This activity has 3 main objectives: #1-to teach about Church periodicals (magazines, etc) that are available as a resource for the girls, #2- to learn about how to submit your own story, poetry, artwork, etc to The New Era, and #3- to work on a project together (perhaps come up with an idea for a Mormonad*?) and submit it to the publishers for possible publication.
OBJECTIVE #1- Learn about all the different periodical publications that the Church puts out (The Ensign for adults, The New Era for youth, and The Friend for Primary age...there are also other publications, such as the Liahona magazine and the Church News)
(Please note: Most girls will probably be familiar with The New Era, but some may not get a subscription to it. This activity isn't meant to talk anyone into subscribing, but they may choose to subscribe after learning more about these publications. It would be good to be prepared with information on how to order in case someone is interested. Some Wards have a magazine representative who can help, or you can subscribe online here)
All of the Church magazines are very reasonably priced, but since many people get their information online now, it is helpful to make sure that the girls know that all of the Church magazines (The Ensign, The New Era, The Friend, etc) are available to view and/or download for FREE online. Here is a link to the current issue of The New Era
OBJECTIVE #2- Most Young Women have probably seen The New Era magazine, but have they ever thought about submitting a story, activity idea, poem Mormonad, or cartoon for publishing? I think it would be so fun to have the girls work on something together (like a Mormonad*) and submit their idea(s) to The New Era!
If you look at The New Era, there is actually a wide variety of types of material used - not just stories - so there should be something that appeals to most everyone. This is a good chance for the girls to practice some of their natural talents. Some girls are very into writing, some are into photography or drawing, others might have a good activity ideas to share, etc. It is very important to know the guidelines of what the publishers will (and will not) accept so that things you submit are more likely to be published (sorry girls, no vampire-werewolf love triangle fiction!). Here are the specifics about what type of things The New Era is looking for:
Personal Experience Stories: We are looking for material that shows the gospel of
Jesus Christ at work in the lives of young Latter-day Saints. We welcome stories about
personal experiences, such as missionary work; conversion; family relationships;
healthy, nurturing friendships; and maintaining standards.
How I Know: A short (200- to 500-word) account of how you gained your testimony
or discovered the benefits of living a gospel principle. What led up to the event? What
was the experience like? How has it affected you?
Scripture Lifeline: A short (200- to 500-word) account of how you faced a trial and
found peace or a resolution by applying a particular scripture.
The Extra Smile: Cartoons and short, humorous anecdotes about Latter-day Saint life.
Instant Messages: Short personal experiences, original thoughts, and brief
explanations of favorite hymns and scriptures.
Mormonads: We accept ideas and suggested text for these parables-on-a-poster and
do the final writing and photography ourselves. Study previously published
Mormonads for examples of what works best.
Idea List: A short (300- to 400-word) list of ideas for youth on a variety of gospel topics with a brief introduction on how they can use the list.
Poetry: We accept most forms of poetry. Short poems under 30 lines are preferred.
Photos: With photo stories, we prefer digital photos, but we can also use prints.
Digital photos must be at least 300 dots per inch or taken on the largest setting of a
five-megapixel camera or bigger. We also accept artistic photos for the “Photo of the
Month” feature on the inside back cover.
Illustration: We use both color and black-and-white illustrations, but assignments are
made exclusively to artists who have shown their portfolio to our designers. You can
send images to or make an appointment with the designers to let them see your work
by using one of the addresses in “How to Prepare Your Manuscript” below.
Music: We occasionally publish short songs or hymns. All music entries are reviewed
and recommended for purchase by the Church Music Committee.
Click here for a link to the church website page where it explains the full New Era submission guidelines. Submission information (such as the address to send material to) is included on these pages, as well. You can also submit materials directly online at this page (links to the official church website)
OBJECTIVE #3- As a class (or broken up into teams) you could have the girls work on a project (or several projects) to actually submit to The New Era. At a recent Youth Conference, the youth in our area had a class where they worked on Mormonad ideas related to the theme of the Conference (and my daughter's team "won"!) Sounded like a lot of fun!
*What is a Mormonad? Click here to see some examples on the www.lds.org
Materials needed: A few copies of some recent issues of Church magazines, especially The New Era. Possibly paper and pencils, depending on what type of project(s) you want the girls to work on.
Purpose: Teach the girls about some of the publications available to them and how they can use their talents to submit stories or other ideas to The New Era for possible publication.