blog, feature, Fun 4 Girlz, Girlz in Action

How to Write for Magazines

So you wanna be a writer? I did too.

 

I grew up wanting to be a writer. When I was seventeen, I found writing guidelines for a magazine I enjoyed reading, as well as an article about how the magazine business works. I followed the guidelines, wrote an article, sent it in… and got rejected! But I didn’t give up. I expanded my reach, writing more articles for more publications. Several months later, I finally got to see my name in print. I was a writer!

I still freelance write for many publications to this day. Now that I am an editor, I am contacted by many teens who are following the same path I did at their age. Since I’ve seen both sides of the magazine industry, as both a writer and an editor, I’ve learned a lot over the past several years. I wanted to encourage these young people who are eager to write and get published, but also produce a professional magazine. If you follow these seven steps, you’ll be well on your way to providing editors with content they want to publish, regardless of how old you are when you decided “I want to be a writer!”

Step 1: Find Some Magazines to Write For
Make a list of magazines that focus on topics you’d be interested in writing about. You want to have several options, and at least some of them should be smaller publications. You can’t expect to have your article accepted into a major national publication, especially on your first try. You may need to do a web search to discover more magazines that you might have a writing interest in.

Get familiar with each publication on your list. Every publication has a unique style and voice that they would like their writers to have. Getting a description of the magazine’s style is not enough; you must read the magazines to get a true feel for their voice.

Many magazines have a sample issue found online. These can be helpful for getting a basic idea of the type of writing they use. It’s best to get a better understanding by reading different sections of the magazine in multiple issues. If you cannot buy the magazines, go to the library to see if they have any copies available. If they’re not at your library, check out a neighboring library. Although you may not be able to check out the magazines, anyone can stay in the library and read them for free. It’s even a common practice for some writers to thumb through an issue inside a bookstore! You could also try borrowing magazines from friends and family. The more recent issues you read, the better. Some magazines change their style over the years, so you want to stay up-to-date.


Step 2: Get Writing Guidelines
Before you get to step two, you should have checked out the websites and social media for all the magazines you want to write for, in an effort to familiarize yourself. Go back to their websites and look around for their writing guidelines. Sometimes, it’s in a tab in the page menu. Often, it’s located in the footer. It may even be hidden in the “About” or “Contact” page. There are times when the guidelines are not readily available online, but they provide instructions on how to obtain them. And there are times when they cannot be found at all. If that’s the case, look at all the contact options, and pick the e-mail address that you think has the best chance of getting a response in the appropriate manner. (The graphic designer won’t know what to tell you regarding writing. On the other hand, an editor-in-chief may lose your e-mail in the hundreds they receive every day, but a department editor can get back to you more easily.)

Some magazines offer a 10-page PDF that explains every last detail of what to write, down to want font to use and whether or not to use an Oxford comma. Other publications make it short and sweet, with nothing more than a word count and where to send the piece. Regardless, read these guidelines- multiple times! While some magazines can be forgiving about certain minor infractions, you don’t want to lose your opportunity to be published over something that could have easily been avoided.


Step 3: Craft Your Article
Once you know what’s expected from you as a writer, it’s time to be a writer and write! If you’re reading this in the first place, you probably enjoy writing because you already know the basics. So we won’t go over grammar and other rules here. However, if you do need some extra assistance with this, take a course or ask for help from a teacher or fellow writer.

Finish your article, and then check it against the writing guidelines. Is your piece within the proper word range? Is it broken down into subsections with appropriate headers? If the magazine requested a certain kind of formatting, did you do that? Do they need a bio line about you?

Also check your basic writing rules to make sure the piece reads clean and professionally. You may have a great point to make, but no one will ever be able to read it if the editor has a hard time finding it among misspellings and errors. For newcomers to the magazine industry, the title “editor” can be misleading. It is not their job to proofread your work; it’s yours. They are more focused on determining whether a piece is suitable for their publication, and possibly adding or cutting parts to better fit.

