Devotional Book Guidelines for Writers

Devotional Book Guidelines

Deadline for submitting devotionals

Submissions are accepted every day throughout the calendar year to be considered for the book in production at that time. When your submission is received at least by June 30 (2020), it has opportunity to be read in the devotional book published for the calendar year two years later (2022).

For example:

November 1, 2019: Our next manuscript for 2022 is started by using all new devotionals sent after August 31 and the extra devotionals held over from 2021 manuscript. Submit devotionals now for 2022. The earlier the better.

June 30, 2020: All devotionals received for the present manuscript for 2022 have now been received, edited, and placed. Editing work begins on the biographical sketches for 2022 contributors. All devotionals received for the present manuscript for 2022 have now been received, edited, and placed. Editing work begins on the biographical sketches for 2022 contributors.

August 30, 2020: The manuscript for 2021 becomes a printed book by the end of August. Our mailing address list for 2021 book is finalized and sent to the press at the beginning of September.

September 30, 2020: The devotional book for 2021 to contributors is shipped by end of the month.

October 30, 2020: Our manuscript for 2022 is completed and sent for pre-press work.

Format Guidelines

If you follow these format guidelines, your submission will fit:
—one typed manuscript page (8.5 by 11 inches)
—one published book page

Each submission will include:
—Title of devotional
—Scripture text to amplify the message
—Bible version for each quoted scripture reference (this is important!)
—The name of the digital file will include your last name and devotional title: lastname-title [e.g. Lee-Rescued]

Writing format
—Typed in English
—Microsoft Word document, attach the .docx file to an email message
—No WordPerfect files (instead copy and paste devotional into the body of an email message)
—Quoted sources need written permission for printing (except the Bible or E.G. White)
—Do not use italics, underline, bold, or ALL CAPS
Include postal mailing address, contact info, and biographical sketch

Layout format
—Page size, US letter, 8 x 11.5 inches (not A4)
—One-inch margins on all sides: top, bottom, left right
—Paragraphs indented one-half inch
—Times New Roman regular font, 12-point type
—Alignment flush left
—One space used between all punctuation
—Line spacing is 20 points exactly (or 1-1/2 lines)
Only 30 lines allowed, and includes poetical Bible texts typeset as poetry
—All quoted sources are footnoted and footnotes are included in the 30-line count
—Between 375 and 425 words (but no more than 30 lines)
Word count includes title of devotional, scripture text, and Bible version

The layout format, word count, and line numbering as described above closely match similar space needed for the published book page. Use line numbering feature as a guide for the following sections:
—Line 1 Blank line (date appears here in published book)
—Line 2 Title of devotional
—Line 3 Scripture (verse wraps to additional lines as needed)
—Line 4 (or next line) Blank line between scripture verse and body of devotional
—Line 5 (or next line) First indented paragraph begins
—Line 30 Last line of devotional (reduce one line for each line of footnote)
—Line 31 Your name as it will appear in print
—Line 32 Blank line

Additional format guidelines

If your devotional runs too long, extra scripture texts at the top of the page and prayers at the end are deleted first.

Include abbreviation of quoted Bible version [e.g. KJV, NIV] with each quoted text within the body of the devotional; your line count may change when we add the abbreviation.

If you quote from another source, please include written permission to use the quoted reference (this includes song lyrics), Also provide a photocopy of the source page and the title page (page front and back) from the quoted book. Copy book editors request this from every author published by Pacific Press Publishing Association.

Permission is not necessary for quoting E.G. White writings, the Bible, or lyrics published in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal. All song lyrics are typeset as poetry.

Beware: Lyrics, additional scripture verses at the top of the devotional, poetic verses quoted within the body of the devotional, and footnoted sources quickly use up the 30-line count.

Sorry, NO poems will be accepted; pseudonyms are NOT permitted.

Biographical Sketch

Please include a biographical sketch about yourself, no longer than four numbered lines, including information such as state or country where you live, occupation, church or civic involvement, other articles/books published, hobbies, personal accomplishments.

How do you want your name to appear in the book? Please be certain your name appears in exactly the same way in your submission and biographical sketch.

Notify Us of Any Changes

If your name, address, contact information, or biographical sketch changes before your submission is printed, please notify us promptly!

