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Writing & Submission Guidelines

Contemplative Journal welcomes queries for articles and essays. You may either send a completed project for consideration, or create a one-page summary for a project yet to be completed.

Send all submissions to editorial@contemplativejournal.com. Do not submit with us unless you’ve read these guidelines and are familiar with our expectations.

Our editorial staff will review your piece promptly and advise you accordingly. Submissions of previously released materials must be free of copyright obligations with any other entity. Contract details will be discussed upon acceptance of the proposal.

Please expect to hear back from us in about 1-2 weeks of your initial query.

Queries

Your query letter should answer these three questions: What? How? Who? In doing so, it should include the following elements:

  1. Your subject and working title.
  2. Thesis statement and outline of ideas.
  3.  Your personal qualifications and relevant biographical information, along with website and social media information.
  4. We welcome, but do not require, a brief sample of your writing. It may be a preview of your proposed article or a previously published piece.

We’ll contact you to discuss your contract if we select your proposal for publication.

Submission Guidelines

Contemplative Journal is a magazine for contemplatives written by contemplatives. Generally speaking, this means both readers and writers maintain spiritual practices that foster spiritual growth and insight. Every article we publish will have a spiritual bent to it.

Digestible content for readers: Our editorial staff is dedicated to bridging the gap between writers and the readers. Whatever you write with us, please think about ways it can be written in an easy, digestible way for our readers.

If you submit something, we may respond with ideas on how to turn your content into an easier experience for readers. Any suggestions we might make are based on our connection with readers and helping them have the most positive experience—as well as you, the writer, reaching a broader audience in this digital age.

A note on poetry: We rarely post poetry submissions on our site, so please think twice about pitching poetry to us. In very rare cases, we will post poetry, but it’s usually because we are specifically asking a certain writer for poetry. Unless you are a published poet with professional qualifications, we will most likely decline your poem. Poetry would need to be spiritually applicable to the themes of our website.

General Rules When Submitting

Please avoid:

  1. Antagonistic and condemning language
  2. Assumptions regarding the beliefs of readers
  3. Jargon and slang
  4. Politics

Please include:

  1. Attribution for all works cited
  2. Direct, honest language
  3. Examples and experiential anecdotes to illustrate your ideas
  4. Photography to accompany your article when appropriate (if you have a personal photo that you’d like to share that connects with something you wrote about inside the body of your article).

Word Count

Maximum word count: 1,000-1,200 words per article. If you have something longer than this, we would look into doing a series of posts on the subject.
Medium word count: 600-800
Depending on the article, we are looking for a variety of lengths (shorter and longer). We are also looking for series and content that could be multiple, digestible posts.
Minimum word count: 250-500 for shorter stories.

Contemplative Journal has two kinds of content:

Content with a scholarly bent: We’re interested in intelligent, well-researched, documented articles directed toward a smart and spiritually savvy readership. We serve a diverse population, male and female, largely over forty years of age. They range from ordained clergy and spiritual mentors to tabula rasa seekers. We welcome wisdom and insight from the mystical traditions of all faiths. We publish higher-level scholarship that allows individuals to integrate their spiritual and intellectual selves, but we’re not interested in writing so erudite that it’s inaccessible.

Content that is introductory in nature: While we recognize that some people have been on the contemplative journey for years and have a deep, academic grasp of the subject, we also recognize that some people are just starting out. We’re interested in developing more introductory material that isn’t quite as academic, but could be accessible to inquirers who are searching. We would like to offer educational tools to help people begin and supplement their journey on a more basic level. We wish to meet our beginner readers where they are on the spiritual journey and offer them a warm and thoughtful embrace.

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