One major no-no that you don’t want your writing to get involved in is plagiarism. Never copy and paste words from the internet! Most websites have a hidden indicator that you probably never noticed, but an editor will be able to tell with this indicator that it has been copied. If you must use a direct quote, make it brief and include information on where you found it. Even with a research paper, the majority of the content should still be your original work.


Step 4: Submit 
If your article is crafted and final-drafted, get ready to send! In the writing guidelines, you may have found deadlines. Many magazines don’t have set deadlines since they continue to publish their magazine year-round and year after year. However, if your article is about current events or has a seasonal slant, or even if it adheres to a magazine issue’s theme, you’ll want to make sure you meet the intended deadline, and a few days early if possible. If there is no established deadline for seasonal material, make sure at least three months in advance.

Check back with the writing guidelines to see if the magazine wants a completed article or a query. A query generally means that they don’t want you to send more content than they have time to manage. Instead, you need to write them a convincing query letter that explains why your article would be ideal for their publication. You’ll only need to send the completed article if they write back asking for it.

If a query is not requested, then send the complete manuscript. But check the guidelines to see if they want you to e-mail the article as an attachment or in the body of the text. Some publications have submission forms on their website. There are even a few magazines still out there that only want to read what you send through snail mail!


Step 5: Practice Patience
After you hit that “send” button, you may hear back from the editor after a few minutes. But more than likely it will be several weeks, or maybe even months, before you hear anything back. Resist the urge to follow up on a daily basis. If the writing guidelines state how long it normally takes for the editors to get back to you, and it’s been longer than that, it may be okay to write a short note asking for the status. But be aware that in most cases, the only thing you’ll get back is a rejection notice. If they really want to use an article, they’ll take the initiative.

Know that getting a rejection letter is not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer. In fact, in a lot of cases, the reason for rejection is because of something completely out of your control. They may have written everything in-house, or they may have had a lot of freelance writers who wrote for that particular need. You could even be rejected because the magazine is going out of business! Sure, there may be something you need to change about your article, but don’t automatically assume that it’s bad writing or that you shouldn’t be a writer. Even the best writers have been rejected. Think of it this way: you can only get a rejection letter if you’re a writer!

Whether you receive a rejection letter, or you’re still waiting on the verdict of your article, don’t spend this waiting time idly! Remember that list of publications you’d be interested in writing for? Look up writing guidelines for another one of those and keep yourself busy with a new piece. Realize that if you want to write full-time, you’ll probably be expected to create a new piece every work day. Professionals don’t wait around to hear back about their piece before they write another, and neither should you. You could even submit to the same publication if they have a new theme or deadline coming up.

Step 6: Follow Rules and Follow Up
It can be nerve-wracking to open up a response to your writing. There are several options of what could be inside: they want to use it, they don’t want to use it, or they need certain criteria to be met if they’re going to use it. Again, don’t get discouraged if they can’t use your piece at this time. But don’t respond back to them asking for reasons why they won’t use it, or if they know of a publication that will better appreciate it. Although you may occasionally get pointers, asking for them makes you come across as whiny and unprofessional. Editors are not your personal writing tutors. Just accept the fact that they won’t accept it and move on. Down the line, you may be able to work with them once you have more experience under your belt!

Sometimes you will get an acceptance on spec. This is especially common if you send a query instead of a finished piece, although you may also get this if they request certain edits from you. Writing on spec just means that they aren’t guaranteeing publication at this point. They’ll come to that decision later on. If they did request that you change some things, do so and return your piece in a timely manner. Don’t try to defend that your piece is perfect as-is; the editor knows what’s best for their publication. Virtually all work gets edited anyways, but in this case you just have the opportunity to provide some extra input!

If you get an acceptance notice, there will probably be some paperwork or some sort of agreement that follows. If you’re getting paid for this, you’ll have to provide personal information so that they can keep their bookkeeping and taxes accurate.


Step 7: See Your Name in Print
Congratulations! If you follow the above six steps, you’re a magazine writer! It will just be a bonus the day you get a copy of a magazine with your name inside.

That day may not come so quickly, though. If you write for a website publication, you may see fast results. But traditional media can take longer- sometimes more than a year. You already practiced patience, and now’s a time to use this skill in practice!

