Learn more about what type of content our magazine editors look for, how your work should be formatted & organized and where to send your submission.
Clubhouse Submission Guidelines
Focus on the Family Clubhouse is a 32-page magazine designed to inspire, entertain and teach Christian values to children ages 8-12. The magazine, which has a circulation of over 80,000, reaches young readers and their parents all over the world. Parents trust Clubhouse to provide wholesome, educational material with Scriptural or moral insight. The kids anticipate stories with excitement, adventure, action or humor. Your job, as a writer, is to create work that pleases both parents and children.
We feature fiction stories in each issue. We look for fresh, creative stories, especially those with children our audience’s age as the main character. The characters should be well-developed, the story fast-paced and interesting, and the prose descriptive and engaging. While our stories aren’t always explicitly Christian, they should be built on a foundation of Christian beliefs and family values. Key elements in a strong story are humor and charm.
What we’re looking for:
~ Contemporary stories with multicultural or ethnic settings (1,800 words)
~ Fantasy or science-fiction stories, avoiding graphic descriptions of evil creatures and sorcery (1,800 words)
~ Historical fiction featuring great Christians or Christians who lived during great times (900 or 1,800 words, depending on the story)
~ Choose-your-own adventure stories (1,800-2,000 words)
~ Humor with a point (500 words)
What we don’t need:
~ Stories where adults solve every problem
~ Mystery stories (we have a monthly column)
~ Stories that deal with boy-girl relationships
~ Poetry (we don’t print poems, but Clubhouse Jr. does)
~ Preachy sounding stories with an overbearing moral or message
We are always looking for unique and interesting nonfiction stories and articles, especially stories about real-life kids. Every article should have a Christian angle, though it shouldn’t be overbearing. The concepts and vocabulary should be appropriate for our audiences’ ages. Nonfiction stories should fall between 400-500 or 800-1,000 words in length.
What we’re looking for:
~ Personality features of ordinary kids doing extraordinary things
~ Activity theme pages with 3 to 5 fun things for kids to do
~ Short, humorous how-to articles (how to get good grades, how to be a good friend)
~ Quizzes (multiple choice or true/false) that teach a biblical concept or character trait—more along the lines of personality quizzes than factual quizzes
~ Factual stories from a Christian worldview that talk about apologetics, biblical archeology or Christian values
~ Short craft or recipe ideas centered around a theme or holiday
~ Interviews with noteworthy Christians or Christians who experienced noteworthy events (athletes, actors, etc.)
What we don’t need:
~ Bible stories—as of January 2007, we only publish Truth Pursuer devotionals
~ Science or educational articles without Christian insight
~ Biographies told in an encyclopedia or textbook-style without a kid angle
We generally pay between 15 and 25 cents per word, depending on the amount of editing required. Feature-length fiction stories are usually bought for $200 and up. Nonfiction pieces are purchased for $150 and up. Authors sign a contract and are paid upon acceptance of the story and sent complimentary copies when the piece is published. We do not consider reprinted stories. We purchase a non-exclusive license, and simultaneous submissions are not accepted.
If you would like a sample of the magazine to read and study, please send $3.99 and a large self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below or call 1-800-232-6459. You can also order a single issue of Clubhouse from Focus on the Family’s online store.
All manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced, on one side only of letter paper (8.5×11 inches). The author’s name, address, phone number, email address and an approximate word count should appear on the first page of the manuscript or in the cover letter, as well as the genre of the story. We only accept completed manuscripts; no query letters. Material will not be returned unless a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage is included. Seasonal material should be sent in at least eight months in advance.
Address all submissions to:
Rachel Pfeiffer, Clubhouse Assistant Editor
Focus on the Family
8605 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
We do our best to respond to submissions within 12 weeks.