OSV Newsweekly is a national Catholic newspaper that offers news analysis, features and faith pieces to bring Catholic clarity to a complex world. The Catholic Answer magazine helps Catholics answer important question about faith, practice and tradition. The Priest magazine is focused on aiding priests in their day-to-day parish ministry. All three Our Sunday Visitor periodicals welcome the submission of manuscripts for possible publication. OSV Books publishes books in a variety of categories, including prayer, Scripture, saints, worship, parish and more.
Please see the complete writer's guidelines for each publication below.
Submission forms are at the bottom of the individual guidelines.
- Only weekly national Catholic newspaper in the United States; available in print, a new digital edition and online at OSVNews.com
- News and analysis through a Catholic lens
- Relevant and inspirational faith and catechetical content
- Faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church
- Founded in 1912
Although the majority of our content is generated on assignment by our core contributors, we welcome and consider all freelance contributions, whether offered by query or unsolicited manuscript.
Here’s a quick summary of what we are looking for:
- Instant analysis on breaking news, reported through a Catholic lens. This content is different from the reporting found in secular media and provides an immediate, yet thorough and accurate, Catholic perspective for Web reporting. Word count: 500-1,000.
- News analysis — not merely news reporting — pertaining to the Catholic Church in the United States and throughout the world. Word count: Generally 950-1,100 (including sidebars), but occasionally run as short as 500 words or as long as 2,000 words.
- In Focus four-page pull-out section, which is at the heart of OSV. Planned many weeks in advance, the In Focus section takes a particular topic of contemporary interest and examines it thoroughly within a package of articles. In Focus sections comprise a package of articles totaling 3,000-4,000 words written by one or more authors. Please first send a query.
- Features linked to the current events and trends of the day. Can range from weighty issues of belief to methods of enhancing one’s prayer life to a discussion of parish “best practices” in a given area of ministry. Also can include topics on family, media and Church history. Word count: 1,350.
- Essays on relevant issues of the day. Must have a point to make and succeed at making it succinctly, keeping the facts firmly in mind and avoiding a shrill, ranting or uncharitable tone. Word count: 500 to 750 words.
- Profiles of a particular person, place or organization that serves as an example of Catholic faith in action. Word count: 500 to 750.
- Conversation: Question-and-answer-format interviews with selected relevant personalities. Our interviews require an introductory paragraph or two that sets the background and the speaker’s credentials for the discussion that follows. Word count: 1,200.
- Faith-based articles that take advantage of the “catechetical moments” derived from the daily headlines and the liturgical year.
All OSV entries should be:
- Tightly written
- Cleanly written
Here’s what we generally are not looking for:
- Articles written in the first person.
- Long, academic or preachy commentaries.
- Features with no real link to Catholic faith or sensibilities.
- Straight news reporting, especially on strictly local events.
- Articles designed to publicize a future event.
- Short stories, whether fiction or non-fiction.
Things we’d rather not spell out….
Because not all of our would-be freelance writers are trained journalists, we must state the following criteria more clearly:
- Don’t plagiarize. All articles must be original work of the author. Its content must not have been previously published, in whole or in part, whether in print, broadcast, online, even by the author himself. If a piece has been so published and there is a compelling reason to offer it to OSV, or if what is being offered is a version of a previously published article, this information must be divulged at the outset.
- Familiarize yourself with OSV first. Every publication has its own unique “flavor” and style. Even the best writers’ guidelines can’t fully express the kind of voice, flow and format the editors are seeking. Read OSV in print, on your tablet or smartphone, or via OSVNews.com for several weeks to get a better feel for what we are trying to do.
- Follow the submission guidelines closely.
- We generally try to respond within 4 to 6 weeks.
- We pay writers within 4 weeks of acceptance.
- We generally follow the Catholic News Service Stylebook (available through www.cns.com) and the current Associated Press Stylebook. For scriptural citations, we generally use the New American Bible.
- We comply with the Fair Publishing Practices Code of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada. We expect freelance writers to do the same. For a complete copy of this code, visit www.catholicpress.org.
