Submission Guidelines

Thanks for wanting to share your story and creativity with Velvet Ashes!

We are a community of women living and serving abroad–and we would love for you to offer your words here. We’ll be richer for hearing from you.

We believe truth and hope are best shared through story. And the power of story lies in authentic vulnerability fueled by love. As you prepare a post for Velvet Ashes you may want to read What is Velvet Ashes, We are Women Who, and Responsible, Ethical Storytelling. Poke around to get a sense for what this community is all about.

Each week we have a word prompt or theme that serves to center our stories. The questions and suggestions following each prompt are merely ideas to get you going. Feel free to take your own unique angle on the prompt.

Pause (due August 3): SO MANY of us have experienced our plans being put on hold. We might have had to stop ministry activities, or are waiting for teammates to arrive. Goals, dreams, all the things have had to hit the pause button. This has been a collective experience this year through the pandemic, but also in other seasons and for reasons outside our control. What has been on pause for you? What conversations do you have with God in the pause moments? Do you see any good in them?

It’s Time (due September 7)Many kids and teachers are heading back to school, and this feels like the season for lists and schedules and being organized. What do you do to set the rhythm for yourself and your family? What are ways you enjoy staying organized or managing your time? 

Tending Your Mind (due September 14)This week we want to chat about learning and education, and we can go different directions! One challenge for expat parents is deciding what school looks like for their kids. Are you a natural learner? What are ways you’ve challenged and tended your mind on the field? What does professional development look like? 

Tending Your Soul (due September 20)Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV) says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” We cannot neglect the careful tending of our souls. We are women who are good at pouring into the lives of others around us, but we must also let the Father pour His refreshing water into us. Share how God has taught you to tend your soul. Have there been seasons you have neglected soul care? How did He restore you? What are the rhythms and routines you have in place that help you tend your soul? 

Your submission should:

  • Be in the neighborhood of 600-900 words.
  • Be submitted as a Word doc or docx only.
  • Include your name and the title of your post in the document itself as well as in the doc title (example: Sarah Doe – Post Title Here.doc). We do accept pseudonyms as required by context or location.
  • Be original content. We publish content that has not been published elsewhere, including personal blogs.
  • Be aware that essays for online publication need only one space after periods/full stops. This will save us loads of time in the editing process.
  • Conclude with a reflective question to invite conversation in the comments.
  • Include a headshot and personal bio. Headshots should be attached (not in the body of your submission) and no larger than 600 x 600 px. Bios should be 100 words or less, telling us a bit about you, but mostly drawing readers to feel a connection to you. Please include all your social media hyperlinks so that readers can connect with you and so we can tag you when we share your post.

Please send your submission to Laura at: submissions (at) velvetashes (dot) com

We do have limited spots available. If your essay is not chosen for publication, we happily encourage you to share it with our community by linking up at The Grove the week of that theme.

If selected for publication, posts may be edited for length and clarity. At this time, we do not offer compensation for published work.

We look forward to reading and prayerfully considering your piece. If you don’t hear from us immediately, please don’t be alarmed. We’ll be in touch!

Thank you for the gift of your story,

– The Velvet Ashes Team