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. 

Recreate (due April 19): We are made new in God and He continues to grow and refine us to become more like Him. Is there something He was been recreating in you? What has had to be refined and changed in your life? Art and creation can breathe life into our souls in both the hard and the joyful seasons. How has creativity awakened hope in you? Has your creative expression shifted over the years? 

Invitations (due April 28): God’s invitation to us is personal, between him and us. This invitation might look different in the different seasons of our souls as well. Let’s open up our hearts and journals and retreat guides and share our stories about what God’s invitation is to us! As you feel comfortable, share about the current season you are in and the invitation you feel the Father extending to you in this season. If new truths were revealed to you through the retreat, please share those experiences!

Being Single (due May 10): This week we get to hear from the single ladies! Singleness might be a season or it might be a lifetime. It is not our identity but it is a part of our story and who we are. How are you present in your singleness, right here and now? Is there an aspect of single life currently requiring an extra dose of courage? What would you love to say to other single sisters in the community, to encourage, inspire or challenge? Is there anything you would like to say to your married sisters, teammates and friends so that they can love and understand you more? 

Doing Community (due May 24): We get the special privilege of doing community across time zones and borders. Our people are next door and back in our passport country, in our Facebook groups and Zoom screens. How do you pursue meaningful connection and community when they are all over? Do you have any funny or awkward community stories (that you can share respectfully)? 

Should I Stay? (due May 31): Sometimes obedience looks like packing bags and buying airplane tickets. And sometimes obedience means staying. We are often people who like movement and change and this is where we thrive. What thoughts and questions have you worked through if you have made the decision to stay? When the staying has been much longer than you anticipated, what has brought encouragement and resolve? 

Should I Go? (due June 7): Deciding to go on furlough or home assignment carries extra layers of risk, more questions. Should I fundraise or not get together with supporters? What happens if I get stuck in my passport country? We also know that some are going to the field for the first time, navigating restrictions while trying to start language and culture learning. What has influenced your decisions to go? What peace or direction has the Father given you in the midst of the going process? This would also be an opportunity to explore the challenging decision to leave the field more permanently. 

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 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