Catholic Answer Writer's Guidelines
Catholic Answer is a national bimonthly publication of Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.
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.
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)
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:
questions Catholics often ask
- Important questions
Catholics are often asked by non-Catholics
questions Catholics should be asking.
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.
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.
- Catholic moral
- Catholic liturgy
- Catholic spirituality
- 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
and responding to other religious traditions in light of the Catholic
- Issues in
secular culture and society of interest to Catholics
note: We do NOT use poetry, fiction, personal narratives, reflective
essays or opinion pieces from freelance writers.
- Write for
everyday Catholics rather than a scholarly audience
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
- Contrary to
these style guides, however, we ask you to capitalize all pronouns
referring to Deity (except who, whose, whom, and himself)
should be no longer than 1,500 words. Shorter pieces may be considered.
- Boxes and
sidebars related to your article are welcome, but they should be included
in the 1,500-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 at time of printing. 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.
for your interest in writing for The Catholic Answer.