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.

Upcoming Themes:

Renew. How have you been renewed recently? In what ways have you been renewed that you like? What ways have you been renewed that has you pointed in a direction you are not sure you want to head? How have you experienced renewal when it comes to your call? Marriage? Relationship with the culture? What has God used recently to renew you? How do you find renewal? (Deadline: Dec 22)

Revive. Where have you experienced unexpected revival? Where do you need God to revive you? Has revival come in unexpected ways? What revives you? (Deadline: Dec 22)

Refresh. It might be funny to have the theme “refresh” only four weeks after we had “fresh” — but sometimes life is like that …. You need to be refreshed sooner than you thought :). What refreshes you? How do you find refreshment on the field in ways that is different than how you refresh back home? How has God used his word, your teammates, or a local friend to refresh you? Any new cultural insights that have refreshed how you see or understand your host culture? (Deadline: Dec 29)

Discord. The February book is The Piano Tuner placed in Burma in the late 1880’s. So this month’s themes are inspired by this book. The piano tuner travels deep into the mountains to tune a piano. Where have/are you experiencing discord in your life, ministry, calling that you might need to tune? How has discord in a relationship experienced healing? How has living overseas created discord in your heart/soul between you and your home culture? (Deadline: Jan 5)

Overture. By this point in the book the piano tuner arrives and can start tuning the piano … and learn about the civil war he has stumbled into (and begin to see the world through very different eyes. But that will be next week’s theme). What overtures have been made towards you recently? By God? A teammate? A family member? A supporter? What overture have you made that felt very risky? How did God meet you or help you make it? What makes it hard for you to receive an overture made towards you? (Deadline: Jan 18)

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