Biographical format
—Your name (as you want it to appear in print)
—Mailing address
—Telephone number
—E-mail address
—Biographical sketch (no longer than four lines)

How to Submit

When you mail or fax a devotional, you will receive a letter by mail to let you know that your submission has been received. This will usually be sent within two weeks upon receipt.

Your devotional may be submitted in one of the following ways:

1. By e-mail:

Submit your devotionals to:

Email an attached MS Word file. If you use word processing other than Word, copy and paste your devotional into the body of the email. A PDF file should be your last choice.

Don’t forget to name your email message and the attached Word file with your last name and devotional title as follows: lastname-title [e.g. Lee-Rescued].

We will send you a preliminary notice by e-mail that your submission has been received. If you have not received acknowledgement within two weeks, please do not also send the devotional by hard copy or fax until you have queried our office by email or telephone.

2. By postal mail:

You may submit on a thumb drive or data computer disk saved in MS Word format (title the file name as instructed above for email submission); also include a printed hard copy.

Or, you may mail a typed devotional. Our mailing address is:

GC Women's Ministries Devotional Book
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600
Tel: 1 (301) 680-6608

3. By fax: 1 (301) 680-6600

About Your Contributions

We solicit contributions from women on a wide variety of spiritual topics. Each devotional should be based on a personal experience of God's involvement in the life of a woman and show how this experience demonstrates a Bible principle which readers can apply to everyday life. Please, no sermons or doctrinal studies. This book will be marketed to Christians of all denominations; therefore, terminology should be used that can be understood by all Christians. We encourage global participation which contributes a varied cultural and ethnic flavor to each book.

Those who contribute to this project agree that all royalties of the devotional books will go to the Women's Ministries Scholarship Fund of the division in which the book is published. They further agree that they will receive no payment for any contributions submitted or accepted for publication. However, each author will receive a complimentary copy of the book from Pacific Press Publishing Association as well as an author's discount on additional book purchases.

Authors are encouraged to submit no more than two devotionals in any one year unless notified otherwise. If you have been notified that a devotional of yours was not accepted, please do not resubmit it unless you have made significant changes which more accurately reflect the devotional book guidelines.

Thank you for contributing to our women's devotional book, which has been published annually since 1992. The royalties from book sales have helped fund 2,461 scholarship awarded to Adventtist women from 132 countries who are enrolled in Adventist higher education.

Copyright Issues

All submissions become the property of the General Conference Women's Ministries Department. Unused manuscripts cannot be returned.

If your devotional has previously been published elsewhere, you must notify us for copyright purposes. Please include a letter from the previous publisher granting us permission to use your devotional.

If your submission is accepted for the Women's Ministries devotional book, it cannot be used in another publication without written permission from General Conference Women's Ministries.

Statements of permission from you or from us are also needed for self-published devotionals, including your own Internet blog.

Address for permission to reprint

GC Women's Ministries Devotional Book
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600
Tel: 1 (301) 680-6608

Submissions that are not accepted

If your submission was not accepted, it may be for the following reasons:

  • It is too long or too short.
  • It is not a personal experience or insight that applies to women. Do not include a personal experience that promotes a project, book, accomplishment, or experience of someone else.
  • It is not fully showing God's presence in the experience.
  • It is not uplifting or encouraging; it is too depressing or sad in nature or message; is not dealt with an a devotional, redemptive manner.
  • It is similar to other submissions already accepted or on a topic addressed many times.
  • It covers too many topics, none of which has enough information to be developed into a complete devotional.
  • It might be offensive to someone of other religious, cultural, ethnic, or racial background.
  • It degrades men.
  • It is more of a sermon or doctrinal study, not a devotional in tone.
  • It is a tribute to an individual.
  • It is too controversial in subject theme.

Pointers for Writing Devotionals

Whether or not your submission is accepted, consult the document, "Pointers for Writing Devotionals," created for our devotional book contributors by Carolyn R. Sutton. It will inspire you to write another devotional (or perhaps rewrite the one you already have).

Download PDF Pointers for Writing Devotionals
Download PDF Devotional Book Guidelines
Online purchase of current devotional book 2020 I Am Loved
Online purchase of current Kindle book 2020 I Am Loved (coming soon)

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Pointers for Writing Devotionals

The women's daily devotional book series editor, Carolyn R. Sutton, shares engaging techniques for writing effective devotionals that touch readers' hearts.

Learn More