Contributing to the New Era

I would like to write, illustrate, or do some photography for the New Era; how do I go about it?

New Era Committee, Student Association University of Utah

Much of the material in the New Era comes from outside contributors. Few of these are professionals and so young writers, artists, and photographers have an excellent possibility of publishing in the New Era.


We are primarily interested in original feature articles, short stories, and poetry. All should be typewritten on 8 1/2-by-11-inch white paper, double spaced, using one side of the paper only. A stamped, self-addressed envelope should also be included with each manuscript.

All material submitted to the New Era should characterize and reflect Mormon values and represent those themes most suitable for publication in the official Church magazine for youth and young adults (includes all Latter-day Saint singles, 12–26.) Study back issues and get a feeling for the kinds of material we publish and how they are treated in the magazine.

Send short stories and poetry in finished form as you would like to see them published. Though we publish many articles that come to us unsolicited, it is a good idea to first send a query or an outline of the proposed article and how you plan on doing it. We as editors then have the opportunity of guiding you in doing a piece we would like to publish. This also will save you wasted effort if we already happen to have a similar piece in the files or if, for some reason, we do not want it. The timing of your article or story is important to consider. We are always working six months to a year in advance. July is the time to sell a Christmas piece. And it isn’t uncommon for seasonal articles with supporting pictures to be done a year in advance.

Many articles are illustrated with photographs sent in by the author. We generally prefer to work from 8-by-10-inch high quality black and white prints, and 35-mm or larger color transparencies.

We regularly feature outstanding photographs on the inside back cover. Besides looking for well-crafted photographs artfully done, the subject matter of the Photo of the Month should somehow relate to our young Latter-day Saint audience.

From month to month the needs of the magazine vary. Right now we need faith-promoting, uplifting, true accounts of how the gospel has influenced your life or the life of someone you know. (See “Vietnam Diary,” May 1971; “Combat Christmas,” December 1971; “The Day My Life Was Changed,” February 1972; “Turning Around,” March 1972; and “Three Signs at the Crossroads,” May 1972.)

Though different, these true accounts have one thing in common—how a life changed as a result of the gospel.

We also need news of young people in the Church who are doing something significant. (See the FYI section of any recent New Era.) Most of the news, the ideas, and the craft features in FYI come from readers in the field. Most Mormonism ideas also come from readers.

Another pertinent need for the magazine right now is good fiction. Length is a factor here, and though stories from 600 to 2,800 words are our preferred length, we have published longer pieces.

Whether you want to write a piece for the magazine or not, we would like to hear from you. It is your magazine, and you should have a voice in shaping the contents and determining how they are presented. Write a note and tell us what you like and don’t like about the New Era. Be specific and give us your true feelings, because without your feedback to help us, we can’t do the best job possible for you.

Art and Photography

We are constantly searching for new art and photography talent. Most of the illustrations in the New Era are done by free-lance artists, and although we use many very fine illustrators, we want variety, and we conscientiously look for fresh styles.

The best way to get an assignment is to present your portfolio to us so we can see the kind and quality of your work. The preferable way of presenting a portfolio is for you to send or bring it along with 35-mm transparencies of your work that we can keep as samples in our files; then when we have a need for your particular kind of contribution, we will contact you to do an assignment. If the first assignment is successful, the opportunity will be open for you to do many more.

July issue appreciated

I have enjoyed reading the New Era. In this July issue, page 31, I was thrilled to find the counsel of a mission president: “Be true to principle, not to people.” This is the type of counsel my father gave his family, and endeavored to live. I love humble, positive mental attitude examples, and people who learn by experience that “truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief, or ignorance,” and that “the words of God are to theology what the facts of nature are to science: they may not be set aside by reasoning: whether we can harmonize them or not, they claim the obedience of faith.” (Quotes from Napoleon Hill and Edward Henry Bickersteth.)

Examples of courage, honesty, and initiative help me in making decisions, even when and where those in authority and officialdom differ or disagree on subjects of daily importance to our life, faith, and response in action!

Rhonda Thurston Hyde Park, Utah

Congratulations for the outstanding July issue of the New Era. Your subject-matter timing could not have been better. Your photographs and illustrations are beautiful, and the article titled “The Wisdom of President Joseph Fielding Smith” is a classic. I personally appreciated a reprint of Neal Maxwell’s lecture, “The Lonely Sentinels of Democracy.”

We have a daughter who is just beginning to do tending for our neighbors, and the article found on page 44 will be very helpful for her. We are looking forward to future issues.

Hugh W. Pinnock Regional Representative

I am inspired to write and express my gratefulness for the New Era. This month’s issue (July) was so appropriate! President Smith’s untimely death came as a shock to Church members, and to think that the New Era had devoted their issue to him. You couldn’t have picked a better focal point. His great literary contributions, his compassionate leadership, his love for the youth of our church—all are certainly Christ-like and exemplary qualities most men only dream of having and seldom obtain. I’m proud to be a Mormon and to read the uplifting, enlightening words of our Prophet. Having just attended the June MIA conference in Salt Lake, I was blessed to hear the Prophet speak to those in attendance. His overwhelming, heavenly spirit filled the huge Salt Palace and warmed all who were lucky enough to be there.

Thank you to the New Era and the foresight shown in emphasizing Joseph Fielding Smith’s wisdom for us as youth. I truly appreciate the New Era, along with thousands of other youth and members of the Church.

Liz Morris Reno, Nevada

Elder Packer’s message

Elder Packer’s message, “Why Stay Morally Clean” (July), will be preserved for my posterity, if possible! This is the most delicately expressed and thorough coverage of morality I have read since I joined the Church. I certainly wish this message could be made available for purchase in the form of a record, tape, or booklet for use at our YWMIA standard’s nights.

Margaret L. Taff Excelsior Springs, Missouri

The July issue of the New Era was by far the best so far. I especially enjoyed the pictures of our beloved President Smith and the article by Elder Packer, “Why Stay Morally Clean.” Thanks for an inspired magazine.

Louise Gilbert Bancroft, Idaho

Help in missionary work

I really enjoy the magazine and have passed quite a few copies among my nonmember friends, and they have also enjoyed them immensely. I do wish, however, that the magazine was longer and contained more fiction stories. Keep those issues coming! Thank you.

Sharon A. Guerrieri Baden, Pennsylvania

Thanks again! Your magazine has helped me bring a number of good converts into the Church.

Elder C. Douglas Beardall Northern States Mission

As a missionary, I would like to tell you how much the Church publications mean to me. Not only do I enjoy reading them during my dinner hour, but they are also very effective as missionary tools. Nonmembers can really strengthen their testimonies by reading the publications which we, as missionaries, leave in their homes.

Elder Noel Allen Colorado-New Mexico Mission