The submissions window is May 1–June 15.

Theme

  • All pieces submitted to the anthology must reflect the 2024 theme of the anthology: Creativity.

Goals of the Anthology:

  • To emulate the processes of the publishing world, providing an authentic experience for Inspire Members in which to practice submitting work.
  • To provide an opportunity for a potential publishing credit for our members.
  • To bless and encourage our members and Anthology readers.

Guidelines:

  • Submission to the Anthology is for members in good standing only. No non-member entries will be allowed—including non-member students and children.
  • Submissions may be no more than 1500 words.
  • All entries must be made via the online submission form (linked below).
  • Submission does not guarantee inclusion, even if previous submissions have resulted in inclusion.
  • Multiple submissions, up to a maximum of three per anthology, will be judged individually.
  • All entries must adhere to submission guidelines, or they will be rejected.
  • Entries requiring more than a few basic copy-edits will be rejected and the submitter will be invited to have the piece edited and re-submitted before the closing date for submissions. (Note: There are experienced editors, available at an Inspire-only rate, in the Professional Services Directory on our website.)
  • All work must be the original work of the submitter, and not previously published.
  • Proofreaders will not “coach” or heavily edit any writer’s work.
  • All entries must adhere to Inspire’s general remit, as well as the current Anthology’s theme and guidelines.
  • Your piece must be submitted as a Word document using the following format for the filename: Last name Title

 

Formatting:

  • Use 1-inch margins.
  • Left justify your document.
  • Double-space your submission.
  • Set paragraph indent at 0.5 inches. No tabs or spaces. If you’re not sure how to do this, the following video demonstrates how to tab (Don’t do this) and how to set the paragraph indent. (Do this!).
  • Place the author name and title in the header, left-aligned.
  • Also, outside the header, at the top of the document, center the title, followed by the author’s name on a new line.
  • In the footer, center the page numbers.
  • Do not include extra spacing or empty lines before or after paragraphs. In “Home”, under Paragraph, use the line and spacing option.
  • Use only one space at the end of a sentence and between words.
  • Use Times New Roman or Calibri in 12-point font for all text, including Titles and Headings.
  • Create Titles & Headings in Headline Capitalization (No Bold or ALL CAPS.)
  • Begin a new paragraph for each speaker change in dialogue.
  • Use: * * * when you want time, POV, topic, or other breaks within a chapter.
    • Place the *** in the center of a line with a blank line above and below.

Italics:

  • Italicize Scripture, with reference and version in parentheses immediately following the verse(s), and punctuation following the closing parenthesis. For example: Jesus wept (John 11:35 NIV).
  • Italicize thought, imagined dialogue, prayer, and other interior discourse.
  • Italicize sounds. Crack. The tree limb fell. “Umm, I hope you have insurance, mister.”

Capitalization:

  • Inspire Christian Writers adheres to the industry standard which does not capitalize deity pronouns such as he, him, who, whom.
  • When referring to God’s Word, capitalize Word and Scripture.
  • Do not capitalize “heaven” and “hell.”

Punctuation:

  • When using em—dashes, do not add spaces before or after.
  • Use . . . for faltering speech and—for interrupted speech (e.g., “I . . . I don’t know what you mean.”)
  • Place quotation marks outside of final punctuation in dialogue.
  • For quotes within quotes, use full quotes to begin and end, single quotes on the internal quote.
  • Use “safter the apostrophe for words and names ending in s (e.g.., James’s, boss’s).
  • Include a comma before the conjunction in a series. (We bought milk, juice, fruit, and cereal.)

Numbers:

  • Fiction: Spell out numbers other than years (e.g., It would occur on June fifth. / In the year 1492, Christopher . . .).
  • Non-fiction: depends on the materials covered. The more technical, the more digits are used.

To submit your work, complete the submission form below by June 15th. No submissions will be accepted after that date.


TIP: If you are unsure of your login details to inspirewriters.com, especially your password, leave plenty of time before the submission deadline to ensure you can log in.

If you have any questions about these guidelines, please email [email protected].

Consideration for inclusion in our anthologies is a benefit of membership in Inspire. Only Inspire members may submit their articles for consideration. If you are not a member, why not join today? See the full list of Inspire membership benefits on our website.


And, finally, some wise words of advice:

  1. Download the Instructions/Directions/Guidelines.
  2. Make sure every guideline is completely understood and followed. Ask well before the contest deadline if you are unclear about any aspect of what is being required.
  3. Turn guidelines into a bullet-point/checklist if they aren’t already in that format, and have a printed copy ready to go when you start checking your submission.
  4. After you have perfectly edited your piece, go through those bullet points and only check them off when you are 100% sure that you have met the stated requirement.
  5. If you have an obliging and detail-oriented spouse, relative, friend, or writing colleague, ask if they would check your piece for submission compliance. Not for story feedback, mind you—for submission compliance! And don’t forget to give them the guidelines!
  6. Let the piece rest at least a few days and then re-check every single step. Fresh eyes always catch mistakes better.
  7. Resist the urge to “stand out” using graphics, a funky font, or any text color other than black. You will stand out, all right, but not in the way you want. And before a word is read, your piece will likely be rejected.
  8. In the same vein, don’t ignore rules because you feel your piece looks better on the page with no margins or with triple spacing. Assuming that a 1500-word limit doesn’t apply to you because the judges will obviously be enrapt with all 5,000 words of your story is a sure way to having your piece eliminated.
  9. Don’t try to edit AND check for guideline adherence at the same time. Edit first. Only when your piece is absolutely clean and edited should you then go on to addressing formatting and submission parameters. Our brains cannot do two things at once—at least not well—and editing and formatting are two very different things.
  10. Don’t wait until the last minute. Rushing to get something in will inevitably lead to mistakes. Give yourself plenty of unrushed time to get it right.