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. 

Ask Me (due October 18): Kaitlyn Bouchillion posted a list of questions she offered to her married friends to ask her as a single woman. What would your list of questions be as a single, wife, mom, empty nester? What do you want your teammates to have permission to ask you? What would be helpful for your supporters to include in an email to check in?

Lament (due November 8): Adele Ahlberg Calhoun says that to lament is “to take my complaints, anger, sufferings, frustrations and heartaches to God.” (The Spiritual Disciplines Handbook) What does that stir up in you? How has God drawn close to you in seasons of lament? What parts of your relationship with Him have shifted or strengthened in those times? If you’ve written a lament, we tenderly invite you to share that with us. 

In Every Circumstance (due November 15): 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. This is hard, friends. Every circumstanceSometimes praise is a sacrifice. Does it feel like that for you? What are you thanking God for (even if your feelings aren’t quite there yet)?

Not My Own (due November 22): When we read about the believers in Acts 4:32-35, we marvel at their unity and selflessness. Or maybe we shake our heads and feel like that would never be possible again! Have you seen these verses lived out in your context? What draws your heart the most from these verses?

Waiting (due November 29): What are you learning about waiting right now? What aspects of Advent or the practice of it fill your heart with hope? We desire to experience the holiness of advent, the spiritual significance of Christmas. What does that look like for you this year?   

Insignificant (due December 6): Lord, helps us embrace insignificance. We see how He used humble shepherds, ordinary Mary and Joseph, to be part of a less-than-triumphal birth. As we linger in Advent, may we lay aside our striving to gain followers, impress others, make a name for ourselves. 

Nativity (due December 13): Sometimes the week leading up to Christmas can be hectic and noisy. We want to quiet our hearts and our feeds just a bit as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth wherever we are in the world. Do you have a special nativity set from one of the countries you have lived in? We would love to share an image of your nativity set, along with your reflections. 

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 Sarah at: submissions (at) velvetashes (dot) com

We do have limited spots available. 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