Sometimes, articles end up fitting better in a different issue, so it may not be published in the month you were expecting. When it does go into print, share it with your friends and family! They’ll get to read your work, and you’ll keep a good relationship with the magazine so that you can write for them again!

Now that you have a better idea of how the freelance writing process works, put it into action! How about writing an article for Girlz 4 Christ Magazine? (Start step 1 by signing up for a free subscription!)

If you’d like more personalized training for publication writing with a real magazine editor, consider taking Girlz 4 Christ’s course, “Writing for Publication“. This one-day class can accommodate groups of any size, and every participant will leave with a ready-to-submit article!

blog, feature

Girlz 4 Christ Magazine’s Winter Theme: People & Faces

Girlz 4 Christ, the magazine for Christian girls around the world, is excited to announce the theme for their upcoming winter issue: People & Faces. “Since our start nearly six years ago, our goal has always been to provide a global community for Christian girls” says editor Jessica Lippe. “Now this magazine is being read by thousands of girls in at least 35 countries, including several areas where Christianity is restricted or illegal. With this issue, we want to focus less on how widespread we are and more on the people in all those locations. It’s not about the places; it’s about the faces.”

A unique aspect about the winter issue is that the People & Faces theme wasn’t announced to the article writers ahead of time. The staff agrees that what happened could only be orchestrated by God. Most of the submissions were related to the readers getting to know and celebrating their family in Christ, both here at home and around the world. From family traditions for the Christmas and New Year season, to bonus interviews with girls who put their faith into action, this issue of Girlz 4 Christ will bless all the people (and faces) who read it.

Jessica Lippe, editor of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine, is available for interviews and presentations regarding the magazine ministry or the topic “People & Faces”. For more information, contact Girlz4Christ@yahoo.com.

Girlz 4 Christ Magazine’s People & Faces releases this winter on December 21st, 2016. Anyone can get a free subscription by visiting Girlz4Christ.org.

blog, feature, Girlz in Action

Exclusive Interview with I’m Not Ashamed Movie Star

Today, the motion picture I’m Not Ashamed is premiering in theaters. To celebrate, enjoy this interview of the movie’s star, Masey McLain. In this film, Masey portrays Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim at Columbine High School. Check out more about this movie, including more Q&A, fashion tips from the wardrobe team, and an exclusive interview with Rachel Scott’s real-life mom in the Fall 2016 issue of Girlz 4 Christ. Click here to receive a free subscription!

Sadie and Bella Robertson acting with Masey McLain

 

 
Give us a brief testimony. How do you say, “I’m Not Ashamed” in your life?
In my own personal life, I’ve realized that in anything I do, I want to do under the umbrella of living for the glory of God. I want to intimately know Him, hear His voice above all others, and follow it. He is the only one that has satisfied my soul and has given me hope and true life, and because of that I know He’s worth following. When you decide to live for Jesus, there will be so many lures, distractions, and temptations that will try to throw off your focus and dull your purpose. I’ve definitely experienced that—we all will. There will be persecution, too. Most of us may never experience it physically, but we definitely will in other ways. So in all of that, for me to say “I’m Not Ashamed,” means for me to remember that in whatever circumstance I’m in, that I am a child of God. Because of the cross I have hope, freedom, and true life that the things of this world can’t compare to or take away. Ephesians 2:6 says, “and God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” As a child of God, I am already SEATED in heaven next to Jesus. I’m already victorious, so what do I have to fear in this life? Because of that, I want to live for Him, and I want others to see the light that He has put in me and be drawn to Him because of it.
What was the most challenging movie scene for you?
The most challenging, but most rewarding scene for me was the shooting scene I had no idea what to expect going in that day to film. My heart was heavy and everyone on the set knew it was going to be a tough day. I remember it being SO hot outside and we had to film this scene almost all day to get all the shots and every angle and point of view needed. It was emotionally draining and exhausting in every way possible, but it was also one of the most special moments of my entire life. I remember the Lord flooding my mind with worship songs, and the story of Stephen (the first martyr in the Bible) was constantly going through my head. I felt like the Lord truly gave me a glimpse of how proud He was of Rachel in that moment and all I felt was Him singing over me and even smiling. It’s hard to explain everything the Lord allowed me to experience that day, but I hope I never forget it. I remember after it was over, I just completely collapsed and had a meltdown. I had no idea that day was going to be so hard yet so absolutely beautiful and powerful.

