We writers sometimes miss the forest for the trees. In seeking to be published in the slicks (those national magazines with the shiny covers), we forget about the markets right under our noses.
Among the best of those markets is our local newspaper. Local editors are usually quite eager to publish local writers. A good place to break in is on the Op-Ed (Opinion-Editorial) page. The op-ed page also offers you the opportunity to impact your community for Christ.
Many communities now have weekly papers and other freebie newspapers that are distributed in strategic venues throughout the area. For example, my community has South Jersey MOM (for which I’ve written a couple of articles), The Cumberland Reminder, and The Gazette, to name only a few. While these papers do not usually pay, I’ve found that some are willing to barter. For example, I will write an article in exchange for free business advertising in the issue in which my article appears.
For years, the AMY Foundation, founded by the late Jim Russell, has been a powerful advocate of impacting one’s culture for Christ through local newspapers. In fact, the AMY Foundation sponsors an annual writing contest offering a top prize of $10,000, a second prize of $5000, a third prize of $4000, and twelve other prizes of $1000 each. Several years ago, I had the honor of winning the third prize for an article published in Human Events, a Washington, DC-based newspaper. I also was privileged to serve as a judge for several years on the awards committee. In addition to its annual Writing Awards Program, the AMY Foundation sponsors the Roaring Lamb Award for outstanding op-eds. You can check out their complete awards program at
Jesus prophesied that we would be witnesses to Him “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NKJV). Let’s begin witnessing for Him through our writing in our own Jerusalem – our hometown. From there we can venture into our State and Region (Judea and Samaria). Eventually, we will reach the ends of the earth.