Ancient Faith Publishing

Ancient Faith Publishing is one of the largest, most valued resources for Orthodox books and other materials in the English-speaking world. With over 120 quality popular titles published, from many of the best living Orthodox writers in English, we also publish translations, booklets and brochures, icons, greeting cards, and calendars.

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Ancient Faith Publishing was born and grew to adulthood as Conciliar Press. Conciliar Press was established in 1977 as the publishing arm of the New Covenant Apostolic Order (NCAO). Its primary purpose was to publish AGAIN Magazine as the flagship publication of the movement. In the first year of its existence, Conciliar Press published a few brochures and booklets, and the first issue of AGAIN appeared in 1978.

The name “Conciliar Press” was chosen to reflect the conciliar (“by council”) government of the ancient Church. In the words of Ken Berven, original publisher, “The Church acted in unity and in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Such was to be the vision for our new publishing venture.”

The NCAO was a group of 2,000 evangelicals who were searching for the historic Church. Over the years, their search through the early church fathers led them to a stunning conclusion: that the early Church still lives today, and is in fact the Orthodox Christian Church.

This group of seekers—which soon became the Evangelical Orthodox Church—became Orthodox Christians in 1987 when they joined the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church of North America. Metropolitan Philip Saliba commissioned Conciliar Press to do on a large scale what it had been doing independently for over ten years—to carry the story of the ancient faith to the modern world.

During the 1980s and beyond, Conciliar Press expanded beyond its original publishing goals. Icons were added to its offerings, then greeting cards. The line of topical series booklets grew quickly. The first Conciliar Press book, Raising Them Right, was published in 1989, and our line of books grew quickly from there. From books for seekers and new converts, Conciliar expanded into publishing books to help established Orthodox deepen their faith. We also responded to a growing need by offering the first high-quality full-color Orthodox books for children.

Books from other publishers, gifts, liturgical items, music, and jewelry were added to the catalog over time. The Handmaiden,a journal for women, was founded as a complement to AGAIN in 1996. Through a partnership with the LXX Project and Thomas Nelson, Inc., Conciliar Press became the primary distributor of the Orthodox Study Bible.

In 2008 Conciliar Press merged with Ancient Faith Radio to form Conciliar Media Ministries. It soon became apparent that the name “Ancient Faith” carried wider recognition and better brand identification than “Conciliar.” So in July 2013, the name of the press was changed to Ancient Faith Publishing and the name of the overarching ministry to Ancient Faith Ministries.

Today, Ancient Faith Ministries is a department of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Ancient Faith Publishing produces dozens of books for adults and children by many of the best writers in the English-speaking Orthodox world, as well as translations, icons, cards, and more.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Download as PDF.

We are a small company with a small staff, all of whom must wear many hats. We have limited time for looking at unsolicited submissions. Therefore we request that you take the time to read these guidelines thoroughly and follow them exactly, so that we may evaluate your submission as quickly and objectively as possible.

Mission

As a general rule, we publish only books by and for Orthodox Christians. Ancient Faith Publishing is looking only for submissions that enhance our mission:

Ancient Faith Ministries exists to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ in North America through accessible and excellently crafted publications and creative media that lead to a living experience of God the Father, through Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

Our mission is to embrace the fullness of the Orthodox Christian faith; encourage the discipleship of believers; equip the faithful for ministry; and evangelize the unchurched.

Please familiarize yourself with our website and read some of our books and/or magazines before you send us your submission.


Books for Adults and Young Adults

What We’re Looking For

At this time we are particularly interested in books about Orthodox spirituality (suitable for laypeople); books on prayer, worship, and the church year; stories of Orthodoxy in other lands; and books that address how to live out our Orthodox faith in contemporary life. We are also very interested in high-quality books for young adults and middle-grade readers.