Masey McLain and Sadie Robertson in the church worship scene

 


Was it different to play someone who actually lived as opposed to a fictional character?
Yes! There is so much power in telling a true story. I got to rely on her journals, her mom, and what people that knew Rachel said about her. The more I read her thoughts and feelings that she wrote down, the more I realized how much I could relate to her and even how similar we were in a lot of ways.

How are you and Rachel similar? How are you different?
Rachel’s real life best friend, Mark Bodiford (who is portrayed as Nathan in the movie) got to screen the movie to give a review of what he thought about it before it was released. I was in awe when I read that he wrote how similar Rachel and I were—that our laughs were the same, our quirks, and our voice. He said that there were times that he didn’t feel like he was watching a movie, but rather reliving a memory.  I never met Rachel, got to hear her voice, or see how she laughed or figure out her quirks. Only God could have orchestrated that. That still leaves me in awe! I also think we are similar in the way of having that desire to want to live with a purpose and make an impact on the world. That’s definitely something I found that lives in my heart and I could relate to. There are probably a lot of ways we are different, but one that sticks out to me is that Rachel always wanted a boyfriend throughout high school and that’s something I never really cared about in high school.
 
What was your real life high school experience like?
My high school experience was really great at times, but also really hard. I played basketball and did plays throughout most of high school, and I remember that time with my team and cast being so much fun and the highlight of high school for me. However, there was a time when I felt extremely lonely, especially towards the end of high school. I homeschooled my senior year, and it was one of the hardest, loneliest, but most needed years of my life. I remember thinking that I had a choice- I could either sit in my own self-pity and waste the whole year doing things my way and trying to cope with feeling lonely, or I could seek God with everything I had and trust that there was a purpose to that year. I finally chose to trust Him. That year was so crucial for me. It was a year of renovation and preparation in my heart. Looking back, I see how He knew exactly what He was doing and that I desperately needed that time of it being just me and him. He became my best friend that year.
How did you grow in your faith while acting for I’m Not Ashamed?
I’ve never experienced the level of dependency and intimacy that I had with the Lord like I did while filming. It was a really special time in my own walk with Him. This story is so special and powerful, and to be honest, I was so scared the months leading up to filming, because I didn’t want to mess it up! But I knew that God had called me to it, and I had to trust that. It was amazing to experience that dependency on Him. He knew Rachel’s heart more than anyone, so He’s the one I looked to the most to give me insight, even creatively. I walked away confident that whatever the Lord calls you to do, He will give you everything you need to do it.


Why do you think it’s important to tell the story of an event that occurred 17 years ago?
A story like Rachel’s needs to be told—no matter how long ago it happened. Rachel’s life is such a powerful reminder to us of how to truly love others the way Jesus did, and what it means to pick up our cross and follow Him, no matter what the cost. We don’t know if we will have tomorrow, but we do have whatever time we have been given to live with purpose, and Rachel’s story reminds us of that.
 
What do you like to do off the set?

I love to go for runs and listen to music, read, have movie nights, play my guitar, play games, sing in the car, and hang out with the people I love!

 
What’s the biggest reason that teen girls should see this movie?

It will remind you of your true purpose. It’s so easy to get caught up in with the things of the world—the drama, gossip, popularity, boys, “competition,” and the temptations that we all experience. Satan uses those things to lure us away from living out our true purpose, and we don’t even realize he’s doing it most of the time. I hope that after seeing this movie, you are encouraged by Rachel’s life and that you set in your heart to live boldly for an audience of one—the only one who is worth following and living unashamedly living for. 

blog, feature, Fun 4 Girlz

Final Preview: Girlz 4 Christ Summer 2016

The Summer 2016 issue of Girlz 4 Christ is coming Monday! And we’ve jam-packed it with so much to check out!
Meet two of our international readers, from Italy and Australia.

