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Writer's guidelines

Gather is a magazine for all women in the church. Published 10 times a year, Gather is developed by Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Chicago, Illinois). The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) includes more than 10,000 congregations with 5.1 million members.

Our audience 

Our audience is primarily Lutheran women — young, older, and in-between, career women, students, mothers, volunteers, those active in the Women of the ELCA and those not, single, married, divorced, widowed, liberal, conservative, and moderate. Our readership is a diverse group with a variety of lifestyles and interests. Women who are members of our full–communion partner churches (Moravian, Episcopalian, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America, Methodist, United Church of Christ) also read the magazine.

Submitting your work

E-mail queries with a sample of your work attached are preferred. Queries may be submitted via e-mail to gather@elca.org. We prefer to see your sample as an attachment in MS Word, but in-message samples will be accepted. Please let us know in your query if this work is being considered for publication elsewhere.

Queries about time-sensitive topics should be submitted at least seven months in advance (for example, a query about a Christmas article should be submitted in May.) See our writer deadlines and pay special attention to our planning schedule.

Gather receives many queries and unsolicited manuscripts; because of this volume, we cannot acknowledge all of them when they are received. We will contact you if we are interested in your work.

Please know that most of what we publish is assigned — we ask particular established authors to write on specific themes far in advance of publication. We publish very few articles that originated as unsolicited manuscripts or queries. Those we do accept meet our requirements, as outlined below. We rarely, if ever, publish freelance poetry or devotions.

Requirements

Queries most likely to be accepted

  • follow the theme of that issue or the Bible study

  • are from Christian women. (Though we accept queries from men.)

  • include stories about women or reflections that especially speak to women.

  • use inclusive language.

  • reflect specifically Lutheran or generally mainline Christian theology.

  • have a spiritual basis.

  • discuss issues important to women and relate those issues to the Christian faith.

  • offer first rights.

Themes

See monthly themes for each issue.

Developing your article

Once we have contacted you about your query and asked you to develop your article, please follow these guidelines.

Inclusive language is important. For example, the pronoun he should not be used to refer to both males and females. Generally, avoid using pronouns (he, she, his, her) when referring to God, and words for God that are exclusively masculine should be used only rarely (for example, use ruler, not king).

Carefully research your article, checking the accuracy of facts, quotations, names, addresses, and Web site addresses.

When quoting Scripture, indicate which translation you are using. Gather prefers the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Do not depend on memory even when quoting your favorite Bible verse.

We must have full publication information (author, title, page number of quoted text; place of publication, publisher, and date of publication) for any books, articles, or hymn texts cited. We discourage the use of footnotes; please use in-text citations.

Rights

Gather usually purchases one–time, first rights; we prefer to print original articles that have not been published elsewhere.  Copyright remains with author.

Second rights (when the work has been previously published) are purchased only rarely. If you are offering second rights, please give the name and date of the publication in which the work first appeared.


Writers are paid on publication.

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