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Writer and Photo Guidelines

Dear Writers and Photographers:
Thank you for your interest in submitting materials for consideration to Creation Illustrated (CI) magazine. Please review the guidelines in this document as we are always looking for high-quality photos, articles, and poetry that bring glory to God through the wonders of His creation.

Included in this document are some important guidelines. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. ANY SUBMISSIONS DENOTE FULL AGREEMENT TO COMPLY WITH THE GUIDELINES, PUBLISHING RIGHTS, PAYMENT, AND REQUIREMENTS LISTED. The word “material(s)” in these guidelines refers to editorial and/or photographic submissions.

Any of the scheduled feature subjects can change at any time. We welcome fresh ideas and
look forward to hearing from you. Please become acquainted with Creation Illustrated; subscribers who read Creation Illustrated are our best writers! (Please read a full issue before submitting queries or stories. A free digital edition is available on our website homepage.)

In His service,
Tom & Jennifer Ish

Contents Outline of Creation Illustrated Writer and Photographer Guidelines

  1. Writers
    • What We Are Looking For
    • How to Submit a Query
    • How to Submit a Story
  2. Current Features Accepting Submissions and Rates
    • Creation Illustrated in Nature
      • Creation Up Close
      • Re-Creation and Restoration through Outdoor Adventure
      • Creatures Near and Dear to Us
    • Creation Illustrated in Scripture
      • Creation Week Series by Each Day of the Creation Week
    • Creation Illustrated in Living
      • Gardens from Eden Around the World
      • My Walk with God
      • Children’s Story
    • Creation Illustrated in Poetry
  3. Publishing Agreements
    • Publishing Rights
    • Reprints
    • Kill Fees
    • Editing
    • Payment
    • Expenses
    • Deadlines and Print Schedule
  4. Photographers
    • Photograph Quality
    • Photo Credits and Payments
    • Photo Submissions Instructions



Creation Illustrated (CI) is a quarterly Christian nature magazine that focuses on worshiping the Creator and learning more about His amazing Creation through writers and photographers focusing on the various features. For the reader it becomes their “Getaway to Nature and Creation.”

Creation Illustrated is not owned or operated by any denomination; its main audience is made up of a wide range of Christians of all ages, homeschool families, teachers and students in private Christian schools, church service classes of all ages, inmates in prison, and chaplains sharing in hospital, prison, and military settings—all of which are attracted to the character-building lessons and parables found in the wonders of God’s creation.

Write for the reader. Inspire the reader to be in awe of the Creator. Help generate a worshipful spirit. Glorify God the Creator. Make your story uplifting and positive rather than confrontational, argumentative, or bashing evolution, do not hide truth but explain it in a positive way. Inspire the reader to unplug and get outdoors.

Support your story with spiritually uplifting lessons backed by scripture, scientific data with references, and any quotations that must be verbatim and attributed to the source. Do not risk credibility with vague or unsubstantiated notions. Research for credible expertise that has been verified. Your story must be original, well substantiated, and provide information that will encourage the reader to want to know more about the Creator God.

Creation Illustrated is Bible-centered, and we prefer writers to use the New King James Version,  King James Version, or other literal bible translations when quoting scripture, but other versions can be used. ALL scripture quotes MUST include the version notation (i.e… KJV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, etc.)  Here is a formatting sample for scripture quotes: “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease” (Job 14:7, ESV).

One of the main goals for CI is to help teach strong Godly character qualities that are supported by scripture and “illustrated” in nature.  Here is a helpful link help give you some
suggestions on character qualities and supportive scriptures:  https://goo.gl/NbFrft .

Nature is God’s first lesson book, and it is through nature and man’s interaction with it that Jesus based many of His teachings and parables such as pearls, seeds, wheat, sheep, etc. As you read the list of character qualities think of different animals and nature experiences that can incorporate these lessons.  Wise King Solomon said in Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!” Here is a good example of character development in being diligent and industrious.

Each story needs to lend itself to be “illustrated” with quality nature photography that our freelance photographers can provide. A story about an experience in a National Park would be more likely to be published than a story about a night walk through the dark woods. If you have firsthand experience with the topic, this brings more interest to the article through personal anecdotes. (Re-Creation Outdoors, My Walk with God, and Gardens from Eden are features typically written as a first-person account.) Many features in Creation Illustrated have a seasonal focus, keeping this in mind is extremely helpful as you write and submit your stories.

In summary, please review the features below as you select a subject to write about or query us on. Spark our interest with something outstanding. Every article needs to have a nature theme with scripture, facts, and character lessons woven in. Please do not send any submissions that do not have these main elements. Please note that we do not print fiction. Always include your contact information on the submitted attached document.

Thank you.


