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?” 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.

Current Openings:

Fun: What do you do for fun where you live? Has it been hard to give yourself permission to have fun? Or do you find it fairly easy to have fun? How do you help your kids to have fun? To have fun in your marriage and family? As a single? Some are serving in very dark and heavy places. How do you balance the serious/heaviness of the work you do with also enjoying the lighter sides of life? (Deadline: June 24)

Sayings: In Chinese, there is the saying, “Plans can’t keep up with changes” and this helped to make sense of the amount of last minute changes! What’s a saying in your local language that is so delicious you use it over and over? Maybe you live in a culture with lots of sayings …. Share more than one in your post! (Deadline: June 24)

Relax: What do you do to relax? You could share your favorite songs, books, foods, podcasts. Why is it important that we relax? Are there certain sounds, smells, foods that help you relax? How has God grown or challenged you to relax? How can you foster some relaxing during transitions? (Deadline: June 24)

Serving: In August we will have a four week series welcoming people to the field and to VA! So, for our kick off week, we start with serving. What did you think serving would look like? What has it actually looked like for you? What advice would you give to someone new to a life of ministry?  Especially in their first year?  How has God used you in unexpected ways when it comes to serving? How has he grown you as you have served? (Deadline: July 8)

Enculturating: We have come to serve and to live amongst people who are not the same as us. What advice would you give people new to a culture? What do you wish you had knowing about adjusting to a new culture? How did you handle it when (not “if”) you and others around you adjusted at different rates? What has enculturating shown you about God? About this line of work? How long did it take you to enculturate? (Deadline: July 15)

Labor: We all labor, what does a typical week look like for you? How does the culture you live in have different rhythms than your passport culture when it comes to laboring? What parts do you love about your host culture? What parts are hard? How has your concept of labor changed since you came to the field? Labor is also a birthing term :). Share your experience of having a baby on the field. (Deadline: August 24)

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 links 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