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:

Body: “The spiritual discipline of honoring the body helps us find our way between the excesses of a culture that glorifies and objectifies the body and excesses of Christian tradition that have often denigrated and ignored the body”. (Sacred Rhythms) How have you found the middle ground between the two excesses? How do you connect your body and your spirit? What would it look like to experience God’s presence through a greater appreciation for life in your body? (Deadline: March 11)

Discernment: Discernment takes a practiced heart, fine-tuned to hear the word of God and the single-mindedness to follow that word in love. What steps do you need to take to keep making intentional choices? Are you facing a decision right now that warrants entering into a process of discernment? (Deadline: April 8)

Social Media: Social media is a blessing to help us stay connected but it can also lead to comparison, loneliness and increase our feelings of isolation. Do you have boundaries around social media personally or for your family?What ideas can you pass on to our community? How do you use media intentionally? What intentions (good and bad) come in to play? (Deadline: April 15)

Personality: Understanding ourselves requires discernment and intentionality. What kind of communication/interaction do you need as an introvert or extrovert, and what does that look like on the field? What choices have you made to continue to grow and care for your unique personality and self well? (Deadline: April 22)

Singleness: We are starting a three-week series on relationships. What are some of the joys and challenges of life overseas as single? As a single, what would you love your other sisters in Velvet Ashes to know so that we can be better community for each other? (Deadline: April 29)

Marriage: This is our second installment in our series on relationships. What are some of the joys and challenges of life overseas as a married person? How does personality come into play in marriage? How has life on the field affected your married life or even your sex life? (Deadline: May 6)

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