B. How to Submit a Query

Many CI articles start with a great query. If you have a good idea for an article then send an
email to ci@creationillustrated.com and tell us why it will fit well with our current listed features. Your Query should be no more than 300 or so words in the body of the email. Please, no attachments or Google docs. Any mailed queries must contain a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope. We do not receive queries over the phone.

Please review this checklist as you prepare your query or article for submission.

  • Your story fits with one of the features listed in CI. (See features below)
  • Your topic has not been recently published. (sign up for a digital or print subscription)
  • Your story has spiritual and character-building lessons backed by scripture texts.
  • Your story has plenty of facts and interesting statistics.
  • Your story includes anecdotes where appropriate.
  • Include your full contact information: Name, mailing address, phone, and email.
  • Place in the email subject line these 3 things:
    1. Story Query,
    2. Feature focus – i.e. Creatures, Creation Day 3, Children’s story, poem, etc.
    3. Name of your story – Hike on the Kalalau Trail, Amazing Meerkats, etc.


C. How to Submit a Story

Please email your story submission to ci@creationillustrated.com with an attached WORD doc to the email. Be sure to include your contact information on the document. (Name, mailing address, and short bio). Place in the subject line these 3 things: 1) Story submission 2) Feature focus – i.e. Creatures, Creation Day 3, Children’s story, poem, etc. 3) Name of your story –i.e. Hike on the Kalalau Trail, Amazing Meerkats, etc. Any mailed queries must contain a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope.

II. Current Features Accepting Submissions

Creation Illustrated is divided into three sections in Nature, in Scripture, and in Living.

A. Creation Illustrated in Nature

1. Creation Up Close – (approx. 1,200 to 1,500 words) pays $100.
This feature focuses on an aspect of nature that helps reveal the incredible intricacies and the overwhelming evidence of how the Creator designed or planned the things around us. Some subjects reveal a close-up perspective that shows detail or even microscopic facts as to how things in nature are designed by an awesome God to function or interact. Other stories may look closely at various ecosystems or specific realms of study in the sciences. Do not hesitate to use plenty of scripture and scientific data that reflect and support each other. Including brief anecdotes helps to add interest and allows the reader to identify more closely with the story.

2. Re-Creation and Restoration through Outdoor Adventure – (approx. 1,200 to 1,500 words) pays $100
This feature focuses on an outdoor adventure (often in a state park, national park, or wilderness area) that takes the reader on location. It could also share a vacation experience or mission trip to a specific area of the world where one experienced adventure and Creation in a profound way. It is usually a first-person account of a very uplifting spiritual experience that helped bring the author closer to God and understanding His design and care for us. The story will help the reader “experience” the adventure, explore unique areas, enjoy thrilling sights, and embark on intriguing excursions. Inspire the reader to want to go there or to get out in nature and experience God’s creation firsthand.

3. Creatures Near and Dear to Us – (approx. 1,200 to 1,500 words) pays $100
This feature is usually on one particular type of creature. It may focus on some aspect of its behavior, design, and/or interaction with the rest of its environment or other creatures. You will want to share some aspects of this creature that the reader has not considered before. Your story will foster a new appreciation of the creature, a sense of awe toward its Creator, and a fresh perspective on this creature or creatures in general. What characteristics (positive or negative) does this creature exhibit, and can any parallels be drawn with our own character development. Spiritual lessons backed by scripture quotes and scientific data are vital. Do not just copy segments of an encyclopedia or nature website or book.

B. Creation Illustrated in Scripture

Creation – Day ___ –  (approx. 1,200 to 1,500 words) pays $100
This feature focuses on one day of the Creation Story found in the book of Genesis. What was God’s purpose in this part of Creation? How has it changed from the original? How does this part of Creation relate to us today? What does this tell about God’s love for us? Pick each verse of that day’s scripture apart and Illustrate how it relates to other parts of scripture and the plan of salvation. Why did God devote one day to this part of Creation? How can others understand, appreciate, and worship God better through a greater understanding of this part of Creation?

C. Creation Illustrated in Living

1. Gardens from Eden Around the World – (approx. 1,000 words) pays $75
A garden story will make the reader want to get out and do it themselves. It can also reveal garden creativity in other parts of the globe. Visiting famous and/or successful gardens and asking those who care for them what their secrets are is a great place to start. It can also reveal what motivates the gardener, and most importantly it shares the spiritual lessons that the person gains in working closely with the soil and some of God’s vegetation. Practical “how-to” gardening tips will help encourage the reader to be a successful gardener.

2. My Walk with God – (approx. 1,000 words) pays $75
“My walk with God” is a personal anecdotal experience that tells of the peace and understanding that comes from spending time with God in nature. Inspire the reader to do the same. This story must include spiritual lessons backed by scripture.

