Writer’s Guidelines for Franciscan Media
Franciscan Media conducts its publishing ministry with the official ecclesiastical approval of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cincinnati. We hope you find the information on this site enriching, inspiring and informative. Enjoy!
Please find our contact information below.
Information for Freelance Writers
St. Anthony Messenger, published by Franciscan Media, is a monthly, general-interest, family-oriented national Catholic magazine, in continuous print since 1893. Our company motto, “Live in love. Grow in faith.” states well the goal of this magazine: We seek to meet our subscribers where they are and to offer them inspiration from the heart of Catholicism—the Gospels and the experience of God’s people. There is a Franciscan flavor to all that we do: faithful, sometimes challenging, always down-to-earth, infused with love and respect, always following Jesus in the life of his Church.
The best way to know what we publish is to study several recent issues of St. Anthony Messenger. Links to some typical articles are at the end of this page.
Guidelines for Writing, Preparing, and Submitting an Article
1. Query in advance by email. If a query is accepted, the completed article should normally be submitted within two months of acceptance.
2. In your query, state your proposed topic, sources, authorities and your qualifications to write the article. Library research will not suffice. Fresh sources and interviews with experts or people in the field will be necessary. Seasonal material (Mother’s Day, Lent, Christmas, etc.) should be submitted one year in advance.
3. We do not publish filler material—anecdotes, jokes, thoughts to ponder. We do not publish articles in installment or serial form.
4. We never consider articles submitted simultaneously to other magazines. We do not reprint articles from publications outside of Franciscan Media.
5. Email submission is strongly preferred. Email all initial correspondence, queries etc. to [email protected], attention John Feister.
6. Feature articles are about 2,000 words. We also publish shorter pieces as well.
7. Popular, accessible style is essential.
8. Please allow up to eight weeks for return or purchase of publication rights. Manuscripts are reviewed by a number of editors who sometimes travel, etc.
9. Payment for articles and fiction is 20 cents per published word—upon acceptance and return of a signed author-publisher agreement form. We buy first worldwide serial rights to publish and republish “the work” in any and all forms or formats, including all electronic formats. Authors receive two complimentary copies of published work.
1. Photo support is crucial for articles about a one-of-a-kind event. The content of thematic articles or essays (for example, The Importance of Forgiveness”) lends itself to illustration. Our art director is part of the decision to buy an article and will indicate whether photos or illustrations will be needed. For more information, contact our art director M.C. Kozusko ([email protected]).
2. If professional-quality photos already exist on a subject, please supply information on how to obtain them. Otherwise, supply contact information for the subject(s) of the article so that a professional photographer can be engaged. In some exceptional cases, nonprofessional-quality photos can be used.
Examples of articles we have published:
St. Anthony Messenger Fiction
Information for Fiction Authors
Besides these guidelines, freelance authors submitting fiction pieces should read our guidelines for articles. Note the audience for whom we publish and the purpose of St. Anthony Messenger. Most of our readers live in families. The majority are women between 40 and 70 years old.
1. Preferred word length for short stories is 2,000 to 2,500 words. Manuscripts must be typed double-spaced. We cannot accept responsibility for undelivered, lost or damaged manuscripts. Authors should always keep a copy of their stories. Only manuscripts with a self-addressed stamped envelope will be returned.
2. Submissions sent as e-mail attachments (Word format, if possible) are preferred. Please do not phone to ask if your manuscript has been received. Allow six to eight weeks for a response or return of your manuscript. Any story accepted will have had six readers. Many returned stories have had as many readers.
3. We receive hundreds of short story submissions a year. We publish 12 at most—one per issue. Many stories must be returned—even stories that may be well- written and have merit.
4. In submitting a short story, please clearly label it as fiction. Place your name, address and phone number (including email if you have it) on the first page. Number the pages. Address manuscripts to John Feister, editor-in-chief, St. Anthony Messenger, 28 W. Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 or email as an attachment to [email protected].
5. We pay 20 cents a word on acceptance for first worldwide serial rights. We do not publish reprints or stories simultaneously submitted to other publications.
6. We are interested in stories about family relationships, people struggling and coping with the same problems of life our readers face. Stories should show people triumphing in adversity, persevering in faith, overcoming doubt or coming to spiritual insights, without being preachy. Stories don’t always need a “happily-ever-after” ending, but they need to offer hope with real and believable characters and resolutions. Sudden realizations, instant conversions and miracle solutions won’t do.
7. Stories that sound more like essays or monologues or stories that are straight narratives with no dialogue or interaction on the part of characters will not succeed.