 Get the inside scoop on new book releases, including Life Just Got Real by Sadie Robertson.

 Get some tips on how to deal with those awkward moments, including some of the G4C staff’s most embarrassing stories!

 Enter to win a copy of Kimberly Rae’s book, Abnormal Results.

 Learn the good of going to see a counselor and what to expect with your first appointment.

 Meet Lauren Scruggs Kennedy, a Christian woman who isn’t letting a missing eye or arm stop her from moving up in the world of fashion journalism!

 Find out more about Duck Dynasty’s youngest married couple with our exclusive interview with John Luke and Mary Kate Robertson!

 Find out if you should watch the newest documentary on Netflix, Poverty, Inc.

But you can only get all this and more when you subscribe to Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Subscriptions are 100% free, so there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from clicking here and signing up right now!

blog, feature

Sneak Peeks at Summer 2016

If you follow us on Facebook, you may have noticed how we announced some exciting new developments in our Summer 2016 issue. In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap.

On our cover, you’ll see John Luke and Mary Kate Robertson, the newlywed college students that you’ve probably seen on Duck Dynasty. John Luke just released a new book called Young & Beardless, so we’ve interviewed them about the book, their lives, and their inspirations. (You’ll even discover who taught John Luke how to shave… after all, in a family of bearded men, you have to wonder…)

John Luke’s sister, Sadie Robertson, will also make an appearance in this upcoming issue! She also wrote a new book that will be released next month. Her first work of fiction is called Life Just Got Real. We may have to start #RobertsonSiblingRivalry to find out which of their books comes out on top.

Today, we’d like to give you a few more sneak peeks…
spring dress // lauren scruggs kennedy

  • In 2011, Lauren Scruggs suffered a traumatizing accident involving an airplane propeller that left her with one eye and one hand. In our next issue, we’re interviewing her to find out how she survived and went on to become a famous fashion journalist.
  • In addition to tips from Lauren Scruggs Kennedy, we’ll get even more style advice from our regular fashion and beauty team. You’ll even get a special coupon to shop for natural beauty products!
  • You’ll get to read the G4C team’s most embarrassing moments. 
  • When you donate to charity, have you ever considered what good your money will do? We’ve got an inside look for you.
  • Meet G4C readers from all around the world!
  • As usual, your copy of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine will allow you to read devotionals and other articles about living a God-honoring life!
You don’t want to miss out on all this and more. Click here to get a free subscription to Girlz 4 Christ Magazine!
blog, Fashionable Girlz, feature

G4C’s Cover Girls: Where Are They Now?

If you looked inside of the most recent issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine, you read about five of our past cover girls. But what about the other 20? Here’s our full list!

FIRST ISSUE! March/April 2011:
March/April 2011: Ruby Gomez is one of the girls featured in the issue. Her life of growing up in a mission orphanage has come full circle as she is a missionary in the United States and her home country of Peru.

May/June 2011, Volume 1 Issue 2:
May/June 2011: This issue featured a drawing by Zack Hix, founder of Good Boy Roy. He still sells his designed shirts online, and also published the book Bully Bad in 2013.

July/August 2011:
July/August 2011: Elena, a participant in The Arc Jackson County, danced her way onto this cover. Although the only thing we know about Elena is that she’s now a teenager, The Arc Jackson County continues to help families with developmental disabilities.

September/October 2011:
September/October 2011: This issue featured a special section on the Courageous movie, including a quiz, review, and interviews, one of which was with cover girl Lauren Etchells. Lauren hasn’t acted since Courageous, but she still advocates for the message behind the movie when she’s not busy being a teenager!

Nov/Dec 2011, Volume 1 Issue 5:
November/December 2011: As daughter of a retired NFL quarterback, Camryn Kelly made her own mark as she celebrated in this issue the release of her first book. Camryn wrote an entire series of Hot Chocolate with God and is now living with her dad, Jim Kelly, and author mom, Jill Kelly, while finishing up high school.

