A Smart, Catholic Take on Faith & Culture

America Media is the leading provider of news and analysis for thinking Catholics and those who want to know what Catholics are thinking. We are known across the Catholic world for our unique brand of excellent, relevant, and accessible coverage. From theology and spirituality to politics, international relations, arts and letters, and the economy and social justice, our coverage spans the globe. America, our flagship weekly print magazine has been published continuously since 1909. America Media is sponsored by the Jesuit Conference of the United States and Canada.

Read First: Guidelines for All Submissions

America Media accepts unsolicited, unpublished content for dissemination in print, web and/or other digital formats. All submissions must be made through this web site. America Media does not accept submissions via U.S.P.S. or via e-mail, nor do we consider content submitted simultaneously to other publications or media. America Media is solely responsible for the manner, platform (digital, print, etc.) and timing of publication/production.

Audience: Most but not all of our audience is Catholic. Two-thirds of them are laypeople, not clergy. Almost all of them have a college degree and two-thirds of them have graduate degrees. Most of our audience members, however, are not specialists. Members of the academy should write for a college-educated audience of Catholics and not for their professional peers.

Content Areas: America Media's location at the intersection of the church and the world informs our content decisions. We seek to examine ideas and events at their crossroads. Our coverage includes:

  • Ideas and events within the secular world but of universal interest to the Catholic conscience or imagination. (i.e. war and peace; economic and social justice issues; migration and immigration; social ethics; artistic/cultural phenomena).    
  • Ideas and events at the intersection of the Church and the world. (i.e. the church's role in a conflict; an episcopal pronouncement on public policy; a Catholic response to a political or social problem or movement; a historical, cultural or artistic event that speaks to the relationship between faith and politics/culture).
  • Ideas and events within the Church but of universal interest to Catholics. (i.e. theology and spirituality; marriage and family life; Church governance; liturgical change; Catholic education; vocations; magisterial teaching; catechesis; religious life and formation).
Content Standards: Successful submissions demonstrate rigor, order and discipline of thought, as well as honesty and sympathy. The style, prose and analysis should also demonstrate originality, intelligence and imagination. Even when the opposing viewpoint is not explicitly accounted for in the text, contributors should sincerely consider it. Polemics, ideologically-driven arguments, partisan political considerations and facile logic must be avoided. Above all, the submission should say something new. 

Original Content/Conflicts of Interest: All submissions to America Media must be the original, unpublished/unproduced work of the author/artist. Due to the volume of submissions, we cannot normally give comments on works that are incomplete or give recommendations for improving submissions. An author/artist must also disclose any possible conflict of interest; for example, if he or she has received compensation from a third party for writing an article, or if the author is acting as an agent (lawyer, press agent, public relations agent, consultant, etc.) for any person or institution mentioned in the article.

Length of Submissions:
Length of submissions varies depending on the platform and department. See individual departments below for specific guidelines. In general, a feature article in print rarely exceeds 2,500 words. 

Style:
 America Media adheres to The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage and the Catholic News Service Stylebook on Religion. We do not use footnotes or parenthetical citations. 

Payment:
Competitive rates, paid on acceptance.

Feature Article Guidelines: An America feature article is a smart, Catholic take on a political, social, cultural, economic, or ecclesial news event or historical/cultural trend, one that is of universal interest to the educated Catholic conscience or imagination. An America feature article is characterized by its general excellence, topicality, balance and originality. Articles normally incorporate a Catholic perspective but need not do so directly. Authors should pay careful attention to 1) the originality of their thesis; 2) the clarity and elegance of their prose; 3) the logic and integrity of the argument. Articles in print are rarely more than 2,500 words. 

Faith in Focus Guidelines: "Faith in Focus" submissions are personal essays that typically range from 800 to 1500 words. Articles for this department can be on any topic related to the joys and challenges of living out one’s faith in the midst of real life. These articles should have a strong narrative and should focus on a specific event or moment of the author’s life (e.g. a turning point in one’s faith life; a moment of grace or joy; an event that brought sorrow or healing), rather than a chronicle of the author’s spiritual journey. 

Generation Faith Guidelines: Generation Faith is an occasional column that offers high school and college students the space to reflect on the joys and challenges that come with living out (or struggling with) one's faith in the midst of real life. We are seeking personal essays, between 800 and 1,200 words that feature strong narratives and real-life examples from the experience of a young person in the church today. Writers should think creatively about their faith experience. We receive many submissions about the transition from high school to college and about attending retreats or service trips. These can be fruitful topics for this column, but writers should provide an original angle on these topics.

Poetry Guidelines: America Media actively seeks new poetry of 30 lines or fewer. Many poems we publish address matters of faith and spirituality, but this is not a requirement for publication. We are looking for authentic, truthful, good poetry. Please submit no more than three poems at a time. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. 

Since formatting is often critical to the integrity of a poem and its presentation, we ask that you submit your poem in both word and .pdf formats. Questions can be directed to America's Poetry Editor, Br. Joseph Hoover, S.J. at jhoover@americamagazine.org.

WHO CAN ENTER?

Any undergraduate student currently enrolled in an accredited college/university as well as recent grads. (Recent grad = a graduation date anytime after October 1, 2016.)

WHAT THEMES ARE PERMITTED?

It’s a social justice film fest, and that’s the only requirement. We welcome entries on a wide breadth of topics including — though not limited to — poverty, inequality, migrants and refugees, race, gender, human life and dignity issues, environment/ecology, human rights.

WHAT GENRES ARE ELIGIBLE?

Short documentaries, first-person narratives and vlogs, infographics videos, docu-drama shorts — all fair game! We’re not here to limit your creativity!

HOW DO YOU DEFINE “SHORT FILM”?

Entry submissions are limited to eight (8) minutes length, max. There’s no minimum length.

WHEN ARE SUBMISSIONS DUE?

September 30, 2016

Check out the contest micro site here.