About

Writer Guidelines

General Guidelines

Weavings promotes a pattern of faithful living marked by prayer, community, and engagement. Such living, to which laity and clergy alike are called, embraces all those expressions of discipline and discipleship that mark the Christian’s response to God’s work of weaving together the torn fabric of life.

Weavings provides a space where questions posed by contemporary life and spiritual resources of the Christian heritage can encounter and illuminate one another. The journal strives to create a forum in which contributors and readers can converse on important matters of common concern. Published quarterly and organized by themes (Click here for theme descriptions and due dates), each issue presents a broad range of materials dealing with:

  • significant topics in Christian spirituality visible in personal, congregational, and public life;
  • practicing spiritual disciplines;
  • the role of non-discursive communication in spiritual formation (e.g. art, music, architecture, dance);
  • linking individual and corporate renewal in the church;
  • relating personal and social transformation;
  • integrating contemporary experience and classical wisdom.

    These and similar themes may be explored through articles, stories (fiction and non-fiction), meditations on scripture, sermons, prayers, or poetry.

Readership

The journal is for clergy, lay leaders, and all engaged in seeking a deeper life with God through formation in the mind, heart, and word of Jesus Christ. It is for all who want to broaden their understanding of, and response to, how God’s life and human lives are being woven together in the world. The journal seeks to move beyond the dichotomy between pulpit and pew by probing the depths of the spiritual life in ordinary language common to both clergy and laity.

Format & Length

Articles should be 1000 to 2000 words in length. Our main interest is in writing that perceptively examines the spiritual issues that arise when Christian faith and present-day cultures meet. Articles should help readers see that the spiritual life leads to the very heart of the world, and that there is no issue in the personal, congregational, or political sphere that is without spiritual significance.

Sermons and meditations on scripture may vary in length from 500 to 2000 words. At the center of the Christian spiritual life is the practice of listening attentively to God’s word in scripture. Contributions should exemplify the rich variety of insights and incentives to action that flourish when we begin to see the connections between the biblical story of God’s redemptive love and our own life story. These guidelines also apply to spiritual autobiographies and biographies.

Stories (fiction or non-fiction) in the form of short vignettes (750 to 1000 words) or longer narratives (up to 2000 words) should strive to depict the movements of God’s Spirit in the very midst of ordinary human life. Humor is welcome, as are poems and profiles of “ordinary saints.”

Poems, prayers, and liturgical pieces that illumine the theme of the issue are invited and desired.

Style

Weavings is neither a popular devotional guide nor a technical scholarly journal. We are looking for material that has spiritual depth expressed in simple, even poetic, prose. We hope authors will show our readers the subject rather than simply describe or explain it. That is to say, we encourage authors to offer readers an experience of the subject itself. For example, we would hope that an article on prayer would be prayerful in style, and that readers would be likely to experience reading this article as a prayerful event. Reading the article might even lead a reader into a time of prayer. We seek material for Weavings that is meditative in tone, drawing on the rich metaphors of scripture and everyday life to help readers see and respond to God at work in their lives and in the world.

Weavings readers may be assumed to share a real interest in the spiritual life, while differing significantly in their knowledge and experience of Christian tradition. Therefore, writing should be simple, authentic, and inclusive.

Simplicity in the structure and language of contributions places the spiritual life where it belongs—at the center of life as such. Simplicity shows that spirituality is not only for the select few.

Authenticity accents the integrity of the spiritual life. Authentic writing expresses what the writers themselves have sought, experienced, and struggled with in their own lives. The best guidance for authentic spiritual writing is still to be found in the First Letter of John: “It was there from the beginning; we have heard it; we have seen it with our own eyes; we looked upon it, and felt it with our own hands; and it is of this we tell. Our theme is the word of life” (1:1, NEB).

Inclusiveness means, among other things, sensitivity to gender-specific language, openness to the many traditions of historic Christianity, and attention to the manifold wisdom of various cultures and ethnic groups. Such inclusiveness affirms that the spiritual life is not merely a special province of life, but the whole of life lived under the authority of the One whose claim upon humanity is universal in scope.

Submit Your Contributions

Contributions should be submitted electronically to weavings@upperroom.org in the form of a Microsoft Word 6.0 or Word for Mac attachment. Hard copy should be typed, double-spaced, on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE), and mailed to Weavings, P.O. Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0004. Manuscripts must include the author’s name, address, email address (when possible), and the theme for which it is submitted.

Authors are responsible for verifying and providing all proper documentation for direct quotations or other references to published works, including page numbers. When citing passages from the Bible, kindly indicate which translation is being used.

If permission to reprint a quotation or excerpt in Weavings is required by another publisher, the submitting author will be responsible for securing permission and paying any required use fees should the article be accepted for publication in Weavings.

Copyright law allows for quoting up to one line of poetry or music without seeking reprint permission from the publisher who holds the copyright. If more than one line is quoted, the submitting author will be responsible for securing all permission and use fees should the article be selected for publication.

*For a hard copy of Writer’s Guidelines, theme descriptions and due dates, or a sample copy, send a SASE to Weavings, P. O. Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0004. A sample copy requires an SASE of at least 6.5″ x 9.5″ with postage for 4 oz.).