Submission Guidelines for Touchstone
Before submitting an article, please read several copies of the magazine or a selection of the articles posted in the archives on our website (www.touchstonemag.com/archives) to see the subjects we treat and the way we treat them. Articles should be written for a broad audience of traditional Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox believers.
Touchstone accepts original submissions for the following departments:
Touchstone does not accept:
-Fiction, poetry, or cartoons
-Devotional articles or sermons
-Reviews of current or recent movies
-Previously published articles, with rare exceptions subject to the following conditions: (a) the readership of the magazine or website where the article first appeared does not overlap with ours; (b) you are willing if necessary to rework the article for our purposes; and (c) you own the copyright to the article.
SUBMITTING AN ARTICLE:
You may also send a query to the editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding an article if you are not sure that what you have in mind will work for Touchstone. Please note that a positive response to a query does not guarantee acceptance of the submitted article, which will be evaluated separately.
Articles should be submitted by e-mail, as an attached Microsoft Word file, and addressed to email@example.com.
The first page of the article should also contain your name and contact information (postal and email addresses and phone number).
Articles should be accompanied by a cover letter introducing yourself, briefly describing your article, and containing your contact information (email and postal addresses and phone number). Please include a brief biographical note of 40 to 50 words that could be published with your article, specifying your profession or occupation, your latest book or other identifying mark (office in a national organization, for example), your family (if you wish), and your church affiliation. See the magazine for examples.
With rare exceptions, we do not use endnotes, so necessary citations should be worked into the body of the text (e.g., “In his book How to Train Koala Bears, John Smith argues . . .”).
The articles in Touchstone are closely edited. Submitting an article indicates agreement to work with the editor in creating an article in our style and to our standards.
Submissions are evaluated by a group of reviewers, a process that may take up to six weeks. If you do not hear from us within that time, please write the managing editor (firstname.lastname@example.org) to inquire about the status of your article.
Articles should be of the following lengths (character counts include spaces):
-Features: between 18,000 and 28,000 characters (3,000–5,000 words)
-Views: between 5,000 and 12,000 characters (1,000–2,500 words)
-Book reviews: between 5,000 and 10,000 characters (1,000–2,000 words)
-Communiqués: between 7,000 and 10,000 characters (1,500–2,000 words)
Book Review Guidelines
Book reviews should contain the following information about the book under review:
• Title of book
• Author or editor of book
• Publisher and year of publication
• Number of pages in book, price, and whether book is in hardcover or paperback
More editorial interest will be shown in reviews of books that are (1) significant in their field, and (2) germane to Touchstone’s interests.
The more lengthy or evaluative the review, whether positive or negative, the more important the reviewer’s expertise in the subject area becomes. There is no more embarrassing criticism for a journal to receive than a recognized expert’s letter indicating that one of its reviewers doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Writers should recall that Touchstone is intended to be a “three-way conversation” involving Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox readers. This does not mean that a Protestant, for example, may not be interested, even vitally interested, in “Catholic” subjects—we expect him to be, at least to some degree. Prospective writers, however, should keep the three-way rule in mind, and be aware that the very same subject might be treated in one way that passes muster, or another way that doesn’t, depending solely on the manner of presentation.
Editorial time for the resection of inflated writing is limited. Poor diction (word choice), verbosity, and redundancy are common causes for quick rejection, even in interesting reviews.
Avoid expressions of enthusiasm or its opposite that are premature or insufficiently supported. Neither gushing nor railing is favored in Touchstone, no matter how much the book is liked or disliked by the reviewer. Either is also very irritating to readers who find enough in the review to suspect they disagree with it.
PAYMENT & RIGHTS
Please note that we do not pay for book reviews.
Original Features, Views, and Communiqués are given an honorarium of $125 per published page.
Authors receive one complimentary copy of the issue in which their piece is published. Additional copies may be purchased separately.
Touchstone buys the right to the first publication of an original article, with the following conditions:
-that the article not appear elsewhere (including web pages) for 90 days from the date of publication in Touchstone
-that whenever it is reprinted elsewhere (including on web pages), the following notice be included with it: “This article first appeared in the _____ issue of Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity (www.touchstonemag.com)”
-that we retain the right to use without further payment a portion or description of your article with your name in our promotional materials
-that we retain the right to use your article without further payment in any Touchstone anthologies, reprints, audio recordings, or electronic formats (online, CD-rom, etc.). These conditions apply to a reprinted article that has been reworked for publication in Touchstone.
(Revised December 23, 2010)