

    iii. These articles need to be real, authentic, and relatable to our readers. They are intended to let other people behind our “front doors” so to speak and let them know that Christians are not perfect – we don’t have the perfect lives, we are not always happy, and we are not called to be. We struggle, we hurt, and we suffer, but we have a greater hope. We are revealing our Jesus – how He met us where we were and how He can meet others where they are – no matter the mess they’ve made of their lives.

    2. Category: “Real Life”

    Word Limit: 1000 words

    The concept of this category needs to focus around how we can be fully content and happy in our lives with what we have, making the most of everything and being grateful. We DO NOT want this to slip in to some sort of “ideal” existence. I want to focus on real people doing really great things in their homes and in their practical day to day lives. I want people to celebrate who they are and where they are in their current set of circumstances. I don’t want them to feel like they have to live up to a certain standard, give them a to-do list, or try to sell them on the next best thing. We want people to be content – consume less, focus on what truly matters (hint: not always doing the dishes), and enjoy life. We desperately want people to stop consuming themselves with the general busy-ness and worldly cares in this life and to be intentional about what they are doing for God – right smack in the middle of their current life situation! Each article should be accompanied with a little personal story or experience. Advice on what worked for you in a particular situation, etc…

    The look of this category should be realistic homes, realistic beauty/bodies, etc…

    This category (Real Life) has three major Topics and several Subtopics that it can encompass. What appeals to you?

    Topic: For the Home

    The concept for this category centers on the fact that our homes are the first line of defense against the harshness of this world and a place to recharge – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Our homes are also our first mission field and the point of origin from which we and our children go out into this world. It defines the ripple effect that we make in the lives of others: Gospel Centered or not?

    We should work hard and take pride in what we do to ensure a thriving, happy, engaging, and loving home that centers on Jesus. However, the appearances of our lives should not be what come first. Rather, cultivating a gospel centered home that fosters relationships above all should be our priority. What can we encourage others to do through our articles that help them achieve a healthy balance?

    Some ideas might include (but are not limited to):

    Dumping the Excess Baggage; Appreciating what we have; Cultivating Relationships; Home is the Heart; Fun Family Focused Ideas; Gospel Centered Home Life (eating, entertainment, etc…); Tackling tough issues with your kids; Shatter-proof your marriage; etc…

    Subtopics that you can write about:

    • Cleaning

    • Organizing

    • Finances

    • Decorating/Home Making

    o Inspire, Relax, Connect

    • Garden

    o Indoor and outdoor plant/flower/vegetables etc…

    o Tips and tricks for people looking to have beauty around them and or produce sustenance for their families.

    • In the Kitchen

    o Baking

    o Cooking (affordable, quick/easy, healthy, crock pot, delicious, kid friendly, meal/grocery plan)

     The idea is to appeal to the single parent, the physically challenged, the tired and worn out, the working parents, etc… Those who want to create good meals for their families but might not know how to bring it all together.

    Topic: Beauty, Health, and Fitness

    Subtopics:

    • Health/Fitness

    o Real world fitness tips

    o Higher purpose for being healthy

     Tips/tricks for easy healthy living

    o Personal Weight Loss Stories

     Why do you want to lose weight?

     Why have you gained weight? How much? How?

     What is your perception of yourself?

     What is holding you back from achieving your goals?

    o Health Struggles

     Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Etc…

     Coping with health issues

     Living life well with health issues

     Praising God through the health issues (or even because of the struggles)

    • Beauty

    o Focusing on stories of women who are doing beautiful acts or have a beautiful heart (taking care of their families, others, etc…)

    o Fashion with a purpose

    o Feeling good – not dreading the #s (weight, sizes, inches, etc…)

    o The true beauty in life.

    o God’s definition of our beauty

    Topic: Relationships

    Subtopics:

    • Family / Kids

    • Marriage

    • Single

    • Friendship

    3. Category: Real Hope

    Word Limit: 1200 words

    This category has three main Topics:

    Topic: Get to Know Jesus

    Subtopics or articles might include devotionals that explain…

    • Who is Jesus?

    • The characteristics of Jesus

    • Etc…

    Topic: Grow in Jesus

    This is where we will put devotional type articles with discussion points such as…

    • This is where we will put devotional type articles.

    • Who should we look up to?

    • What is real faith?

    • Why do bad things happen in life?

    • What is the wrath of God?

    • Etc…

    Topic: Encourage and Inspire

    • What are God’s Real Blessings and Promises?

    • True Love…

    • Prayer Corner (At the crossroads of yes, no, and wait…)

    • The Heart of the Matter

    • What is the church?

    • Etc…

    4.) Category: Real Purpose

    Word Limit: 1200 words

    This category has one main Topic with several Subtopics. The heart behind this category is to share stories of people helping those who are hurting; reaching out to the lonely, outcast, and ostracized; feeding and clothing the poor and hungry; adoption; etc…

    Topic: Love God and Love Others (Matthew 22:36-40)

    • Take Care of Widows and Orphans

     Stories of Adoption

     Stories of taking care of widows

     Missions and organizations to support that do this.

     Etc…

    • Take Care of the Least of These

     Random Acts of Kindness

     Feeding and clothing those who need it

     Etc…

    • Spread the Gospel

     Missional Living (real life stories of people living sacrificially for others and spreading Jesus’ love)

     Supporting church planting

     Worldwide mission stories

     Local mission stories

     Etc…

    • Community Life

     real life stories of doing life with a community of believers

     Church small groups

    i. The various ways to conduct a small group

    ii. Outreaches that small groups have undertaken (can be done anonymously to protect the hearts and others)

    Although these guidelines have been developed for the writers, they are just that – guidelines. The most important aspect for each writer to remember is CREATIVITY. Creative writing will be one of the keys to success for Shattered Magazine, and it should not be stifled in any way.

    Each individual has a unique story to tell and a unique perspective that God has gifted them through their own walk and relationship with Him. We encourage you to share your lessons learned in your own style and your own way.

    Ready, Set, Write!

    1 + 4 =

    Pitch Your Story

    9 + 12 =