Every now and then we get an email asking how to submit an article to the Café. We've now created an email address for that purpose: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking for topical essays on faith, politics and culture at a length of 700 to 900 words. If you are not writing directly about faith, morality, ethics or spirituality, the article needs to tie in to one of those themes in some way. If you want to get a better idea of the sort of articles we prefer, read ten or a dozen selections from Daily Episcopalian.
A word on formatting: Double space your articles, but beyond that, DO NOT format them in any way. Don't center text. Don't indent new paragraphs (but do put in an extra double space.) All formatting has to be stripped out of an article when we paste it into the blogging software. If a piece is loaded up with formatting, it makes more work for us.
A few other do-s and don'ts:
Do send us the articles in Microsoft Word or in the body of the email.
Do abide by length restrictions.
Do let us know at the top of the email whether the article would need to run by a particular date.
Do send the article well in advance of said date to increase chances of usage.
Do send us contact information including a telephone number. We will need to verify authorship.
Do not send us news items. We are open to essays, but have no interest in promotional material.
Do not send us articles that have appeared elsewhere.
Do not send us poetry unless it is truly outstanding.
Do not expect a reply. (We will try to get back to you, but we can't guarantee it.)
Do not send us outdated material.
Do not send us poetry unless it is truly outstanding. (We said this once, but it can't be overemphasized. We once knew of a Web site that published nothing but poetry submitted by teenage girls. It had precisely as many readers as it had contributors. We suspect this result would be reproduced regardless of the demographic.)
Finally, we are open to essays about people's personal experiences of faith, but we offer this bit of advice: writing for publication is not primarily a therapeutic enterprise. It is difficult to turn down articles that are deeply-felt, but either poorly written or narrowly relevant, but as editors, our primary allegiance is to our readers.