Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. is a 32-page magazine designed to inspire, entertain and teach Christian values to children ages 3 to 7. With a circulation of approximately 60,000, the magazine reaches young readers and their parents all over the world.
Fresh, inviting, creative fiction is the foundation of our magazine. The stories we publish explore a worthy theme. The characters should be well-developed, the story line fast-moving and interesting, and the prose descriptive and carefully constructed. Our stories are not always explicitly Christian, but they should be built upon a foundation of Christian beliefs and family values. Humor and charm are key elements in a strong story.
~For beginning readers 250-500 words
~For parents to read aloud 500-800 words
Nonfiction articles should be concisely written in short caption-style format. Science and nature articles should be handled from a unique perspective, giving information that a child wouldn’t find in a nature magazine. Articles about real children or adults with interesting experiences are also accepted. We love hearing about modern-day and historical heroes of the faith. The most successful articles are those that teach the audience in an amusing way and don’t go over their heads with information.
Length: No longer than 600 words.
Bible stories should be imaginative yet accurate retellings of Scripture. We generally favor the lesser-known stories from the Bible. The best styles are short captions, easy reader, poetic, rebus or comic-strip versions. A nonfiction sidebar highlighting accurate facts about the subject is a plus.
Length: No longer than 600 words
These picture-story pieces are written with the intent of encouraging parent/child interaction. Repetition of images, concise word choice and a humorous, insightful ending are the most important aspects of a successful rebus.
Length: No longer than 350 words.
Poems should reflect real-life experiences of young children. We generally publish humorous, descriptive poetry that tells a story and has a Christian-based message.
Length: No longer than 250 words.
Activities and crafts should offer creative, fairly easy ideas for parents and children to accomplish together. Materials should consist primarily of common household items. Short crafts and activities or longer articles combining a number of activities and/or crafts on the same topic are accepted.
Length: No longer than 500 words.
Puzzles should be creative, fun and usually biblically based. Nearly all the puzzles published in the magazine are staff-written. Standard types, such as word searches and crossword puzzles, are not accepted.
Length: One-page puzzles only.
All manuscripts should be typed or computer printed, double-spaced, on one side only of 8 1/2” by 11” paper. The author’s name, address, phone number and an approximate word count should appear on the first page. We accept completed manuscripts only; no query letters, please. Material will not be returned unless a self-addressed envelope with adequate postage is included. Seasonal material should be sent at least six months in advance.
Address all submissions to: Joanna Echols, Clubhouse Jr. Senior Associate Editor, 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920.
We do our best to respond to manuscripts within 8 weeks.
Payment: Unsolicited fiction, nonfiction and Bible stories pay $100-$200, depending on how much editing is required (and other factors). An average payment for poetry is $50-$100. Puzzles pay $30-$80, and rebus stories pay $75-$150. Contributors are paid on acceptance and receive three complimentary copies of the issue in which their work appears. We purchase first rights only, and simultaneous submissions are not accepted.
Assignment Writing: We generally begin to consider authors for assignment work after at least three unsolicited manuscripts have been purchased. We do not give assignments to writers who have never had a story published in our magazine.
A Suggestion for Success: The most published authors in our magazine are those who understand the needs of our audience. The best way to find out what we’re looking for is to read past issues and model your work after our style. It’s also helpful to present your stories to children in the age group for reactions. For a sample issue, send your request (along with $2.50 and SASE) to Focus on the Family, 8605 Explorer Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920 or call 1-800-232-6459. Requests are filled within four weeks.