[Call For Submissions] On Woman: Testimonies

Dear Beloved Women of God:

In 2020, I intend to go on a submission, in my capacity as a literary agent, with the proposal for a non-fiction book titled On Woman: Testimonies from the Life of the Church. The concept for this project is deeply inspired by St. Edith Stein.

Literary agents submit a book proposal—versus an entire book—in order to make the proposal or argument for the completion of an entire project. 

In non-fiction book development, this form of a sale to publishers is standard; memoirs, which read more like novels and require the complexity of a novel’s crafting, are the rare exception (they, like novels, are almost always submitted in full, without the proposal, and judged less on the argument for its impact and more solely on writing quality).

Once the book proposal sells, it sells with a timeline for content submission (something like 6-12 months of time, to complete and submit), and the final book project comes as a result of it.

This book is intended for the broader lay, ‘secular’ audience (in the sense that not all readers of the book will be Catholic), as a testatement to and in memoriam of John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatem and Edith Stein’s On the Christian Vocation.

I need your help to prepare the manuscript.

I intend the book to be a collection of writing from something like 25-50 young, vibrant/dynamic, intelligent, powerful Catholic women, ages 24-45 [WJ: changed 9/22]—as a public testimony to a life lived for the beautiful, true, and good. The book will cover key dimensions of a woman’s person and life.

What exactly do I need? Your writing and art to make the book project. 

Submission Deadline: November 31, 2019

Intended Proposal Submission Day: February 1, 2020

Feedback Provided & Returned Pieces: December 10, 2019-January 25, 2020

Please see the submission guidelines here.

A few key rules/conditions outlined below:

  • All submissions will be read/observed and evaluated by me, and ideally, a team of 2-3 additional women. Please let me know if you’d like to sit on the evaluation committee immediately. We’ll evaluate as submissions come in, finalize pieces December 1-10, and then give women December 10-January 25 to finalize any editorial work and revisions.
  • All submissions will receive editorial feedback from the team, as needed.
  • All submitters will need to sign an agreement with my agency prior to the book proposal submission, if their selection is included in the book proposal.
  • Submitters will go unpaid until the book sells; this is industry standard for non-fiction book projects. Neither agent nor writer is paid until sale confirmation. There is no fee to submit or to participate.
  • At sale, submitters will be paid anywhere from approximately $50-$2,000/submission, pending the final sale value of the book (I estimate something like $10,000-$100,000 for the entire project, if not significantly more), with some money given to charity–but this is an icon of Catholic entrepreneurship, faith lived business-wise in the world. The book may also, ultimately, not sell, but this is an attempt to meet something like George Weigel’s Letters to a Young Catholic for the broader feminine crowd in this country.
  • All submitters need to be between the ages of 24-45 [WJ: changed 9/22] before the close of 2019.
  • All submitters will be named in the book proposal and book, and granted a 250-1000 word bio, headshot, and 2-5 complementary book copies each upon the book’s publication. 
  • There is no ethnic, political, geographic, or other barrier; I just need Catholic voices, and writing in clear English. There may be the possibility of seeing the English-language version translated into other languages, in which case, there may be some variation in submission, but the domestic submission needs to include the highest-quality English writing.
  • I will ask all submissions to include a testament to magisterial authority and theological-philosophical orthodoxy.

Again, submission guidelines are available here.

You will find a biography of mine outlined here, and a deeper explanation of the work that I do as a literary agent here.

Thank you for your love, your faith, your beauty, and your testimony.