3. Children’s Story – (approx. 700 to 1,000 words) pays $75
This is a story geared toward character development of children ages 6 to 12. It can be an animal story, or some other aspect of nature made simple with a memorable spiritual lesson. Personal anecdotes that include children often work well in reaching young minds so they can picture themselves in a similar situation. Use plenty of description but keep word choices and sentences simple.

D. Creation Illustrated in Poetry

Spiritual nature-themed poetry (Short, usually 4 verses) pays $15
Poems should have a theme that is easily illustrated with a nature photo. They can relate to any one of the above features or to a part of God’s creation during a particular season such as the first blooming of crocus, the uniqueness of a snowflake, the joy of a bird’s song, squirrels hiding nuts, etc. Each poem must also contain a spiritual message. Submitting your own photo to illustrate your poem is welcomed but not necessary. We currently have many poems on file, and we publish only one or two poems per edition. Please be selective when submitting poems making sure they are within these narrow guidelines.

III. Publishing Agreements

A. Publishing Rights of your material submitted and used include all First North American Serial Rights, Archival Rights, and Internet Duplication of the Magazine in Digital and/or PDF Formats as well as Foreign Language Rights both print and digital.

B. Reprints We will consider material that has been published elsewhere as long as reprint permission accompanies the material, and a reasonable amount of time has lapsed since it was last printed.

C. Kill Fees A 25% kill fee may be paid when assigned or accepted material is not published. Eliminating or rescheduling various materials is at the sole discretion of the publisher. Any reason or justification for any change in final selections for publication is not required of the publisher. If material submitted does not meet the standards or criteria set forth, it may be returned for revisions. If revisions are still unsatisfactory, a kill fee will not be paid.

D. Editing We reserve the right to edit, adjust, delete, and/or enhance any material to better suit our readership. Any heavily edited material may include a co-byline with the editor.

E. Payment amounts are listed with each feature description. Each published author will have a byline and receive a copy of the magazine in addition to payment. Published material will be paid within approximately 30 days of publication.

F. Expenses Creation Illustrated will not be held responsible for any additional expenses such as travel or mileage, long-distance phone calls, photo developing costs, photocopying, postage, express mail charges, etc.

G. Deadlines and Print Schedule: (dates may vary slightly)

Winter Edition Deadline: Oct. 1 -20 Printed: Dec. 20
Spring Edition Deadline: Jan. 1 – 20 Printed: March 20
Summer Edition Deadline: April 1 – 20 Printed: June 20
Fall Edition Deadline: July 1 – 20 Printed: Sept 20


Each quarter we email a Photo Needs List outlining the selected stories and the photographs needed to illustrate them. If you wish your email to be added to our CI list of photographers who we contact each quarter, please send us your request and contact information to  ci@creationillustrated.com Subject line: Photo Needs List Request.

A. Photograph Quality

Here is what we look for in photographs published in CI

  1. good composition with a strong focal point
  2. excellent clarity, sharpness, contrast, and color saturation
  3. a good use of dark and light values helps spark interest
  4. an effective use of light, clouds, fog, and other mood-generating elements
  5. a level horizon and waterlines as well as trees growing vertically to show that you are careful how you frame your shots.


B. Photo Credits and Payment

Each photograph published will be accompanied by a photo credit. Each published photographer will receive a copy of the magazine in addition to payment.


  1. 1. Cover photo – $100
  2. Photo and Coloring Contest Winners: $25 each (Youth age 6 -11,Teen age 12-18, Adult age 19 and older).
  3. Inside Front Cover, Inside Back Cover, any 2-page spreads $25.
  4. All other published photos – $10 each, regardless of size


C. Photo Submissions Instructions

  1. Be selective and submit only your best work. We prefer a dozen or so stunning photos over 50 that we have to spend time sorting. We like variety including close-ups, panoramas, powerful content, intriguing perspectives, creative compositions, appropriate action, precision clarity, vivid color, captivating contrast, and inviting texture.
  2. Digital images must be high-res JPEG originals. Please do not enlarge or digitally interpolate images to make them larger. This hurts quality. Smallest size JPEG must convert to a 4”x6” TIFF at 300dpi.
  3. Submit images in one of the following ways.
    a) Upload high-res digital images WITH a content identification sheet (MS Word Document or PDF) that includes your name, mailing address, phone number, email, AND a list of image numbers with individual descriptions and/or identification. When ready to upload, just go to wetransfer.com

    • Click on the + sign and add the files you want to send.
    • Type in OUR email address – ci@creationillustrated.com
    • Now type in your own email address.
    • Write a short message (photo submission for . . .)
    • Then simply hit the transfer button, wait for files to upload, and you’re done.  It’s simple, secure, and free of charge.

    b) Mail a CD with high-res digital images AND a sheet of thumbnails with a content
    identification list to Creation Illustrated editor, P.O. Box 141103, Spokane Valley, WA 99214-1103. We suggest USPS Priority Mail that includes Tracking capabilities.

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