As a general rule, we are not interested in collections of homilies or essays; scholarly works; books that do not fill a unique need within the Orthodox community; books that appeal only to a niche market within Orthodoxy; or works of theology by recent converts. We are unlikely to be interested in material that has previously appeared online or been distributed free in any format unless that format is affiliated with Ancient Faith Ministries (e.g. an AF blog or podcast).

We are open to translations, but the translator should first ascertain whether English-language rights to a title are available and obtainable before querying. (It is not necessary to obtain translation rights; that is the responsibility of the publisher.)

Logistics

We accept only email submissions. We will not accept, return, or respond to manuscripts, proposals, or queries sent by fax or regular mail.

We usually respond to queries within one to two weeks. Full proposals, if requested, will be considered by our team at one of three scheduled meetings throughout the year, in April, August, and December. Please note the following deadlines:

  • For April meeting: Proposals must be received by March 1
  • For August meeting: Proposals must be received by July 1
  • For December meeting: Proposals must be received by Nov. 1

Proposals received after a given deadline will be considered at the following meeting. It will not help your cause to communicate with us in the meantime to ask about progress.

Format

All materials should be in 12 pt. standard serif font (e.g. Times, Minion, Georgia, Cambria) with 1 to 1-1/2-inch margins.

Queries and the descriptive sections of proposals may be single-spaced, with space between paragraphs and clear section headings.

Sample chapters must be double-spaced. Each chapter should begin on a new page, about a third of the way down the page.

Use the Page Break tool rather than extra returns to begin a new page.

All submissions must be in Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or RTF format. Please do not send PDFs. If photographs or illustrations are an integral part of your submission, please send up to three sample graphics as separate JPEG or TIFF files (no more than 1 MB each). Do not include graphics in your Word document.

Submissions that do not adhere to the format described above will not be accepted. We apologize if these guidelines seem overly detailed and restrictive, but honestly, this is what we need to see in order to properly evaluate your submission.

Submission Procedures

Step 1. If you have a book you think might interest us (of which you have completed at least three chapters), please send first a brief (1–page) query letter describing your book and how it fits with our mission. Include also your qualifications for writing the book, the projected word count, and when you expect the manuscript to be finished. Send this brief query in the body of the email.

Step 2. If we are interested in seeing more, we will ask you to submit a professionally prepared book proposal, not a complete manuscript. Please include the elements listed below in your proposal. Please combine all elements in a single Word document and send as an email attachment, with a brief cover letter in the body of the email. Include your surname and the keywords of your book title in the filename of your attachment.

  1. Description

    In one or two paragraphs, describe the book, including its rationale, scope, projected word (not page) count, illustrations, tables, etc. Include here when you expect the manuscript to be completed.

  2. Mission

    Explain how your proposal fits into the mission of Ancient Faith Publishing as stated above.

  3. Audience

    Describe the projected audience for the book. List any similar titles currently available and explain how your book is unique.

  4. Marketing

    Describe your “platform,” if any—speaking engagements, podcast, blog, etc.—and what you will do to help promote your book.

  5. Author Bio

    Include a current curriculum vitae for the author(s) or editor(s). We do not need to know everything you’ve ever done. Rather, emphasize writing experience, prior publication, and qualifications relevant to this particular book. Include your specific church affiliation.

  6. Contents

    Include the complete Table of Contents, with a one-paragraph description of each chapter.

  7. Sample Material

    Include the introduction, if any, and the first two or three chapters (no more than 50–60 pages altogether).


Fiction

What We’re Looking For

This category includes fictionalized lives of saints. Straight biography/hagiography falls under the category of nonfiction.

At this point we are open to fiction submissions of exceedingly high quality in various genres and for all age groups.

We are interested in fiction that reflects an Orthodox Christian worldview and lifestyle, but is not moralistic or pedantic. The characters should show development that occurs (either overtly or subtly) in response to the grace of God working within the circumstances of the story.

