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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.

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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:

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.

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.


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 at our 2018 Editor’s Desk blog post: Tips for Writing for Friends Journal Open Issues

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

It’s a series of questions 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?

Quaker history geeks will point out that even the first generation of Friends would waver back and forth on basic Christian doctrines. Our family tree of splits and schisms pretty much always include Christian theology—the importance of the Inward Light, the role of evolution, the inerrancy of the Bible, the acceptability of the sacraments, the possibilities of universal salvation. We’ve long had Friends who have been willing to explore less orthodox spiritualities. Some have left or been forced out of membership, while others have informally remained in Quaker communities.

Over the past hundred years, Liberal Friends have become quite comfortable with non-Christian expressions of Quaker spirituality. We’ve got religious crossovers like Quatholics and Quagans and many weighty Friends who identify as non-theist. Many Evangelical Friends have become theologically indistinguishable from mainstream American Christianity, creating tensions with fellow yearly meeting members who hold onto a Quaker identity.

The rise of blogs and video and social media have led to more cross-branch conversations and friendships, fueling more questions about our collective identity. Is a kind of salad-bowl spirituality which draws from many streams something to be celebrated or denounced? What do we gain or avoid by choosing certain paths?

While there may not be any simple answers to the question of Quakerism’s relationship to Christianity, there are surely many interesting conversations.


Note: All poetry submissions here.

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.

Note: All poetry submissions here.

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.

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. Due January 7, 2019.

Note: All poetry submissions here.

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 deaths. 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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