Contributors Guidelines

The Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide

Before submitting a meditation, please read these writers guidelines to learn what we look for in the meditations we publish.

The Upper Room is meant for an international, interdenominational audience. We want to encourage Christians in their personal life of prayer and discipleship. We seek to build on what unites us and to connect Christians together in prayer around the world.

The meditations in each issue are written by people just like you, people who are listening to God and trying to live by what they hear. The Upper Room is built on a worldwide community of Christians who share their faith with one another.

Millions of people use the magazine each day. The Upper Room is translated into more than 30 languages and can be found in over 100 countries.

Where do I begin?

You begin in your own relationship with God. Christians believe God speaks to us and guides us as we study the Bible and pray. Good meditations are closely tied to scripture and show how it has shed light on a specific situation. Good meditations make the message of the Bible come alive.

First, good devotional writing is authentic. It connects real events of daily life with the ongoing activity of God.

Second, good devotional writing uses sensory details. Although they may seem mundane, such details help readers connect with your writing.

Finally, good devotional writing is exploratory instead of preachy. It searches and considers and asks questions. It examines the faith without knowing in advance what all the answers will be.

How do I get started writing a meditation?

Good ideas come from reading scripture and looking for connections between it and daily life. When you see a helpful connection, here’s a simple formula for getting your thoughts on paper:

  1. Retell the Bible teaching or summarize the passage briefly.
  2. Describe the situation that you link to the Bible passage, using a specific incident. Write down as many concrete, sensory details of the real-life situation as you can.
  3. Tell how you can apply this spiritual truth to your life in the days to come. How can others apply it to their lives? What do you want the reader to do after reading your meditation?
  4. After a few days, look carefully at what you have written. Decide which details best convey your message and delete the others. Submissions can be no longer than 350-400 words. You are now ready to submit your meditation to be considered for publication in The Upper Room.

Tips to keep in mind

  • A strong meditation will include a personal story, a connection to scripture, and a way for the reader to apply the message to his or her own life.
  • Make only one point. Think snapshot, not movie.
  • Seek always to encourage readers to deeper engagement with the Bible and with God.
  • Always give the original source of any materials you quote or historical fact you refer to. Devotionals containing quotes or other secondary material that cannot be verified will not be used. We do not publish meditations containing poetry, song lyrics, and quotations for which we would need to ask permission from another publisher to use.
  • Previously published material cannot be used.
  • Submissions can be no longer than 350-400 words.
  • Include your name and contact information on each page you submit.
  • The Upper Room daily devotional guide does not publish AI-generated content. Submissions must be the original work of human authors.

When are the deadlines?

We continually need content, and you can submit a devotional at any time. However, to allow time for simultaneous publication around the world, we work far in advance. We are usually short on meditations that focus on church holidays (Easter, Lent, Christmas, etc.).

Our response to your work

We buy the right to translate meditations for one-time use in our editions around the world, including electronic and software-driven formats, and to include them in future anthologies of Upper Room material should we choose. We pay $30.00 for each meditation, on publication. We also send you four copies of the issue in which your work appears (but only if you have completed and returned the copyright and W-9/W-8BEN forms we send you).

We are unable to give updates on the status of submitted material or to offer critiques. All published meditations are edited.

Please be sure to include your contact information (email and postal address) with each meditation, since we must send a form to be signed if your work is chosen for publication.

Meditations cannot be returned, so keep copies of what you submit. Please send no more than three meditations at a time.

We look forward to receiving meditations from you to be considered for possible use in future issues of The Upper Room.

Where do I send my meditation?

Online Form (preferred)

Postal Mail

Editorial Office
1908 Grand Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212