If you’ve ever contributed to the Sentinel or Journal, you may have heard one of the editors say that your piece was in “the queue.” Or maybe you received an e-mail saying your submission would be put into “the pool” for consideration. Have you ever wondered what happens to a submission once you send it off (and you should!) to the periodicals?
Here’s how it typically works: Once a week, all the editors for both magazines get together to review submissions that have come in. The pieces are printed out to be reviewed in hard copy, and then compiled in genres: testimonies, articles, and poems. Each editor takes several pieces to review, and we all work together to determine which submissions might work for the magazines. We’ll often find a piece that meshes perfectly with an issue topic we have coming up. Other times, we’ll find several pieces, all on a similar topic, which could become the basis for a future issue.
Articles and testimonies that have potential for the magazines or for JSH-Online.com are either taken by individual editors for follow-up or put in a central “pool” of articles from which we draw when planning future issues.
Each editor comes away from the weekly review session with a number of articles to work on. We put each piece into our editing system (which also allows the designers to get an idea of how a piece will look laid out on a Sentinel or Journal page) and then call or e-mail writers to begin working one-on-one on any needed edits to the piece. We strive to be timely about processing submissions for publication, although it’s not uncommon for us to hold on to pieces for a few months or even longer, waiting for just the right “home.”
None of this is to say, of course, that the editing system is a rigid or fixed process. Each article is the result of the writer’s receptivity to divine inspiration—and the editors have to be just as open, willing to follow God’s guidance for the magazines and for each piece. So often quiet prayer—or even an inspired conversation with an article’s writer—will lead to finding just the right placement for a piece, whether that’s in the Sentinel or Journal, online, or in both print and online.
It’s all about placing inspired spiritual ideas in the venue where they’ll bless most widely, and recognizing that God guides each issue of the magazines.