Writer’s Guidelines




About the magazine

The Baptist Bulletin is the magazine of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches—your gateway to news, ministry ideas, and articles written from a Biblical and Baptist perspective.

The Baptist Bulletin is published for the congregation—a popular-level audience of believing church members. We believe our audience is well-educated, theologically astute, and capable of discerning complex issues in our churches and society.

We accept articles within the range of our own editorial position, which is broadly outlined in several pamphlets: “The GARBC Articles of Faith,” “Fundamentally Sound: Understanding Our Faith,” and “Together We Can Accomplish More.” To obtain these pamphlets, e-mail submissions@BaptistBulletin.org. Potential writers should also be familiar current issues of the magazine. (See current issue and archives.) Our doctrinal statement, though precise on fundamental aspects of the faith, allows for a range of positions on many matters. The magazine provides a “kitchen table” where church members gather for discussion of important topics.

The Baptist Bulletin considers queries for the following categories:

  • Up Close—a human interest feature, sometimes in a Q&A format
  • In Focus—feature article on a significant issue
  • Cover Story—a significant article of enduring quality that explores issues of the Baptist faith
  • Church Ministries—feature article on a local church or some aspect of church ministry
  • GARBC Ministries—feature article about the GARBC, the GARBC Chaplaincy, Baptist Builders Club, Gospel Literature Services, or our International Partnerships
  • Home Life—feature article on families, parenting, or marriage
  • Soundbytes—news of the GARBC, including brief stories and photos

Don’t know what to write about? See our Hot Topic Wish List for ideas.

Query letters

Please send a query letter before submitting a manuscript. We prefer that you send your query by e-mail to submissions@BaptistBulletin.org with the query in the body of the e-mail (no attachments). You should include:

  • A short outline of your article proposal. What is your subject, your unique angle, your main points, your essential proposition? What benefit will the reader take away from your article?
  • A brief review of your background and qualifications. Why are you qualified to write this article?

Purchasing rights and editing

Regular Baptist Press is a publisher of church education materials, and our policies are intended to preserve what we believe is distinctive about our materials. Articles written for the Baptist Bulletin are “works created for hire” in which Regular Baptist Press retains the copyright and all rights, including:

  • the right to edit the material to meet the needs of our audience,
  • the right to publish it at a time that fits our needs,
  • the right to reprint it at some future time in the Baptist Bulletin or other RBP resources, and
  • the right to release it online.

Articles are edited for spelling, punctuation, length, cohesiveness, logic, and factual accuracy. Editors labor to preserve the author’s voice and collaborate with authors on major changes.

Authors are usually granted permission to reproduce their own articles on websites, blogs, and other printed anthologies. Consideration will be given to a writer’s written request to sell published material to another publisher as a reprint. The Baptist Bulletin does not generally purchase articles that are previously published in print or online. On occasion we consider first rights or onetime rights for articles and stories that are particularly well-suited to our audience in terms of theology, focus, writing quality, and take-away value. We are not interested in simultaneous submissions.

The essential ideas of a Baptist Bulletin article

We are looking for creative insight, wisdom, sound judgment, critical analysis, and in-depth interpretation.

Thorough research. Baptist Bulletin articles show strong reporting and research, generous inclusion of relevant quotes, and interesting anecdotes. Use a variety of media (books, journals, web) and a variety of current sources (churches, organizations, individuals). For certain topics, include pertinent citations of primary historical sources.

Intentional structure. Baptist Bulletin articles are written with multiple entry points for the reader. Consider including photos, engaging captions, complementary material for sidebars, suggested resources for further reading, and other related material. Craft a compelling introductory paragraph that holds the reader’s attention. Include a clear statement of the thesis or purpose for writing, add transitional sentences between major points, and create an ending that summarizes and provokes thought. Use traditional structural elements including: title, subtitle, three levels of headings, Scripture quotation, block quotation, callout quotes, captions, and endnotes (follow Chicago Manual of Style)—but do not use dry, academic titles and headings.

Engaging tone. Write with a warm, conversational style, using contractions and other informal devices. But do not affect an artificially breezy or casual tone. Strive for simplicity, clarity, and readability using vivid and colorful language. Use the first-person “I” instead of “the writer.” Do not use the plural first-person “we” unless officially speaking on behalf of a group or writing with a coauthor. Avoid addressing the reader as “you.”

Do not use Greek, Hebrew, or other non-English characters. If necessary, use transliterated Greek and Hebrew with clear English definitions—but reserve this for places where the thesis depends heavily on an understanding of Biblical languages.

Use the New King James Version as the primary Biblical text. If writers find it necessary to quote from another translation, check with the editorial staff. Where necessary, authors may also quote from these versions and translations: King James Version, American Standard Version (1901), English Standard Version, Holman Christian Standard Bible, New American Standard Bible, New International Version, New Scofield Reference Bible, The Amplified Bible.

Preparing a manuscript

After your article proposal has been accepted, you will be asked to prepare a Microsoft Word file for electronic submission. Your name, address, and phone number should appear in the upper left corner of the page. Your name should appear at the top right corner of each additional page of your article. Place the title of the article and your byline centered on page 1. Use 12 point Arial for all text with double line spacing and left justification only. Use a single space after a period or colon. Start new paragraphs with a paragraph return; do not use tabs to make paragraph indents. In general, do not try to make your manuscript look like a final layout.

If you quote any published material, include a photocopy of the original pages and identify the source of the quote by full title, publication, and publisher. The Baptist Bulletin generally treats these citations as “fair use.” If you quote a poem or song lyrics or if you submit any artwork, images, or photos, it is your responsibility to obtain permission to print these. Include the permission letter with your submitted manuscript.

Submitting photos

After the article proposal has been accepted, we encourage authors to submit photos, suggest sources for existing photos, or discuss custom photography to support the story. We welcome clear, sharp photographic prints, slides, or high-resolution digital files at 300 dpi. After approval from the managing editor, these pictures can be mailed or emailed to the photo director. For imagery that already exists but is not owned by the author, please inform the managing editor of its location, owner, and copyright when submitting your manuscript.