If you are submitting a query or unsolicited manuscript, please do so on this page.
The Catholic Answer Writer's Guidelines
The Catholic Answer is a national bimonthly publication of Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.
The mission of The Catholic Answer magazine is to help readers answer important questions about Catholic faith, practice and tradition, and to apply these insights to their everyday lives. Our goal is to publish articles and columns that are faithful to the teachings of the Church. They must also be engaging, clear, concise, convincing, compelling, charitable, accessible, informed by the best available scholarship and sensitive to pastoral concerns.
The word answer in the name of the
magazine is an important key to maintaining its focus. We always ask about any
piece we consider for publication: “If this is the Catholic answer, then what’s
the question?” Our readers, too, after finishing the piece, should be able to
identify not only the subject matter addressed, but also the particular
question (or cluster of related questions) answered.
Our objective, then, is not simply to inform, persuade, and inspire. We aim to do these things by answering specific questions of importance to Catholics. These questions will usually fall into one of three categories:
- Important questions Catholics often ask
- Important questions Catholics are often asked by non-Catholics
- Important questions Catholics should be asking.
The cover letter accompanying your manuscript should identify the question(s) answered. In addition, the question should appear somewhere in the manuscript itself, either within the text or as a title, subtitle or subhead.
Please note: TCA seeks to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. We will not consider any manuscript that contradicts or challenges definitive magisterial teaching.
Topics of Interest
- Catholic doctrine
- Catholic moral teaching
- Catholic liturgy
- Other Catholic practices (sacramentals, devotions, the Church calendar, etc.)
- Catholic history (especially the lives and writings of the saints)
- Application of Catholic faith to common situations in everyday life
- Understanding and responding to other religious traditions in light of the Catholic faith
- Issues in secular culture and society of interest to Catholics
Please note: We do NOT use poetry, fiction, personal narratives, reflective essays or opinion pieces from freelance writers.
Style, Format, Specifications
- Write for everyday Catholics rather than a scholarly audience
- Avoid first-person references and personal anecdotes
- For specific matters of style, consult the Associated Press Stylebook or, if you have access to it, the Catholic News Service Stylebook on Religion
- Contrary to these style guides, however, we ask you to capitalize all pronouns referring to Deity (except who, whose, whom, and himself)
- Manuscripts should be no longer than 1,000 words without prior consultation with the editor. Shorter than 1000 words is fine, with a minimum of 500
- Boxes and sidebars related to your article are welcome, but they should be included in the 1,000-word limit
- When you quote Scripture, please note the Bible translation you are using if it is other than the NAB, which is the translation we normally use
- Keep in mind that brief subheads within the text help move the reader along
- Quotes of up to 50 words should be attributed to a particular source within the text. Quotes of more than 50 words must include full bibliographic data for the source in parentheses within the text. (You may also include such information for shorter quotes if you think the typical reader would appreciate having it.) Keep quotations brief
- Include a one- or two-sentence author biographical statement
- The publisher provides all artwork and photos, but if you have an illustration suggestions, please let us know
- Normal payment is $200 upon acceptance. To receive payment, you must include your full name as it appears on your federal tax return, Social Security number, and current mailing address. Please include as well your daytime phone number in case we have questions for you.
Thanks for your interest in writing for The Catholic Answer.
The Priest Writer's Guidelines
- This monthly magazine pays on acceptance.
- A byline given.
- We buy first time North American serial rights
- Editorial lead-time is three months.
- Responds in five weeks to queries; three months on manuscripts.
We publish articles that will aid priests in their day-to-day parish ministry. Includes items on spirituality, counseling, administration, theology, personalities, the saints, etc.
Nonfiction — Essays, historical/nostalgic, humor, inspirational, interview/profile, opinion, personal experience, religious. Send complete manuscripts with a length of 1,500 – 2,000 words maximum.
Tips: Say what you have to say in an interesting and informative manner and stop. Please do not stray from the magisterium of the Catholic Church.
