Submissions: Write for Friends Journal

Artwork by Lucy Sikes

Friends Journal welcomes articles, poetry, art, photographs, and letters from our readers. We are also helped by your comments and questions. We are an independent magazine serving the entire Religious Society of Friends. Our mission is “to communicate Quaker experience in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives,” which allows for a variety of viewpoints and subject matter. We welcome submissions from Friends and non-Friends alike.

We prefer articles written in a fresh, non-academic style. Friends value an experiential approach to life and religious thought. Our readers particularly value articles on: exploring Friends’ testimonies and beliefs; integrating faith, work and home lives; historical and contemporary Friends; social concerns and actions; and the variety of beliefs across the branches of Friends.

Friends Journal prefers articles with a constructive approach to spiritual seeking. We seek an open, curious and respectful tone even when discussing controversial subjects. We prefer articles rooted in the author’s own experiences of the divine. Submissions should show an awareness of Friends’ ways and concerns, as well as sensitivity to them.

Upcoming Issue Themes and Deadlines

These theme ideas are meant as a guide in seeking and selecting contributions. We expect two or three of each month’s feature articles to address that month’s theme; the remaining features will cover the diversity of interests in our mandate of “Quaker Thought and Life Today.” Although we seek balance, we do not necessarily intend for our Focus Topic issues to serve as a comprehensive overview of a particular issue. We seek articles that are rooted in the author’s experience and that speak to their understanding of the spiritual roots of their concern or viewpoint.

October 2014: Experiences of Friends of Color
Voices of people of color in the Religious Society of Friends. This will be an opportunity to hear from an under-published group of Friends. We hope contributors will share both positive and challenging stories and provide some much-needed self-reflection back to the Quaker community.
Submission deadline July 1.

November 2014: Writing and Media
Our November issue typically contains an expanded book review section. While not a formal themed issue, we often pair it with interesting articles on writing, the media, and the arts.
Submission deadline August 1.

December 2014: Un-themed Issue
We regularly publish topics of interest to Friends that don’t fall into our pre-planned categories. December will be the next full wide-ranging issue.

Types of Submissions

Click the plus box on the right to see the expanded guidelines:

Letters to the Forum

Friends Journal welcomes Forum contributions. Please try to be brief so we may include as many as possible. Limit letters to 300 words, Viewpoint to 1,000 words. Addresses are omitted to maintain the author’s privacy; those wishing to correspond directly with authors may send letters to Friends Journal to be forwarded. Authors’ names are not to be used for personal or organizational solicitation.

Three ways to send text:

Feature Articles

Feature articles should generally be less than 2,500 words, though we occasionally publish longer submissions.

Please include quotation references in the text itself, as we do not use endnotes. Your name and address should appear on the body of the submitted text along with brief information about yourself. Please indicate if the material has been published (in print or online) or if you are also submitting it to other publishers. We strongly prefer that you email your submission to submissions@friendsjournal.org, although we do accept submissions on paper. We acknowledge receipt of submissions within a month; writers can expect to wait longer to hear whether their manuscripts have been accepted.

We are generally not able to pay for writing. Authors of feature-length articles receive four free copies of the issue in which the article appears, while poets receive two copies. Authors of shorter material appearing in the departments will receive two free copies upon request. All published material will be protected under Friends Publishing Corporation’s copyright unless otherwise arranged or indicated.

We welcome inquiries about potential articles and invite you to contact Martin Kelley, editor, at martink@friendsjournal.org.

News Items

News items (preferably 50–400 words) and Bulletin Board items (preferably less than 50 words) are welcome, subject to editing for space and style; publication cannot be guaranteed.

Epistles and reports of Quaker events (450 words).

Milestones (announcements of births, marriages, deaths)

Milestones (announcements of births, marriages, deaths, etc.) are published at the request of meetings or families.

Friends Journal welcomes Milestones that families or meetings send us. While we would like to receive Milestones material in a timely fashion (we hope within six weeks of the event), we understand that this is not always possible and will make every effort to publish material sent to us. Since publication depends on having all necessary information and on space available, we cannot guarantee the publication date. The minimum lead time is two months.

Births/Adoptions: Please include date of birth or adoption, names of child and parents (both first and last names), and meeting affiliations.

Marriages/Unions: Please include names (both first and last names), date of ceremony, location, meeting affiliation of the parties, and (optionally) under which meeting’s care the event took place.

Death notices: These can be a rich source of spiritual wisdom gleaned from the life stories of others and can benefit not only those who may have known the deceased, but also the entire community of Friends Journal readers. While we do not publish memorial minutes as such, we frequently incorporate wording and information from them and try to preserve their tone for our readers. Although we do ask for certain essential information (please see below), we hope you will also include a freeform narrative description of the life of this person to serve as the basis for the Friends Journal notice. We encourage narratives focusing on one’s spiritual life as a Friend. Topics to consider are: childhood, education, marriages/unions—dates and (perhaps) how the couple met, how a person became involved as a Friend, meeting involvement, spiritual searching, family life, career, activities, interests, witness, good works, accomplishments, publications, awards, and obstacles faced. Specific examples are preferred over general statements. The order should be more or less chronological. You may include as much information as you like; we will edit it for length (maximum of 600 words).

Please be sure to include the following essential information:

  • date and place of birth (and if possible, names of parents);
  • date and place of death (cause of death is optional);
  • meeting affiliation (whether member or attender, and meeting name and place) at time of death and (perhaps) earlier meeting affiliations and transfers; and
  • names of survivors (both first and last names) and relationships to the deceased.

You may send material by e-mail to departments@friendsjournal.org, by fax to (215) 568-1377, or by postal mail to Milestones Editor, Friends Journal, 1216 Arch Street, Suite 2A, Philadelphia, PA 19107-2835.

Please be sure to include your contact information (e-mail address, phone number, and/or postal address) for follow-up questions. Thank you for your cooperation.

Poetry Submissions

We publish poems that use image and metaphor to recreate an experience for the reader—which show rather than tell, “be” rather than mean. The subject matter should show an awareness of Friends ways and concerns, as well as sensitivity to them, although the poet need not be a Friend. We prefer poems that are short, have titles, are adequately punctuated, use words sparingly, and are written in form.

The author’s name and address should appear on the body of the submitted text. If you submit poetry that has been published or which you are also submitting to other publishers, be sure to indicate this. Please only submit up to three poems at any time. We encourage email submissions to be sent to submissions@friendsjournal.org. Submissions are acknowledged within two weeks; however, writers can expect to wait longer to hear whether their poetry has been accepted.

Art and Photographs

We welcome submissions of photography and artwork to Friends Journal. Possible subjects include nature, people, the environment, Friends worship and events, meetinghouses, nonviolent action, and world events. Symbolic and meditative pieces and cartoons—any graphic materials you think our readers would like to see—are also of interest.

Join our Flickr group: You can upload your photos and scanned art work right to the Friends Journal Flickr group at www.flickr.com/groups/friendsjournal. If you do not have a Flickr account or would prefer to send them by email, please send them to photos@friendsjournal.org.

Original photos and artwork: If you are able to scan artwork and photos, send them as digital files. Scanned artwork should be sent to us at 300 dpi or more for color or grayscale artwork, and 600 dpi for line art. If you need to send original photos or artwork you may mail them to us with your contact and credit information. We will treat them carefully and either keep or return them to you according to your instructions. (Note: Use pencil or ballpoint pen rather than ink stamp or marker if you mark on the backs of photographs.)


If you have an idea for an article or questions about any of our guidelines, please contact FJ Editor Martin Kelley at martink@friendsjournal.org.

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