Writing for Take-Home Papers


The take-home paper market is often overlooked by writers, and yet the opportunity is huge.
Consider the colorful Sunday school paper your children receive at church. Think about the
adult publication filled with inspirational stories, teaching, and faith-filled facts handed out in many churches across the nation.

In today’s Tuesday Tip we take a look at take-home papers and why you might
want to consider it as a viable market.

1. There’s an incredible need for writers

The editor of the take-home paper has to fill four or eight pages of a publication every single
week. When the editor is finished with one issue, the next deadline begins. This means there is a high demand for quality material. There’s a need for skilled writers to provide ongoing quality material, including inspirational stories, fiction (especially for children), profiles, and teaching.

2. There’s a need for denominational material

For years I wrote a monthly column for a denominational magazine. The magazine audience is lay ministers and leaders. Writing for this magazine opened the door to write for their
denominational take-home papers. Eventually I became an assignment writer for children, teen, and adult take-home papers. I had several income avenues from this one denominational market. If you are in a denominational church, this may be a perfect fit. You already know the denominational specifics. If you are not part of a denomination, read their guidelines and Statement of Faith carefully. In either case, denominational markets often have multiple opportunities for freelancers.

3. There is a variety of needs

What I love about the take-home paper is it offers a lot of writing opportunities for all kinds of writers. Short pieces, quizzes, and fillers are a great way to break in to the take-home paper market. There is a need for profiles, teaching, how-to articles, and even fiction. Children’s take-home papers are in need of craft ideas, activities, and more. Holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Easter are all great opportunities and huge needs for take-home papers.

What an opportunity!

If you’ve overlooked this market, I hope this Tuesday Tip will encourage you to take time to
learn more about it. Take-home papers are not just a great opportunity for writers but have the potential to reach thousands of readers across the nation.

Your Turn

Take-home papers require quality material to meet a variety needs from inspirational stories, to writing geared toward children and even fiction writing.  Share your thoughts on the COMPEL blog about which need your writing skills could fill in the take-home paper market and why you would want to pursue an opportunity writing for one.

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Suzie Eller is a COMPEL mentor and Community Coordinator.

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Comments

  1. Here’s another example of a market that publishes take-home papers.
    https://gospelpublishing.com/store/startcat.cfm?cat=twritguid

  2. Thank you, Suzie and Compel for these helpful blog posts. So grateful. Years ago I wrote a craft how-to article for kids, with a spiritual emphasis, but I never had the courage (and I’m still struggling) to send it anywhere. I wasn’t sure if there was a need or if kids would be interested. Then my grandson saw it on my refrigerator and said, “Grandma, can you show me how to make that?” I also love writing faith articles for adults.

  3. Thanks for this information!
    I have homeschooled for 20+ years. We have read so many wonderful missionary biographies, as well as books about other heroes of the faith. I’ve been inspired by Corrie TenBoom, Brother Andrew, David Wilkerson and others through our reading. I’m guessing those might fit the “profiles” ? Also, I could do book reviews/recommendations. Perhaps also teachings about faith instruction in the home.

    • Susan, I’ve enjoyed writing reviews for a number of years. While I was not paid for these book reviews, keeping at it for me eventually led to a columnist position with pay. It is a fun way to find new books and share them with others.

    • Susan, sometimes a profile is over a person who is currently an influencer or making a difference in some way. Others may want profiles on missionaries. It all depends on the writing guidelines for each individual market. Check them out! It sounds like you have some great ideas to pitch!

  4. I have been teaching kids at Community Bible Study and Sunday school for years and never thought about this as a market. Not sure why, now I’ll check into it for sure.

  5. This is makes my heart happy. No, not because I am going to run out and apply to fill a position like this, but because I have attended 4 churches in the past 30 years and none of them use take home papers at all. I honestly thought every place stopped producing what we used to call the weekly Sunday School Paper. It was a fun thing to do on Sunday afternoon. My kids are all grown now, but for the first few years of their lives we had those Sunday papers. but I’m sure I have not seen one for 30 years. WOW! I am impressed that they are still published and kids can spend time with stories and puzzles and inspiration for their young lives.