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] 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/legal. Advertising reservation deadlines typically occur a few days after our editorial deadlines; check our Advertising section for specific dates.

Upcoming Themes

Beginning in 2020 and the society changes due to COVID-19, we are running more topical stories in Friends Journal. These can be a mix of reflections, viewpoints, opinions, and stories and generally run from 800-2,500 words. We intend to publish these as online features first and then considered for possible inclusion in upcoming print issues.

Learn more: Tips for Writing for Friends Journal Open Issues
Also, please note: All poetry should be submitted separately here.

Our next Open issue will be February 2021. Deadline for submissions is November 23, 2020.

Many issues of Friends Journal are set aside for specific themes. Every 18 months or so we poll readers and dream up ideas for future issues (you can see the current list on our submissions page).

We also keep five 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 to us without regard to our schedules.

The first bit of advice is to give our editorial submission guidelines a good once-over. The introduction to what we’re looking for is instructive.

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.

You should also study our tips for writing for Friends Journal. This is our list of the most-common pitfalls for incoming submissions—problems like length, structure, and tone.

The next thing to ask when writing or pitching an article to us is “why Friends Journal?” There are very few places where someone can write on the Quaker experience and see their work published. This scarcity weighs on us as we select an open issue’s mix. Authors don’t need to be Quaker, but the piece should have a strong Quaker hook. We’re not above doing a control-F on a submission to see how many times “Quaker” or “Friends” is mentioned. If it’s just a tacked-on reference because you’re shopping a piece written for another publication, it probably won’t work for us.

When you’re ready to send us something, please use the Submittable service so that we will have all of your information on file. “General Submissions” is the category for material that we consider for non-themed issues.

Link to share: Writing for General Submissions

Deadline: Dec 21, 2020

March marks the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 transforming our lives. Masks, toilet paper shortages, and temperature checks. The closures of churches, restaurants, and gyms. The loss of loved ones. Not being able to visit grandparents and grandchildren. Hospitalizations. The cancelation of vacations, family reunions, and weddings.

How have you fared through all this?

What lessons have we learned? About the fragility of life? Our capacity to adapt? Our inability to know what medical information to trust?

As Friends, how have shifts to online worship fared? Will it be a standard offering of Friends meetings and churches going forward? What does in-person worship look like as we continue to practice safe distancing and wait for vaccines?

Link to share: Writing Opp: Pandemic at One Year

Due February 22, 2021.

The May 2021 issue will look at “Generations.” This is a chance to talk about the needs and issues of different ages of Friends—children, young adult Friends, middle-aged Friends, elderly Friends—or the relationship between generations.

Some ideas:

  • Accommodating our facilities for different ages.
  • Addressing power issues between generations, either at individual meetings, or in Quaker organizations or institutions such as schools.
  • Charting the promise of younger Friends or looking at the legacy of Friends who have recently retired or passed away.
  • Examining issues that affect different generations differently, like how climate change’s progression 50 years from now will only be affecting today’s younger people.
  • Observing how these age-related dynamics play out within a Quaker family, from conflict resolution to nurturing growth together.

We’re not necessarily looking for articles that indulge in overly broad cliches about generations. We’d be just as happy with an issue that doesn’t include “Okay boomer” memes or lectures about avocado toast. But legit, first-hand observations about how different styles or languages or experiences are affecting our ability to be an inclusive beloved community could be fascinating. And as always, we’re interested in how our theme topics play out with Friends coming from less-represented or marginalized demographics (LGBTQ+ Friends, Friends of Color, disabled Friends, etc.).

Link to share: Writing Opp: Generations

Due 03/22/2021.

Due 06/21/2021.

Due 9/20/2021.

Due October 19, 2021.

Due December 20, 2021

Due March 21, 2022

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.

Departments: Shorter articles (about 1,500 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] 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 and upcoming deadlines (submit in mid-February and mid-August).

Student Voices Project: Our annual student writing issue. The latest appears in the May 2020 issue.

Additional Resources

Friends Journal Style Guide: Our frequently updated in-house style sheet includes guidelines for uniquely Quaker stylistic issues and also includes links to reference material by other Quaker and progressive organizations.

List of Friends Journal themes, 2012-2020