Writer’s Guidelines

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Writer’s Guidelines

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.

Franciscan Media Books

We are not accepting unsolicited manuscripts at this time.

St. Anthony Messenger

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  We do not publish filler material—anecdotes, jokes, thoughts to ponder. We do not publish articles in installment or serial form.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 MagazineEditors@FranciscanMedia.org, attention Editors.

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 (MCKozusko@Franciscanmedia.org).

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:


The First Pentecost

Why Catholics Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday

Lenten Penance: Getting Back on the Right Track


Education/Spiritual Growth

Finding Faith in God’s Creatures

The Catholic Tradition of Health Care

What a Dog Taught Me about God



Seven Things Catholics Should Know about Divorce

When Your Adult Child Chooses a Different Path

The Trails of the Holy Family Echo Today



Dick Vitale: Faith, Family and Foul Shots

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez on The Way

Pope Francis: Why the Name Fits



Jesus’ Extraordinary Treatment of Women

God’s Great Reversal: Key to the Gospel of Luke

St. Paul and Women: A Mixed Record


Social Issues/Foreign

Last Call: Grace and Sobriety

Will There Be Christians in the Holy Land?

Franciscan Respite for Refugees


Spirituality/Inspirational Stories

Pathways to God in Everyday Life

The Holiness of Happiness

Fitting Prayer Into a Busy Life


St. Anthony Messenger Fiction

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 Editors, St. Anthony Messenger, 28 W. Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 or email as an attachment to MagazineEditors@FranciscanMedia.org.

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.


St. Anthony Messenger Poetry

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.

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 28 W. Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Please do not submit poetry that exceeds 20 lines. Due to space limitations, the poetry section does not appear every month. Therefore, our poetry needs are limited.

We pay $2 (two dollars) per line for each poem purchased—and no less than $20. 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.