GUIDELINES FOR SUBMISSIONS:
ARTICLES, REVIEWS AND POEMS
We welcome contributions to Mount Carmel from Christians of all denominations: you don’t have to be a Catholic or a Carmelite, or even to think of yourself as a ‘writer’: if you have something authentic to say, in tune with the ethos of our magazine, then get in touch!
As a Carmelite ‘review of the spiritual life’, we aim to help readers in the life of prayer and relationship with God, so as to live the Christian life to the full. Our articles are never purely factual: they always contain some ‘nuggets’ of spiritual wisdom which readers can incorporate into their own life.
Prayer, the spiritual life, Carmelite teachings, the life of the Church – especially supported by Scripture.
Approach and style:
Our magazine is enjoyed by specialists and general readers alike. The emphasis is on spirituality, and the approach more personal than academic. The magazine is intended to be understood at a popular level, though this does not preclude academic, well-referenced articles. The intention is that Mount Carmel should be readable and accessible to all. With biographies of saints, for example, please make sure to include extracts from the writings, so that you don’t just ‘tell the life story’, but give encouragement and inspiration for the spiritual journey.
Before sending us your piece, please have a look at one or more of our issues first, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can send you a sample issue.
Some practical matters:
- Word length: The usual length is 1,600-2,000 words (although the upper limit could be extended to 2,500 words).
- Quotations: For the writings of the Carmelite saints, could you, where possible, use the translations published by ICS? (Standard chapter- and paragraph-numbering is all that is needed.) For all other references, please give full details if you can: name of author, full title of book, name of publisher, place and date of publication, and page number(s).
Reviews are nearly always commissioned, but if you have experience of reviewing or feel you have an aptitude for this, do please write to us with your contact details and areas of interest and speciality.
As reviewers often ask us for guidelines, we hope that the following may be helpful:
- Coverage: Make sure to cover all the different sections of a book, including any bibliography at the end (even if you just mention it). In the case of a collection of essays, each chapter will need to be discussed (even if you give more coverage to some essays than to others). A biography, on the other hand, does not need discussion of every chapter, but of the telling of the life as a whole.
- Focus: Make sure that your own discussion or introduction of the subject matter is not disproportionately long. The focus always needs to be on the book itself: what it is about, and especially how the book achieves its aim.
- Editions and reprints: If the book is a reprint or a new edition, do point this out; it is especially helpful for readers to know, for example, if the latest edition contains extra material.
- Quotations: Any quotations need to be followed by the relevant page number in brackets.
- Word length: Reviews are an average of 800 words, but can range from 500 to 1,500 words, depending on what the material dictates. A simple anthology will most likely need only a short review, whereas a collection of essays may well require more extended coverage.
- Objectivity: We encourage balanced, constructive criticism (rather than uncharitable negativity!) about the books being reviewed. However, as our aim is to help people in their spiritual life, we prefer only to include reviews of books which we are happy to recommend. If you find that a book is seriously inaccurate or is questionable in any way, do please contact us as we would rather not include it.
We publish poems in the section ‘Voices of the Heart’. We currently have a great many poems pending publication, so can accept only very few at present.
As a rule, poems need to be fairly short (up to 20 lines). Make sure that poetry does not read like prose sentences, simply divided by line breaks! And especially, infuse your poems with the riches of the spiritual life. Our ideal poems might best be described as beautiful, luminous and profound.
Please send all work, as a Word document, to email@example.com
Could you also kindly add one or two sentences about yourself? In the case of articles, part of this may be used for the paragraph introducing the article.
We aim to acknowledge receipt of your work within two working days. If you have not heard within four days of sending, please write again – copying to firstname.lastname@example.org – to check that your submission has not gone astray.
Following this initial acknowledgement, we aim to get back to you with a decision within two weeks, and often earlier. We cannot always guarantee which issue your work will appear in.
We like to allow our authors the opportunity to see the edited version before publication. Nearer the time, we will send it to you for your approval, and will point out any significant changes or queries. If no changes are expected (which is more likely with reviews or poems), we will let you know at the time of acceptance.
When your contribution appears, we will send you a copy of the relevant issue.
for reading these guidelines.
We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope that your own writing
will be an enriching experience for you
as well as something of value to share with others.