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Submissions: Write for Friends Journal

Information on upcoming issues and behind‐the‐scenes news from FJ’s editors.

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.

The magazine is published monthly (with a combined June/July issue) in print and PDF editions. We have an active and growing website with special web‐only features focusing on timely topics, as well as special selections from the Friends Journal archives. We are seeking to publish more themed issues and to encourage and cultivate new writers and fresh topics

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. We welcome inquiries about potential articles and invite you to contact senior editor Martin Kelley at [email protected]​friendsjournal.​org or message us via Facebook or Twitter.

By submitting to Friends Journal, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the legal agreement found at https://​www​.friendsjournal​.org/​l​e​gal. Advertising reservation deadlines typically occur a few days after our editorial deadlines; check our Advertising page for specific dates.

Click for downloadable flyer.

Upcoming themes

Most of our monthly issues are built around themes (full list from 2012–2019), which in turn means that most of the featured articles we publish are written for particular issues. We write about upcoming issues in our Editor’s Desk blog:

Would you like to know when we post new Editor’s Desk stories? You can sign up for our super low‐volume email list here.

We keep two issues a year un‐themed in order to highlight extraordinary articles of interest to the Quaker community. Please be aware that competition for these issues is particularly high and decision timelines can be longer given the twice‐annual publishing schedule. Potential authors might want to read our Tips for Writing for Friends Journal Open Issues.

Feature articles generally run from 1,200 to 2,500 words. We strongly prefer material that has not already been published elsewhere, either in print or electronic form, including on personal blogs. Please submit all poetry to our specific category for poetry.


There’s an old Quaker joke about the newcomer visiting their first Quaker meeting. They sit down and follow the example of everyone sitting silently until handshakes and the rise of meeting, then timidly ask the Friend sitting next to them “Wait, when does the service begin?” The answer comes back: “Now that the worship has ended.” Ba‐da‐domp!

As corny as the joke is, there is a long history of Friends preaching and witnessing outside of the confines of the meetinghouse. George Fox’s Journal is full of unconventional worshiping; he had a particular penchant for preaching from any bit of high ground he could find, like a tree or rock outcropping. His contemporary James Naylor is most remembered for re‐enacting Jesus’s Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem by dramatically riding a horse down a main road into Bristol.

Modern‐day Friends continue to find unconventional places to worship, from bank lobbies to White Nationalist rallies. Many more Friends find their Quaker training and balance give them surprising skills in their work (our January 2017 issue on Quakers in the Workplace has a lot of great stories). As a religious movement that began as a response to the churchiness of other denominations, it’s part of our DNA to challenge the idea that worship is limited to a set place or time.

In March of 2019, we’ll look at the broader issue, “Outside the Meetinghouse.” Some ideas we’ve been wondering about:

  • How do we interact with the town and neighborhoods where our Friends meetings are located, especially when they don’t look like our meeting membership?
  • What does non‐branded Quaker activism look like and how does it interplay with our Quaker identities and processes?
  • Quakers sometimes talk of “opportunities”–unexpected moments of worship between two or more Friends who find themselves together. What kind of experiences do we have of this and can/should we do it more?
  • What about unconventional ministries, for example in prisons?
  • How do we use billboards or local events to let neighbors outside our meetinghouses know what’s happening inside–and letting them know they’re invited to share the worship?

It can be comforting to talk amongst ourselves and debate nuances of Quaker lingo in Quaker conferences, but what happens when we move outside our meetinghouse walls? How do our values follow us into the world?

Note: All poetry submissions here.

So how many Quakers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Share your corniest Quaker jokes but also tell us stories of humor overcoming differences and building bridges. 


Note: All poetry submissions here.

Quakers believe in the spiritual equality of all people, and therefore try to approach competition in a way that honors and respects the unique gifts and Light within each individual. Let’s explore the ways competition affects our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and get curious about if there is a distinctly Quaker approach to being competitive. This issue includes the 6th Annual Student Voices Project.  Due February 11, 2019.

