Writer's Guidelines for The
OK, this is serious. That's because The Door, at its most basic, is serious. Beneath the brilliant humor, the wicked satire, the jaw-dropping interviews, the witty bon mots, we've got an actual purpose for putting out the magazine. We're the guys and gals who shout, "The emperor's got no clothes!" We're the people who are all about busting idols. We're folks who are interested in holding a mirror before the Church.
Why? Because we love the Church of Jesus Christ. We expose venal televangelists not because we're opposed to Christians, but because we're opposed to people who make a mockery of the Cross. We do it because we're called to do it.
That means we generally don't run straight-ahead slapstick humor. We like our humor to reflect one of those points. And that's why we don't do attack-styled ambush interviews OR softball touchy-feely interviews—because we're trying to make a point.
The absolute best place to see what we're trying to do is in past issues of The Wittenburg Door. (Sample issues are $5.95 from 5634 Columbia Avenue, Dallas, Tex, 75214.) We have a very definite style, a distinctive approach, a certain elan that belies the fact that our editor lives in Waco, Texas.
We love hearing from freelance writers. We're still 90% freelance written and proud of it—modest in a modest, life-affirming sort of way, of course. Alas, we rarely commission articles or interviews. But if you'd like to tackle former President Jimmy Carter or Mel Gibson, by all means go for it. Just let us know ahead of time so you won't waste your time interviewing someone we've already interviewed (Miroslav Volf or Garrison Keillor) or someone we've already interviewed who is dead (Sam Kinison or Anton LaVey).
As for the legendary Door humor articles, they too are written on spec. Here are some dos and don'ts for the prospective Door writer:
- Don't send us first person, mildly humorous essays or re-hashed sermons.
- Don't send us poetry, unless it is in the form of a howlingly funny song or hymn parody.
- Don't send us funny true-life stories, jokes, funny filler, articles with a-moral-to-the-story type ending. Aesop we ain't.
- Don't send us satire without humor.
- Don't send us humor without satire.
- Don't send us humor that's not somehow redemptive (and we can be very subtle on the redemptive stuff if we need to be).
- Don't worry about "theme" issues. We're not that organized. We don't have any.
- Don't send us articles that are only mildly amusing in a Steve Canyon suck-on-your-pipe-and-gently-smile sort of way. Be bold. Be funny.
- Well, I can't think of any dos right now except—"Have something funny to say about religion and have a point." (By the way, this ain't no freebie. We pay cash American for any article or interview we buy. It ain't much, but we believe the worker is worthy of his/her wage.)
If you've got an article or interview (or even a cartoon—and we pay $50 for each published 'toon) that meets the above criteria, then by all means send it to:
The Door Editorial Offices
P.O. Box 1444
Waco, TX 76703-1444.
If you want to email an article, send it as an attachment in (preferably) Word document format to DoorEditor@earthlink.net. And be sure your name and address is on the document!
We look forward to hearing from you, oh Keeper of the Faith!
P.S. If you're still not sure your article fits, check out some of the archived articles at our website, www.WittenburgDoor.com.