Friends Journal welcomes articles, poetry, art, photographs, and letters from our readers. We are also helped by your comments and questions. We are an independent magazine serving the entire Religious Society of Friends. Our mission is “to communicate Quaker experience in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives,” which allows for a variety of viewpoints and subject matter. We welcome submissions from Friends and non-Friends alike.
Read our full editorial guidelines and learn about the different types of articles we publish on our Submissions Page.
Beginning in 2020 and the society changes due to COVID-19, we are running more topical stories in Friends Journal. These can be a mix of reflections, viewpoints, opinions, and stories and generally run from 800-2,500 words. We intend to publish these as online features first and then considered for possible inclusion in upcoming print issues.
Learn more: Tips for Writing for Friends Journal Open Issues
Also, please note: All poetry should be submitted separately here.
Our next Open issue will be April 2021. Deadline for submissions has been extended to February 1, 2021.
Many issues of Friends Journal are set aside for specific themes. Every 18 months or so we poll readers and dream up ideas for future issues (you can see the current list on our submissions page).
We also keep five issues a year open: no theme and no expectations. Most of our unsolicited articles go into a “General Submissions” list that we hold for these issues. Sometimes a choice is easy: we’ll get a blockbuster article that we know we just have to print. But just as often we’ll run some quiet piece of Quaker life that is offered to us without regard to our schedules.
The first bit of advice is to give our editorial submission guidelines a good once-over. The introduction to what we’re looking for is instructive.
We prefer articles written in a fresh, non‐academic style. Friends value an experiential approach to life and religious thought. Our readers particularly value articles on: exploring Friends’ testimonies and beliefs; integrating faith, work, and home lives; historical and contemporary Friends; social concerns and actions; and the variety of beliefs across the branches of Friends.
You should also study our tips for writing for Friends Journal. This is our list of the most-common pitfalls for incoming submissions—problems like length, structure, and tone.
The next thing to ask when writing or pitching an article to us is “why Friends Journal?” There are very few places where someone can write on the Quaker experience and see their work published. This scarcity weighs on us as we select an open issue’s mix. Authors don’t need to be Quaker, but the piece should have a strong Quaker hook. We’re not above doing a control-F on a submission to see how many times “Quaker” or “Friends” is mentioned. If it’s just a tacked-on reference because you’re shopping a piece written for another publication, it probably won’t work for us.
When you’re ready to send us something, please use the Submittable service so that we will have all of your information on file. “General Submissions” is the category for material that we consider for non-themed issues.
Link to share: Writing for General Submissions
Due February 22, 2021.
The May 2021 issue will look at “Generations.” This is a chance to talk about the needs and issues of different ages of Friends—children, young adult Friends, middle-aged Friends, elderly Friends—or the relationship between generations.
- Accommodating our facilities for different ages.
- Addressing power issues between generations, either at individual meetings, or in Quaker organizations or institutions such as schools.
- Charting the promise of younger Friends or looking at the legacy of Friends who have recently retired or passed away.
- Examining issues that affect different generations differently, like how climate change’s progression 50 years from now will only be affecting today’s younger people.
- Observing how these age-related dynamics play out within a Quaker family, from conflict resolution to nurturing growth together.
We’re not necessarily looking for articles that indulge in overly broad cliches about generations. We’d be just as happy with an issue that doesn’t include “Okay boomer” memes or lectures about avocado toast. But legit, first-hand observations about how different styles or languages or experiences are affecting our ability to be an inclusive beloved community could be fascinating. And as always, we’re interested in how our theme topics play out with Friends coming from less-represented or marginalized demographics (LGBTQ+ Friends, Friends of Color, disabled Friends, etc.).
Link to share: Writing Opp: Generations
Due October 19, 2021.
Due December 20, 2021
Due March 21, 2022