8. Dialogue should move the story forward and sound real—the way people speak in real life. Conversation should not be artificial or sound stilted.
9. We do not publish retold Bible stories, stories set in biblical times or stories that are overly sentimental or pietistic.
10. Seasonal stories (Christmas, Easter, etc.) should be submitted at least six months in advance.
The best way to know what we publish for fiction is to read and study several recent issues of St. Anthony Messenger.
St. Anthony Messenger Poetry
Information for Poetry Writers
St. Anthony Messenger is a general-interest, family-oriented Catholic magazine. It is written and edited largely for people living in family situations or the family-like situations of Church and community. We want to help our readers better understand the teachings of the gospel and Catholic Church, and how they apply to life and the full range of problems confronting us as members of families, the Church and society.
The poetry we publish attempts to reflect the philosophy stated above. Poetry is subjective, for the most part, but we do require that the poems we publish have most or all of these characteristics:
- Creativity in word choice, images and overall thought/idea,
- Each section of the poem fitting together well with other sections,
- Subject matter somewhat universal in nature, or
- A religious (in a broad sense, not theological) or family dimension.
- We also publish poems outside of specifically religious themes, such as “nature.”
Both rhyming and non-rhyming materials are considered. We do not consider previously published poetry, or poetry submitted at the same time to other publications.
Each poetry submission should be typed, double-spaced on a separate piece of paper. Your name, address and either email or work phone number should be typed at the top. Address poetry to: Poetry Editor, St. Anthony Messenger (see address below).
Please do not submit poetry that exceeds 20 lines—the shorter, the better. Due to space limitations, the poetry section does not appear every month. When space is available for it, there is room for only one page of poetry (four to five poems at the most). Therefore, our poetry needs are limited.
We pay $2 (two dollars) per line for each poem purchased—and no less than $20. We try to return poems not accepted within four to six weeks. Please do not write or phone to ask if your poem has been received until that amount of time has passed. Poetry will not be returned without a self-addressed stamped envelope. We assume no responsibility for material damaged or lost, and advise poets to keep a copy of any poem submitted.
Thank you very much for your interest!
The best way to know what we publish is to read and study several recent issues of St. Anthony Messenger containing poetry.
Franciscan Media Books
What We Seek to Publish
Franciscan Media Books seeks manuscripts that inform and inspire adult Catholics, other Christians and all who are seeking to better understand and live their faith . We publish for those who want to connect to the world around them in the context of their faith and their spiritual journey. Our goal is to help people “Live in love. Grow in faith.”
We look for writing that speaks to a popular audience and is not academic or scholarly in tone. Writing should be easy to read, practical, concrete, and may include relatable examples and stories. Our books strive to support the spread of the Gospel in the spirit of St. Francis, without being moralistic or overly reliant on jargon, but by reaching out and touching the heart.
We publish a total of 20 to 30 trade non-fiction and fiction books per year.
What We Do Not Publish
We do not publish poetry; collections of homilies or essays or columns; academic studies; art books; or encyclopedias.
Our Market — Who Purchases Our Books?
The people who buy our trade books are Catholics, other Christians and seekers/searchers who value the breadth and intellectually stimulating message rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, in a general sense, reflect the spirit of St. Francis, a spirit of inclusion, of respect for all faiths and traditions, of respect for the created order.
How to Submit Your Proposal
When you are ready to submit a complete book proposal, you can submit it by e-mail (preferred) or by postal delivery:
Kathleen M. Carroll | [email protected]
Kathleen M. Carroll
Managing Editor, Books
28 W. Liberty St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Your book proposal should include:
- A cover letter that tells us what you are proposing—the subject of the book, its approximate word count, the intended audience, what makes your idea distinct from similar books on the market, a summary of competitive books.
- A table of contents.
- A detailed outline or synopsis of the book, chapter by chapter.
- A sample chapter and the introduction.
- A résumé, curriculum vitae, or brief biographical information pertinent to your writing, publishing, or speaking endeavors.
- A description of your platform (other books published and information about their sales, speaking engagements, social media presene, blog, and other writing outlets).
- Any endorsements for your book or proposal you have secured or expect to be able to secure.
- Your ideas for promotion and marketing of the book and how you will be an active publishing partner in marketing your book.
- Your Address, e-mail, and telephone number.
Upon receipt of your proposal, we will send you a response within 60 days for proposals sent by e-mail, 90 days for those sent by postal delivery.
We do not accept proposals submitted to another publisher at the same time. We prefer proposals that have not been submitted to another publisher at an earlier date. We do not accept responsibility for lost manuscripts or unsolicited material, and do not return unsolicited manuscripts or books.