Christian writing

Christian Writing: How to Become a Successful Author

Ann O'Brien

Ann O'Brien

October 26, 2023

Are you interested in Christian writing? Whether you want to inspire others or be sure your writing reflects your faith, you can become successful at Christian writing. Here are some pointers to get you started.

Understand the Types of Christian Writing

Every writer needs to know what niche their writing fits into. While this may strike you as limiting, it makes the most sense when publishing and marketing your book. Publishers—including publishers of Christian books—use these niches to categorize their authors.


Inspirational and spiritual books have soared in popularity. Across all genres, they currently outsell almost every other category. That’s good news if you want to write an inspirational Christian writing book for fellow Christians.

Currently, the top-selling inspirational and spirituality books of all time include these titles.

  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: This 2011 bestseller invites the reader to deepen their relationship with Jesus. It combines devotions, scripture analysis, and personal reflections by the author.
  • Twelve Ordinary Men: How the Master Shaped His Disciples for Greatness, and What He Wants to Do with You by John MacArthur: Readers praised the ease of reading and accessibility of this account of the lives of the disciples.
  • The Women of the Bible Speak: The Wisdom of 16 Women and Their Lessons for Today by Shannon Bream: Bream is a bestselling Christian writing author and a Fox News correspondent. The book relates the struggles and successes of women who appear in the Bible.
  • Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado: This is a self-help book that uses scriptural analysis to help readers escape irrational feelings of worry and anxiety.
  • The Lives We Actually Have: 100 Blessings for Imperfect Days by Kate Bowle and Jessica Richie: This 2023 bestseller combines humor and compassion to offer a series of blessings that help us get through life’s daily, ordinary crises of confidence.

Popular Fiction

Many writers have achieved success writing fiction. These include the genres of romance, mystery, detective, science fiction, horror, and fantasy.

The genre known as “sweet romance” is hugely popular; the term “sweet” means there are no explicit scenes or language in the book. Sweet romances range from Amish love stories to modern romantic comedies. They enjoy an avid readership and excellent sales.

Bestselling Christian writing in fiction include Francine Rivers, Janette Oke, Frank E. Peretti; and Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, authors of the “Left Behind” series.


For some writers, poetry is the most natural expression of their spirituality. Some well-known Christian poets are Malcolm Guite and Sarah Emtage. It is difficult to publish poetry as a first-time writer, so consider self-publishing your collection. You can also submit your poetry to Christian magazines.

Christian musical lyrics

Do you have a gift for penning lyrics? Christian music is popular, in fact, it is the second most popular genre of music in the U.S. You can find a market for your gospel, country, pop, or worship songwriting. Some music publishers specialize in Christian music. You can also find organizations like the Nashville Christian Songwriters, an educational and resource group for faith-based musicians.

Literary fiction

Christian writing has its own literary writers whose works are highly rated by literary critics and the public. They include classic writers like G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis, but they also include modern writers like Pat Conroy, Diane Glancy, Madeline L’Engle, and Frederick Buechner.

Children’s books

Christian writing for children is an enjoyable way to reach young minds and inspire them. A well-written children’s book will find many buyers. It’s important to couple your book with beautiful illustrations.

Prayers and devotionals

Christian readers can’t get enough of well-written devotionals, sermons, and prayers that help them get through life. Whether you’re writing sermons for ministers to use or daily prayers for people going through hard times, you can find a market for your faith-based Christian writing guides.

Get Inspired for Christian Writing

The best Christian writing comes from the writer’s personal faith journey. Your values can inform your Christian writing and lay a solid foundation for your work. Here are some tips to inspire yourself before and during your Christian writing.

  • Reflect on your beliefs. Spend time meditating, praying, and otherwise engaging with your spiritual side. Think about times when you felt closest to God. You can describe these experiences in your book as a way to inspire others, or use them to reflect on what you’ve learned from them.
  • Practice your faith. Get back in touch with your spiritual roots by attending church, getting involved in ministry outreach efforts, or joining a prayer group. Reconnect with the reasons you want to write your Christian book.

Polish Your Writing Skills

There are essentially two types of authors who pursue Christian writing.

There are those who have always loved writing, dreamed about being published, and began writing stories, plays, and poetry from an early age. If you were lucky, you were able to hone that talent during your education and by taking every opportunity to practice. You may have kept a journal, or maybe you are known for your long, entertaining letters to family and friends. Whatever your situation, you have always known that you were a writer. Combining that God-given talent with your faith seems like a natural combination.

Other Christian writers aren’t so sure about their talents. They feel called to share their experience or their knowledge, but they aren’t certain they have the writing skills to create a book that people want to read. If that’s your situation, don’t despair. Christian writing is a skill like any other, and it’s one that you can improve with some time and dedication.

Hone your craft—with some help

Whether you are a novice or experienced writer, you can use these techniques to improve your writing.

  • Read widely. Writers love words, and that’s why most successful writers are avid readers. Reading well-written books will expose you to the techniques other writers use to engage their readers. Read successful Christian writers in the genre you’ve chosen, and read writers from other genres to expand your exposure to different styles.
  • Identify your passions. What topics interest you as a writer? What do you want to focus on in your book? What inspires you to share your work with others? The more you can answer those questions, the better you’ll be able to focus on the reasons for writing your book.
  • Use a grammar primer. You may need to start with the basics of good grammar and sentence construction. Use a book that grounds you in the basics of grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Keep it with you while you write, so you can refer to it as needed.
  • Take classes. There are many online and in-person classes that help aspiring writers learn the basics of constructing a novel, nonfiction book, play, or screenplay. Look for a class that teaches the basic structure and outline of your chosen genre. Even better, choose a class that includes peer support from fellow classmates. Sharing work with others and getting their feedback is key to improving your writing.
  • Embrace constructive criticism. When you share your writing with others, be prepared to hear honest criticism. This may be difficult at first, but it’s an important part of your growth as a writer. Listen to the feedback of readers, editors, and fellow writers.
  • Get organized. Keep your writing projects, reference materials, and notes in a binder or a planner. Choose a space on your desk or a shelf to store these materials, and use a calendar to stay on top of publishing and editing deadlines.
  • Pray for guidance. If you truly feel called to share your words, ask God to help you take on this challenge. He has guided you successfully in other aspects of your life, and this is no different. Some Christian writers make a point of praying before they begin writing.
  • Practice every day. Use every opportunity to practice your writing.

Where to Publish Your Christian Writing

You need a publisher if you want to share your words with the word. Whether you’ve written a poem, a short story, or a book, here are some options.

  • Christian publishing houses: Work with a company that understands and respects your faith. Christian book publishers share your beliefs and have a direct line to marketing aimed at Christian book buyers.
  • Christian magazines: Submit your poems, short stories, and single devotionals to your favorite Christian magazines.
  • Self-publishing: Many writers like the ability to control the production and marketing of their books by self-publishing.

Christian Publishing Is a Large, Welcoming Field

Whether you choose to self-publish or find a commercial outlet for your Christian writing, you will find a welcoming community of readers. At Publishing Xpress, we regularly work with churches, first-time writers, and Christian writers of all kinds. We will be happy to help you get your Christian book in print.

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