Manuscript Submission Guidelines
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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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explain how your proposal fits into the mission of Ancient Faith Publishing as stated above.
Describe the projected audience for the book. List any similar titles currently available and explain how your book is unique.
Describe your “platform,” if any—speaking engagements, podcast, blog, etc.—and what you will do to help promote your book.
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.
Include the complete Table of Contents, with a one-paragraph description of each chapter.
Include the introduction, if any, and the first two or three chapters (no more than 50–60 pages altogether).
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.
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.
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).
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.
Send all submissions via email to:
Katherine Hyde, Acquisitions Editor
Young adult and children’s submissions:
Jane Meyer, Children’s Acquisitions Editor
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!