If you are a beginning fiction writer—even if you have published in other genres—please solicit feedback from experienced fiction writers and/or editors before submitting to us. Fiction writing is an art that takes a great deal of time and practice to perfect. We are not interested in amateur-level fiction.

Please do not contact us about a fiction manuscript until it is complete.

Submission Procedures

Step 1. If you have completed a novel you think might interest us, please send first a brief query letter describing your book. Include in this query a brief bio, mentioning any prior publications, any fiction-writing classes, workshops, or conferences you have attended, and any writing groups you belong to. Specify the novel’s genre, target age range, and word count. Send this brief query in the body of the email.

Step 2. If we are interested in seeing more of your work, we will request either the full manuscript or a synopsis and sample chapters. A synopsis should be 1–3 pages, double-spaced. DO NOT send any portion of the manuscript unless it is requested. Requested materials should be sent as a single Word attachment, with a brief cover letter in the body of the email.


Books for Younger Children

What We’re Looking For

We are interested in both picture books for younger ones and middle-grade chapter books for elementary-aged children. Subject areas may include aspects of church life or history, lives of saints, prayer books, Bible stories, and ctional stories that show God at work in children’s lives. All of these stories should contain an Orthodox flavor, reflecting our particular traditions and worldview. Picture book manuscripts should be approximately 600–1000 words (shorter for toddler books).

It is not necessary to submit art along with a picture book manuscript. If we decide to publish your book, we will be responsible for finding an illustrator. The exception to this is if the author is also an experienced professional illustrator and has illustrated the book herself.

Submission Procedures

Note: We are currently reviewing submissions of children’s books (picture books, middle-grade stories, and works for young adults) during one month each year. The next review month is December 2016. You may send in your submission at any time. It will be set safely aside until December, and you will hear back regarding your manuscript around the beginning of March 2017. Make sure your manuscript is professionally constructed, following the guidelines here, and ready for review. Feel free to contact Jane Meyer with questions.

For picture books. Please send the full manuscript along with a cover letter and proposal, including a description of your book and how it fits with our mission, a brief bio, mentioning any prior publications and your qualifications for writing the book; and specify the target age range and word count. Format the text as an ordinary manuscript; do not break it into pages or include notes for illustration at this stage. If you are offering your own professional-quality illustrations with the manuscript, please send samples as separate graphic files (JPEG or TIFF, not exceeding 1 MB each).

For anything longer than 1000 words. Please query first with a brief (1–page) query letter describing your book and how it fits with our mission. Include in this query a short bio, mentioning any prior publications and your qualifications for writing the book; and specify the target age range and word count. Send this brief query in the body of the email, along with the first ten pages of the manuscript. If we are interested in your project, we will request the full manuscript. The manuscript should be sent as a single Word attachment, with a brief cover letter in the body of the email. Format the text as an ordinary manuscript; do not break it into pages or include notes for illustration at this stage. If you are offering your own professional-quality illustrations with the manuscript, please send samples as separate graphic files (JPEG or TIFF, not exceeding 1 MB each).

For Artists

We are certainly interested in seeing your work! Please send an email describing your experience and qualifications to Jane Meyer’s address below. You may include up to five samples as graphic files (not exceeding 1 MB each, please) or a link to your web portfolio.


Contact Info

Send all submissions via email to:

  • Adult submissions:

    Katherine Hyde, Acquisitions Editor
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • Young adult and children’s submissions:

    Jane Meyer, Children’s Acquisitions Editor
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Please include the words “AFP submission” and your surname in your subject line.

Advice to Beginning Authors

We are open to working with first-time authors who have a great idea. However, we do not have the resources to provide extensive editing for those whose writing skills are not of professional quality. The internet and your local library or bookstore are full of excellent advice for improving your writing, as well as tips on understanding the publishing industry.

If you feel you have a great nonfiction idea but lack the skill to do it justice, one option is to employ a developmental editor or ghostwriter.

Please take the time to follow our guidelines and polish your proposal until it squeaks!

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