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?” and “We are Women Who.” 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.
Sleeping: November and December can be very busy months with holidays and opportunities for sharing our hope. How have you adjusted to the busier season? How do you get enough rest and connection with God, people close to you, and yourself? What helps you sleep during stressful times? But these months can also be ones that people see more signs of depression and may increase their sleep as a way to deal with depression or loneliness. Have you experienced either? How did God meet you and love on you? (Deadline: Nov 10)
This year we are doing something different for Christmas :). All of our themes come from Luke 2. So, indirectly, as a community we will be looking at that passage.
Keeping Watch: “And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” December can be so busy on the field with extra ministry opportunities. I love it that “in the same region shepherds” were doing their thing: watching sheep. What is your “thing”? What does it look like to keep watch this month for you? What helps you to keep watch? What was it like your first season on the field? How was keeping watch that year different than subsequent years? I also love the phrase “out in the field” — how does that mere phrase illuminate the incarnation and kindness of Jesus to us, “out in the field?” (Deadline: Nov 15)
Let Us Go: “When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.'” What was the shepherds response when they heard the good news? They wanted to go. We understand because each of us has experienced the stir to go. How is this verse similar to your story? How do you see this verse after having “gone” yourself? How is “let us go” new every year? How is it different this year? (Deadline: Nov 22)
Pondering: “And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Mary didn’t just treausre up all the things, she also pondered them. As Christmas has passed and another year is coming to an end, what are you pondering What are you pondering about the future? How has life changed in your country of service since you first visited? Reflect on that. What do you hope 2019 will bring for you in your walk with the Lord? (Deadline: Dec 7)
Prompts are updated quarterly. 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.
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: Amy Wheeler – Post Title Here.doc). We do accept pseudonyms as required by context and/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 (attached as a jpeg, no larger than 600 x 600 px) and personal bio. It should be just a few sentences long (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 Karen 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. At this time, we do not offer compensation for published work, and unfortunately we are not able to accept submissions unrelated to our upcoming themes.
If selected for publication, posts may be edited for length and clarity. 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