The Common Good

Writer's Guidelines

Sojourners publishes both Sojourners magazine, and a weekly e-mail newsletter, SojoMail, which draws most of its material from our God's Politics blog. If you wish to submit to the blog, see item #10 below.

1. Except in the case of poetry (see #5), reviews (see #4), and submissions to the God’s Politics blog (see #10), please send a query letter of 400 words or less, rather than the proposed manuscript itself. We regret that we are unable to respond to queries unless they

  • come to queries[at]sojo[dot]net or to our postal address below
  • have the exact phrase “magazine query” in the subject line (if an email)
  • include the query letter text in the body of the email, rather than in an attached file
  • indicate in the query letter that you wish to submit your article idea specifically to Sojourners magazine (rather than to our God’s Politics blog - see #10 below to submit to the blog), and
  • indicate in the query letter that the article you are suggesting to us has not been published elsewhere, including on the Web, and has not been simultaneously submitted to another publication.

Please include a two- or three-sentence description of yourself in your query letter, along with your address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Unsolicited submissions sent via postal mail should be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope with the correct return postage.

2. Although most of the articles that appear in Sojourners have been requested from particular writers, we do occasionally publish unsolicited manuscripts. We are interested in feature articles that treat biblical, social, political, economic, theological, community, or church themes (to mention a few) from a progressive Christian perspective. Where it is reasonable to do so, pieces should explicitly state their grounding in Christian faith. We encourage writers who are describing social or other problems to consider suggesting creative solutions to those problems. We encourage writers to use gender neutral language.

The length of features is generally 1,400-2,200 words. We also publish commentaries, of roughly 500-600 words, on particularly current events. You may view back issues of our magazine online.

3. We plan magazine issues four to six months or more in advance (commentaries three months in advance); please keep this in mind when sending timed pieces. If your idea is for an article that responds to a news event that has received particularly saturated media coverage (such as the Newtown school shootings), you may wish to consider submitting it to our blog instead (see #10 below). Please do not submit any query to our blog and print magazine simultaneously.

4. In each issue we feature book, film, and/or music reviews. Lengths vary from about 500 to 1,000 words. Send these to the attention of the CultureWatch editor at the postal address below, or e-mail them to reviews(at)sojo(dot)net. We are unable to consider or respond to authors who send us more than two reviews at the same time, whose reviews are substantially over 2,000 words, or whose reviews are not sent uniquely to Sojourners. If you would like a book to be considered for possible review, mail it to the attention of the CultureWatch editor at the postal address below.

5. We encourage readers to send in unpublished poems. Send these to the attention of the poetry editor at the postal address below. Poems sent via e-mail will NOT be considered for publication. We look for poems that intersect with or illuminate the perspective of our magazine, that reflect simple celebrations of life and beauty, and/or are geared toward particular seasons (i.e. Advent) or significant days (Hiroshima anniversary, MLK Jr. Day, etc.). In general, we do not publish unsolicited prose fiction. Please click here to read the complete poetry submission guidelines before sending poetry.

6. We attempt to respond as quickly as possible, but staff reading of manuscripts (of poetry and reviews) sometimes takes eight weeks or more. Staff initial response to queries (for all other articles) takes four weeks or more, and final decisions often significantly longer. We appreciate your patience. If we like your article, we may ask to hold it for possible publication in a future issue.

7. The editors reserve the right to edit and shorten articles as necessary. If we make major changes in content, we will consult with the writer.

8. Payment to authors varies depending on the type of article. The range is roughly $50 to $400.

9. We assume all proposed articles, reviews, and poetry submitted are original and unpublished, and submitted exclusively to us. If your material is copyrighted, we assume you are authorizing us to publish it. Unless otherwise indicated, we also assume full reprint permission (in all media including various electronic media) of any item we publish. North American serial rights to the article include electronic rights and posting on our web page (www.sojo.net). We reserve the right to accept or reject any article submitted. A kill fee will be paid for any solicited article that is rejected.

10. In addition to Sojourners magazine, we also publish a weekly e-mail newsletter, SojoMail, which draws most of its material from our God's Politics Blog. Submissions for online publication should be 400-600 words in length, and should directly address the intersection of faith and current events. Before submitting, please acquaint yourself with the blog and back issues of SojoMail. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Please e-mail finished submissions for online publication to our Web team with the words "blog submission" in the subject line. Include a one- or two-sentence biography and a thumbnail photo if possible. Because of the large volume of submissions, we are unable to respond to article proposals, or to authors whose pieces we are unable to use. If you have not heard back from us in three weeks, please assume that we were unable to use your piece. We are unable to pay honoraria for our online publications.

revised 3/2013

Sojourners, 3333 14th St. NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20010
(202) 328-8842; fax (202) 328-8757; e-mail: sojourners@sojo.net