We love reading your essays and poetry–it is an honor to be entrusted with writing that is vulnerable and real. We hate having to choose between one story and another. We hope that, even though we cannot publish everything we receive, the writing itself is a blessing to those who submit.
Good writing takes time to percolate and brew, like… coffee? That analogy may not work; not being too familiar with coffee, I wouldn’t know. But it does take some time. We’d love for you to start working on your submissions now, if you haven’t already, so that you have plenty of time to refine and revise before you submit.
Some prompts to get you writing:
Tell us the specific story of the spiritual gift you desire but do not yet feel you’ve received. Tell us the story of how someone else’s unusual gift has blessed you, or, even better, how it has challenged you. Tell us the specific story of how you learned to discern between the Spirit and your own thoughts and desires… or how you haven’t learned yet, but are still trying and struggling through. Tell us about the way your childrens’ spiritual gifts have manifested themselves–are they like yours, different from yours? How do you recognize them? Has it been hard for you to see them clearly? How about the spiritual gift of discernment? How have you learned to develop that? What about a funny experience with a spiritual gift? (We’d love a few lighter pieces too.) Those are just ideas–feel free to take the theme in any direction you’d like that’s also consistent with our mission statement.
As you write your essays, try to find the pain of your story and tell it as honestly as possible. Then, try to find the healing of the story, and tell it as honestly as possible. The most powerful essays are ones that have both honest pain and honest healing, and a writer willing to be vulnerable (again, sometimes this is funny). But without preaching. We really prefer to avoid the moral-at-the-end-of-the-story in journal-published essays. Even, no, especially, with a theme as overtly religious as “Gifts of the Spirit.” Tell your story in a way that allows the reader to discover meaning, instead of being told what it’s supposed to mean.
Please send us work that you’ve already shown to other people who can give you good feedback, work that has seen several drafts of refining and polishing. For me, the revising process helps illuminate the truth of what I’m trying to say even more. Also, please be aware that once your piece is accepted for publication, we will continue to work with you to edit and polish it. For me, this has been one of the most satisfying parts of publishing with Segullah: the opportunity to get feedback on my own writing from the talented writers on our board. It is wonderful to see our submissions go through our editorial process, as they evolve from good to great, from great to exceptional.
And the writing tips category of our blog.
If you have any questions for our editorial board about what we tend to publish, or about our editing/revision process after an essay has been accepted, please post them in the comments on this thread, and we’ll try to answer them.
We look forward to reading (and publishing) your work!