Jan/Feb 2012:
January/February 2012: Ellie Ambrose graced this cover for her work as the founder of Ellie’s Run, a Nashville-based run benefiting education in Africa. Ellie’s Run continued to be an annual race for 12 years until 2015. Although the run is over, Ellie is continuing to help education in Africa as effectively as she can.

March/April 2012:
March/April 2012: Our first year as a magazine was commemorated with Peggy, a girl who was an aid recipient of World Vision. Peggy is 14 now, but it has been difficult to get more of an update on her since World Vision continues to support so many child sponsorships around the world.

May/June 2012:
May/June 2012: Gracie Schram sung her way into our hearts and onto our cover! Last year, Gracie released “I Am Me”, and ever since has been doing a lot of concerts and tours!

July/August 2012:
July/August 2012: Author Rachel Coker was interviewed in this issue. After writing Interrupted, Rachel went on to pen Chasing Jupiter. She offers workshops and writing lessons, too!

September/October 2012:
September/October 2012: Amanda L. Davis, author of Cantral Chronicles, got her photo on this issue’s cover. Amanda completed her book series and is hoping to write even more!

Nov/Dec 2012 Volume 2 Issue 5:
November/December 2012: Musician Lily Garay rocked this cover! Not long after this, she became Girlz 4 Christ’s assistant editor, but she is still working hard on her music too! You can catch her in concert if you live near Virginia, or find her music online.

Jan/Feb 2013, Volume 2 Issue 6:
January/February 2013: We partnered with Every Orphan’s Hope to bring Thoko Muchimba to our pages. Thoko continues to live in a home sponsored by Every Orphan’s Hope, where she is helping her brothers and sisters and attending a nearby school.

Spring 2013:
Spring 2013: Madison Weise, founder of Boyfriend Bears, marked our first seasonal issue. As featured in the Spring 2016 issue, Madison began attending college this year and turned the Boyfriend Bears ministry over to her mom, but not before making a DVD curriculum!

Summer 2013:
Summer 2013: The terrific trio cast of Blimey Cow shines from the small screen to the cover page! Jordan, Kelli, and Josh are still sharing their “Messy Mondays” on YouTube every week, plus they have gone into full-time media production!

Fall 2013:
Fall 2013: The ladies from Point of Grace brought grace to our cover as we interviewed Leigh inside. Last year, Point of Grace released their latest album, Directions Home. You could even catch them on tour this summer!

Winter 13/14:
Winter 2013/14: Budding actress Celina Tolbert was interviewed for this cover feature. Celina Tolbert occasionally writes for Girlz 4 Christ Magazine while finishing up college and is in the process of moving to Paris as an au pair.

Spring 2014:
Spring 2014: Christian environmental author and advocate Emma Sleeth shows off a seedling with this issue. You can read about all that she’s been up to in the Spring 2016 issue of Girlz 4 Christ, but as a quick recap: she continues to work for Blessed Earth and is enjoying the married life!

Summer 2014:
Summer 2014: Two of our Girlz 4 Christ readers serving as summer missionaries displayed some of their work on this cover! They went on their mission trips and hopefully inspired other Girlz 4 Christ readers to make a difference as well!

Fall 2014:
Fall 2014: Secret Keeper Girl showed off their show’s skit on the front of this issue. Visit them online to see if you can attend one of their shows or access a wealth of other resources!

Winter 2015:
Winter 2015: This issue brought us none other than editor, author, and speaker Susie Shellenberger. Susie is currently trying to balance speaking across the US and around the world with playing with her dogs at home and visiting relatives in Oklahoma City.

Spring 2015:
Spring 2015: Persecuted for her faith, Somchi was connected with us through Voice of the Martyrs. Voice of the Martyrs still serves Christians in countries where it’s illegal or dangerous to proclaim Christ, and Somchi is happily married and living away from the people who persecuted her!

Summer 2015:
Summer 2015: While we featured her younger sister back in 2011, it was Erin Kelly’s turn to shine for her book, Kelly Tough. Erin attends Liberty University and when she’s not in school, you can often see her in Buffalo Bills garb to support her dad’s team!

