So, at the end of this series on writing as a spiritual discipline, as worship, I have touched on publication—when we should send our work out, when we should keep it for ourselves. I think that either way can be a good thing—just in writing it, you have worshipped. But, in sending it out, you can edify other Christians and shine a light for unbelievers, so that is a good thing too.
Once you have decided to send out your work, then comes more questions: where to send those poems, those stories, those songs? Do you send them to the Christian markets—because there is a Christian set-aside version of everything in the arts it seems—or do you send it out into the snarly unpredictable SECULAR (are old ladies fainting yet?) world.
I would argue to send your work to both, but to favor “secular” magazines/presses. As I said earlier, your work can encourage other believers and bear witness to unbelievers, so it makes sense that you should send your work to magazines that are read by both believers (maybe) and unbelievers (definitely).
Another argument : pursuing publication is part of pursuing excellence in your field—and, sadly, small niche markets are often where subpar work can get published just because it fits the theme (not only in Christian markets—any magazine or press with an agenda, whether its political or religious or something else).
I love it when I publish in a literary magazine and see my little poem in there with all these perspectives—atheism, Buddhism, spiritual whatever-is-good-for-you-ism—and then the reader reads (or maybe skips over—hopefully they read it!) my poem, written while worshipping my Creator. And maybe something happens and maybe it doesn’t, but in their reading I’ve born witness, and we’re called to that, Christians.
There are so many resources when it comes to getting into publishing, but a good place to start is Newpages.com for literary markets, reviews, and calls for submissions, and The Review Review for more of that Plus publishing tips.
You might write the occasional piece that you think would be more fitting for a Christian audience. Maybe a creative nonfiction testimony or a biblical retelling, maybe you wrote a spiritual memoir. If that is the case, there are also some Christian magazines in the literary community:
Christian Literary Magazines
(if you know of more, please comment below so I can add them to my list!)
Five Minute Free-Write: In place of writing today, send your work out to one of the literary magazines listed above or to a secular magazine.