How do our food choices reflect our values? From eating in ways that reduce our environmental impact to connecting with others through the hospitality of food, our relationships to food have a greater impact than simply nourishing our bodies. Due March 11, 2019.

Friends Journal’s QuakerSpeak video series began five years ago. In that time, over two million people have tuned in to watch our short videos about Quaker practice, theology, activism, history, and ministry. How has QuakerSpeak changed how the world sees us and how we see ourselves? How do Friends use it in meetings and First‐day schools? Due May 13, 2019.

We will stop collecting new submissions for the September 2019 issue on 6/10/2019.

Since 2012, most of the monthly issues of Friends Journal have been set aside for specific themes. Every eighteen months or so we poll readers and dream up ideas for future issues. Sometimes we’ll be inspired by a particular article that struck a chord with readers; other times we’ll look at a topic that Friends aren’t talking about enough. There are some relatively perennial themes (race, art, finance, social witness, outreach), but even with these, we try to find hooks that might bring fresh voices to the conversation.

We also keep two issues a year open: no theme and no expectations. Most of our unsolicited articles go into a “General Submissions” list that we hold for these issues. Sometimes a choice is easy: we’ll get a blockbuster article that we know we just have to print. But just as often we’ll run some quiet piece of Quaker life that is offered us without regard to our schedules. 

Please be aware that since we only run two un‐themed issues a year, response times can be longer on these, from 3–9 months.


Learn more: Tips for Writing for Friends Journal Open Issues

Also, please note: All poetry should be submitted separately here.

Our sixth annual Student Voices Project calls all middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students to add their voices to the Friends Journal community of readers. This year’s theme is Friendly Competition?, asking students to write about the role of competition in their lives and how Quaker values influence their view of or approach to it (more details on our Student Voices Project page). Deadline 02/11/2019.

Start by logging into your Submittable account if you already have one, or create a new one.

Future themes:
August 2019: QuakerSpeak at Five
September 2019: Open Issue
October 2019: Friends in Africa
November 2019: Gambling
December 2019: Quaker Kids
January 2020: Drugs
February 2020: Open Issue
March 2020: Unnamed Quaker Creeds
April 2020: The State of Quaker Institutions
May 2020: Thin Spaces
June/July 2020: Membership and Friends
August 2020: Pastoral Friends
September 2020: Open Issue
October 2020: Quaker Process
November 2020: Quakers in Translation
December 2020: Emerging Witnesses

News & other departments:

  • ForumReader responses, limited to 300 words.
  • Viewpoints: short general reflections of 600–800 words.
  • PoetryWe generally publish 2–3 poems in each issue. Please use this form for all poetry, even poems that might be intended for specific issues.
  • Art and Photographs (Flickr): If you wish to send us graphic material that’s not attached to any article, please feel free to join our Flickr group.
  • Departments: Shorter articles (about 1,000 words or less) found toward the back of each issue that fall under one of our current Department categories, including Earthcare, Friends in Business, History, Reflection, Faith and Practice, and Witness. Click through to see the full list.
  • News Items: News, press releases, and reports from events. Click through for details and the submission form.
  • Book Reviews: We do not accept unsolicited book reviews. Review copies of books by Quaker authors or of interest to Friends Journal readers may be mailed to our address, “Attn: Book Review Editor.” If you would like to become a reviewer, please contact us.
  • MilestonesBirths, adoptions, marriages/unions, and obituaries. Click through for instructions and the submission form. You may also submit by email to [email protected]​friendsjournal.​org, by fax to (215) 568‑1377, or by postal mail to Milestones Editor, Friends Journal, 1216 Arch Street, Suite 2D, Philadelphia, PA 19107–2835.
  • Quaker Works: semiannual feature dedicated to connecting Friends Journal readers to the good works of Quaker organizations; the column is published in the April and October issues each year. Organizations must meet certain criteria in order to be included; click through for details.
  • Student Voices Project: Our annual student writing issue. The latest appears in the May 2018 issue.

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