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Submissions: Write for Friends Journal

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.

Click to learn more about writing for Friends Journal


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].

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

Click for downloadable flyer.

Feature articles: Upcoming themes

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.

Most of our monthly issues are built around themes, which in turn means that most of the featured articles we publish are written for particular issues. We keep two issues a year un-themed in order to highlight extraordinary articles of interest to the Quaker community. You can submit these pieces as General Feature Submissions, but please be aware that competition for these issues is particularly high and decision timelines can be longer given the twice-annual publishing schedule.

Please submit all poetry to our specific category for poetry and not for any issue into which you think it might apply (you can suggest that in your cover letter).

We know there's lots of great Quaker writing that doesn't fit any of the topics in our upcoming issues list. We leave a few issues a year "open" to general interest articles that come in. 
Israel, Palestine, Ramallah, Gaza, Jerusalem. Even today Quaker controversies center on our relationships in the region the world calls the Holy Land. What is our presence there and what is our witness to the struggles of its peoples? Due December 4, 2017.
Quakers are healers. From George Fox’s miracles to alternative health to wartime relief and the preponderance of nurses, doctors, and therapists in our meetinghouses, care and healing is a central manifestation of our faith. How do you understand healing? Due January 8, 2018.
If there’s a Quaker brand, then “Quaker values” is its most common pitch. What do we mean when we use the term for Quaker institutions and the the ministries of our meetinghouses and churches? Is it anything deeper than the “SPICES” testimonies? Due February 5, 2018.
Show us your art! Is there a kind of Quaker visual or musical aesthetic? How do we relate to early Quaker’s love/hate relationship to the arts? Due March 5, 2018.
What’s the Quaker message for today? How to we communicate it and how do we share it. What are some of the overlooked low-tech methods of inviting people into our Quaker communities? Due May 7, 2018.
How do we spend money on ourselves? What is the role of money in our meetings? How do we decide whether to invest, provide services, or renovate? Due July 9, 2018.
Have you ever found a worn, foxed book in a dusty meetinghouse shelf or been told of an obscure book that changed your life? Tell us about the books that have changed how you look at the world. Due August 6, 2018.
It’s a question that has dogged Friends since we did away with clergy and started calling baptism a “sprinkling,” and it has been an issue of contention in every Quaker schism: Are we Christian? Are we really Christian? Does it matter if we’re Christian? What does it even mean to be Christian in the world? Due September 10, 2018.
We talk and talk about race in our own spiritual society. We name committees, hold audits, host conferences and yet... change is achingly slow. How do we build out the beloved community in our spiritual home. What are Friends doing to bring diversities into our meetinghouses? Due October 1, 2018.

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? Due December 3, 2018.

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. Due January 7, 2019.
Our fifth 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 Testimony Storie, asking students to tell us a story about how one of the Quaker testimonies felt real to them in their life (more details on our Student Voices Project page). Deadline 02/12/2018.

Check out our past themes or suggest future ones.

News & other departments:

  • Forum: Reader responses, limited to 300 words.
  • Viewpoints: short general reflections of 600-800 words.
  • Poetry: We 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.
  • Milestones: Births, adoptions, marriages/unions, and deaths. Click through for instructions and the submission form. You may also submit by email to milestones[at]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.
  • 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. Submissions will be due 2/2018.

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