The Catholic Answer Writer's Guidelines 

The Catholic Answer is a national bimonthly publication of Our Sunday Visitor, Inc.

Our Mission

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.

Our Focus

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

  • Scripture 
  • Sacraments
  • Catholic doctrine
  • Catholic moral teaching
  • 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 
  • 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 1,500 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.

Thanks for your interest in writing for The Catholic Answer.

Sign up form

Please enter a valid email address.