Fall 2015:
Fall 2015: With War Room marking her acting debut, Alena Pitts starred in this issue! Alena did a lot of promotion for War Room, and she’s currently a model and journalist.

Winter 15/16:
Winter 2015/16: Project Inspired’s Nicole Weider was the face of an excellent issue! As mentioned in the Spring 2016 issue, Nicole and her team are working on new developments for Project Inspired, and you can find them constantly encouraging girls through social media platforms!

Spring 2016- 5th Birthday!:
Spring 2016: Our most recent cover girl was Cozi Zuehlsdorff. Cozi will be guest starring on Disney Channel shows soon! She’s also working on songwriting as well.

Stay tuned until next month, when we’ll reveal another exciting cover feature! If you don’t receive Girlz 4 Christ Magazine, subscribe for free!

blog, feature, Girlz in Action

Interview with Cozi Zuehlsdorff, Star of Dolphin Tale Movies

In honor of National Dolphin Day (US), enjoy an interview with Dolphin Tale star Cozi Zuehlsdorff!

Have you seen Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2? How about Disney Channel shows like Mighty Med or Liv and Maddie? If so, Cozi Zuehlsdorff needs no introduction! Get to know how this seventeen-year-old actress and musician shines the light of Christ in the spotlight!


Interviewed by Jessica Lippe
What is your favorite song to perform?
My favorite song to perform is probably Handpainted. I pray before I sing it, and the Holy Spirit always lets me get carried away in the music!

Tell us about Handpainted. 

My dear friend Brennley inspired this song. As teenagers, we both can struggle with being overly-critical of our appearance, and I got to thinking about Psalm 139 and the truth that God has carefully and lovingly designed us, and I thought that idea could be translated into a song. Sometimes a song is worth a thousand conversations. 
Why did you decide to get involved in performing at such a young age? Do you think acting and singing is your lifetime career, or are there other jobs that you’re also interested in?
 My mom encouraged me to audition for the musical Annie when I was eight years old; that’s how I got started. I immediately fell in love with performing. I love acting and singing, and definitely would love to continue doing both for the rest of my life. I also love to write, whether its songs or poems or short stories. It’s fun to have interests that can overlap. 
In Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2, you got to do lots of things that many girls only dream about, such as swimming with dolphins and starring in a movie. Was it a dream come true for you, or were there challenges associated with movie making?
Both! The Dolphin Tale movies were some of the most beautiful, magical times of my entire life, and the friends I made in the cast and crew will last a lifetime. It was also very challenging—I learned to actively trust the Lord as I worked 9 1/2 hours a day as a twelve-year-old, and swam for long periods of time in some pretty chilly water. Anyone will tell you, though, that if you love doing something, you’re willing to deal with the challenges. 
Who was your favorite animal in the movies? Does your passion for animals transfer to your real life?
I can’t pick a favorite! What if they read this article? Ha-ha!  I love them ALL for different reasons. Winter is sweet and gentle, and Hope is crazy and fun-loving. I have a dog named Bandit, and he is the joy of my life.
What keeps you going and motivates you to stay involved in movies, music, and television?
Acting, singing, and writing are all things I’m very passionate about, so it’s not hard to stay motivated. I’d say songwriting is what’s hardest to constantly keep up on, because it takes a lot of creative energy. Often, I’ve found that songs come to you when you’re not looking for them, so I put in long hours of bouncing around ideas at the piano, and it pays off when I finally find the words later that day at the supermarket or something.
How do you represent Christ in your work?
I am very open about my faith over social media, which is how I stay connected with the people who like my songs and tv or film characters. I have also found that simply praying for someone can make a huge imprint on them; often, if I pray for a crew or cast member on a set, it’s the first time they’ve ever been prayed for. It’s amazing that Jesus lets me share His love with them in such a gentle, simple, profound way. 
How did you come to understand Christ and put your faith in Him?
I asked Jesus to come into my heart when I was six years old. As I’ve grown older, He is knitting me closer and closer to Him through a deeper understanding of His grace. Sometimes, I put pressure on myself to be “perfect” for Jesus—but if I could be perfect, He wouldn’t have had to die on the cross! I’m learning that peace is found in this truth: I am not perfect, and Jesus doesn’t ask me to be. He simply asks me to surrender and let Him hold me, and He will take it from there. I love that.
What do you do outside of the spotlight? Any “typical teen” activities you enjoy?
I love to play piano—I practice daily! I’m homeschooled, and my favorite subjects are writing, history, and psychology. When I’m hanging out with my friends, I love to go see a movie, or just hang around and talk (and if Indian food is involved, I am in heaven). My best friend and I watch our favorite tv show together every week, which I love.
Do you have any upcoming projects that we can look forward to, or goals youd like to reach?

