General Submission Guidelines
At Fidelia’s Sisters, we look for work that is fresh, insightful, and thought-provoking. Successful submissions will be those that make us think, whether or not we agree with the author or artist. Prophetic pieces that speak to the trials and tribulations of ministry are welcome and appreciated, so long as they do not devolve into whining. We love the church, even as we know that ministry presents its challenges regardless of one’s age, denomination or ministry context.
While we recognize that many issues cross these demographic lines, our primary focus is to provide a place for the younger generation of clergy women to speak and be heard. Writers and artists who fall outside the young clergy women category whose work fits the above description are also welcome to submit articles for consideration, though young clergy women will be given preference in most instances.
All of the articles submitted to Fidelia’s Sisters are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. All submissions remain property of the individual writers which The Young Clergy Women Project has the exclusive privilege to publish and publicize throughout our communication channels including Facebook and Twitter.
We prefer that writers utilize their own names but recognize that there are circumstances when to do so would jeopardize aspects of an individual’s professional or personal life. We therefore will publish submissions with a name withheld under the following conditions:
- We have and are able to verify your real name and institution’s name.
- The article does not in any way libel an individual or institution.
- If you are writing with a pen name, any other institutions or people you describe must also be pseudonymous.
- If you submit multiple articles, you must use the same pseudonym for all articles.
Submit your written work in Microsoft Word, Text, or RTF file. Prose submissions should be at least 500 words, but no more than 1250 words. Simultaneous submissions are fine; let us know if an article has been published before or if one published at Fidelia’s Sisters is printed elsewhere (including a personal blog). Allow up to two months for a response to your submission. At this time there is no monetary compensation for publication.
Submit your work and a brief biography, including your full name (with title), current ministry setting, and seminary, to the appropriate section below. To cut down on spam, we have spelled out the symbols in our email addresses. Just copy the text email address into your email program, and replace (at) and (dot) with @ and . respectively.
The Jesus Review
We are seeking pieces that thoughtfully engage with popular culture or current events from a theological perspective. What would Jesus think of the TV show you find yourself watching week after week, the CD all the kids in your youth group are listening to, the latest Broadway hit, or a current NY Times bestseller? What sort of a theological perspective could you shed on the latest political hot topic? Submissions may also occasionally include reviews of materials specifically of interest to young clergy women. Successful submissions may be affirming or critical, without devolving into self-righteousness.
We publish theologically reflective practical articles about the “business” of being young clergy women. Topics may include stories about the call and search process, issues with insurance, pension, or health care, or professional development. What do you wish you had known? What do you want to make sure other young clergy women know?
The Single Rev’s Guide to Life
We are looking for witty, poignant, and honest essays about being a single young clergy woman. Anecdotes and reflections from a first-person perspective are encouraged, and may be humorous or serious. Possible topics might include meeting people in a new community, navigating the dating world as a pastor, dealing with loneliness, declining unwanted advances, and maintaining personal boundaries.
Called & Sent
We are interested in ministry in all its variety — hospital chaplains, campus ministers, congregational pastors, overseas missionaries. If you are a young woman in any ministry situation, we want to hear from you. Tell a vestry horror story; reflect on your recent epiphany in the hospital room; consider what you do and how you are called to do it. Submissions may take the form of first person essays, profiles, or interviews, and may be lighthearted or serious.
Sunday Morning & Beyond
We publish articles focused on worship, whether that happens on Sunday morning or another day and time. Submissions may include prayers, litanies, responsive readings, liturgies, thematic worship services, drama, original hymn and song texts, sermons, thoughts on preaching, and snippets of exegesis that are on their way to becoming sermon material. Recognizing that worship is shaped by time and place, we look for material inspired by the rich tradition of Christian history but also reflecting bold new experiences of God’s Word and Spirit. We want to hear the unique voice of worship in your ministry, guided by your experience as a young woman and informed by the lives of the people with whom you minister. Include an explanation about the setting in which a particular piece was used and the process that went into composing a piece. Make sure to footnote any parts that are not your own. Sermons are exempt from the 1250-word limit stated above.
The Ones We Love
We are looking for reflective, honest, and thought-provoking pieces on how your role as a young clergy woman shapes the way you relate to the ones you love, for better and for worse. Friends, relatives, neighbors, pets, colleagues–even enemies or inanimate objects might fall into the category of being “the ones we love,” so think broadly. Tell us how you find some balance by building relationships outside of church; write about your Facebook friends’ reaction to the news of your ordination; describe how you handle “holiday” times, which are hardly vacation for you. Show our readers what the interplay of ministry and relationships looks like from your perspective.
Moms in Ministry
We are looking for funny, heartfelt, frustrated, inspired essays on attempting to balance the roles of motherhood and ordained minister. Examples include but are not limited to the decision to have (or not have) children; fertility, infertility, and its ups and downs; the experience of adoption/foster parenting; family leave; day care; life in the “fishbowl”; and relationships between children and the minister’s spouse/partner.
Along the Way
This column highlights the stories of young women who are working toward ordination. We’d like to hear from the woman who is sitting in a college religion class, listening to the professor talk about the gospel of John, and finding herself more engrossed then she ever imagined. Or the college junior home for summer break, who, at the invitation of her pastor, courageously steps into the pulpit for the first time. Or the seminarian who is in the middle of CPE and is starting to wonder if she’s really cut out for this at all. Or the young mom who squeezes in seminary classes between preschool drop-off and pick-up, and works on papers late into the night. Or the intern who spends a semester working in a prison ministry and finds herself facing tough questions and wonders how it all relates to what she learned in the theology classroom last year. We’d like to hear from these women who are just starting out, who are stepping out on faith into this life with all its celebrations and sorrows. We’d like to hear what encourages them, what inspires them, what challenges them – so we can support one another along the way. Writers could be female seminarians or college students, or somewhere in between, but should be on the way to being ordained by the time they are 35.
Holy Ghost Grab Bag
We offer this space for those who like to think outside of the box. We are looking for submissions that don’t quite fit in any of the above categories. This section will be published sporadically, as the Holy Spirit doesn’t always schedule our inspiration.
The Gospel According to Lexi D. Vina (October 2007-September 2008)
This series of short stories chronicled the life of a fictional, 30-year-old, recently divorced woman busy serving God in a suburban context–and trying not to get into too much trouble.
Christ & Creativity (October 2007-September 2011)
This column published poetry, photography, music, and other art forms, including articles about creative process and what it brings to our lives and ministries.