Book Author Guidelines
What should I know about Our Sunday Visitor?
Our Sunday Visitor is the country’s largest not-for-profit Catholic publishing company. It was founded in 1912 by Father John Noll to “serve the Church.” Today we publish a newsweekly, magazines, religious education materials, pamphlets and books. We publish about 40 trade book titles a year, some in hard cover, but most in soft, in addition to releasing most titles as ebooks.
We have two main trade book publishing seasons: spring and fall. The bulk of our sales are to distributors (web and print), bookstores, parishes, schools, and individual consumers – the man and woman “in the pew.” Our primary audience is North America. (A copy of our book catalog can be obtained by writing: Book Marketing Department, 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750 or emailing: email@example.com.)
What kinds of books are of interest to Our Sunday Visitor?
We are particularly interested in the following categories:
- Prayer—Books and devotionals that help readers draw nearer to God
- Scripture—Books about how to read, understand, pray and apply Scripture
- Family and Marriage—Books that reflect on the nature of marriage and practical books on family life
- Saints and Heritage—Informative and inspiring stories about Mary, the saints and Catholic identity
- Faith and Culture—Books about the intersection of faith and contemporary culture
- Service—Practical application of the call to serve the needy and love our neighbor
- Evangelization, Apologetics, and Catechetics—Books that help readers explain, defend and share the faith with others
- Worship—Books about understanding and experiencing the graces of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist
- Parish—Books that help pastors, leaders and parishioners conduct parish life more effectively
We do not publish fiction or poetry.
Why should I publish with Our Sunday Visitor?
Our Sunday Visitor is dedicated to publishing materials of use to Catholics everywhere. Through the pages of our many periodicals, as well as through our highly successful web and mail campaigns and other promotions, we reach a national Catholic audience. Of course, nothing helps sell books more than the dedicated involvement of authors themselves. That is why we always encourage authors to lend their ideas and expertise to the selling of their own books.
How should I submit my proposal?
First, we require that you submit a proposal which will help us evaluate your project. We prefer a digital copy. Please do not submit a completed manuscript unless requested.
A fully developed proposal must include the following items:
- A brief cover letter that tells us:
- your name, address, phone number and email address
- your manuscript’s working title
- anticipated manuscript length and anticipated completion date
- a comparison to other books on the same subject, explaining why your book is unique (this is an important element of your proposal).
- A brief summary of the message of the book and an annotated table of contents that describes the content and purpose of each chapter in a few sentences, as well as any other relevant features of the manuscript, such as illustrations and appendices.
- A statement of your qualifications for writing the proposed book, and a summary of your personal and professional background.
- If you have not published with Our Sunday Visitor before, you should send us a sample chapter from the manuscript.
You can expect an initial response within 6-8 weeks of your proposal. We would appreciate knowing if your proposal is being simultaneously submitted to other publishers.
What happens next?
Your proposal will be reviewed by members of our acquisitions team and if approved, a formal proposal is presented to the Publishing Committee, which consists of representatives from the marketing, business, production and editorial departments. The Publishing Committee may approve the project, ask for additional information, or reject it outright.
What about a contract?
After approval by the Publishing Committee is received, a contract will be sent to you with terms that the acquisitions editor will have discussed with you. In general, you should know that we pay royalties on net sales (as do most book publishers).
What else do I need to know about submitting a manuscript?Please make sure to keep a copy of your manuscript. If your manuscript includes quotations from copyrighted materials, the responsibility for obtaining permission from the copyright holders to reprint such material (plus the payment of any permissions fees) is yours.
Who will be my editor?
An acquisitions editor will work with you as you complete the manuscript and provide requested revisions. After acceptance of your manuscript, it will be given to a project editor, who will copyedit it and have it designed and proofread for publication. The project editor will inform you of any necessary deadlines. Normally, it takes 12 months or longer from when a manuscript is accepted until it is published.
Can I get started now?
By all means. Send us your ideas or proposals at any time, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.