 

I just finished shooting as a guest star on Disney Channel’s KC Undercover, and am so excited for it to air. I got to do stunts, which was so fun! I’m also working on a lot of new music, writing both for my own voice and starting to write for others, so that’s been a dream come true. We’ll see where the Lord leads!
This interview originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine. Get your free subscription here!
blog, feature

Girlz 4 Christ on theDove

Girlz 4 Christ had a very exciting opportunity today to be featured on Mornings On theDove. Editor Jessica Lippe invited viewers to become part of the Girlz 4 Christ global family, just in time for the release of the 5th birthday issue!

Click here to watch the interview!

It’s hard to believe that Girlz 4 Christ has been around for five years already! We’re celebrating in the Spring 2016 issue, which will be released on March 20th. In this biggest issue ever, we have a giveaway, an exclusive interview with Dolphin Tale star Cozi Zuehlsdorff, five of our previous cover girls returning for a “where are they now” feature, and so much more!

Being interviewed on theDove TV and radio was an interesting experience. Sometimes I wasn’t sure what to say, and other times I knew that I could talk for hours on a subject, but had to stop myself! It wasn’t glamorous with a makeup artist or a limo to pick me up; in fact I had to get up really early to do my own styling and drive myself to the studio on time! But I think we met the goal of this feature: to tell more people about the ministry of Girlz 4 Christ Magazine.

TheDove is a radio and TV broadcasting company based in Medford, Oregon, but thanks to the internet, can be heard and viewed around the world. (Hmm… that sounds like another ministry I’ve heard of… *coughGirlz4Christcough*) I actually interned with theDove when I was a senior in high school, just as they were starting up the TV channel. That made it extra special to return and see how the nonprofit has grown and improved. Back in the day, they only offered a radio station and their entire building was about the size of what their new studio looks like now! In addition to a new building, they have a much larger crew and a fun atmosphere. While Girlz 4 Christ is an excellent faith-based lifestyle resource, theDove is a great faith-based news resource. We’re proud to have partnered with another Christian media outlet in celebration of our 5th birthday!

If you haven’t subscribed yet, don’t miss out! Click here to get your free subscription, which will include our jam-packed 5th birthday issue!

blog, feature

Sneak Peeks at Girlz 4 Christ Spring 2016!

We’re excited to finally present the cover to our upcoming issue!

Cozi Zuehlsdorff, star of “Dolphin Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2”, as well as a singer, songwriter, and guest star in a slew of Disney Channel shows, graces this cover of our 5th birthday issue. Inside, our interview with Cozi will divulge her thoughts on her performing life, personal life, and, most importantly, her life with Christ!

And because it’s our 5th birthday, the issue will be jam-packed with celebration! Here are just a few of the things included that will help celebrate our 5th year.

-Cozi’s Top 5 Favorite Things
-5 G4C Cover Girls Return to Tell Us How They’re Currently Changing the World
-Review and Cast Interview of The 5 Day Adoption Documentary
-5+ Beauty Tips
-5 (x2) Reasons to Sign Up for Summer Camp
-Scavenger Hunt with 5 Birthday Things to Find
-5 Prizes Given Away in our Birthday Contest!

If you aren’t subscribed yet, you don’t want to miss out! Click here to get a free subscription!