Write a Letter to Women

Letter submissions will reopen on Saturday, July 20th 12AM (EDT) and close on Saturday, July 27th 6PM (EDT)

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Instructions

Our Church, our traditions, our communities, our faith journeys are built on stories––yours included.

Drawing from your personal, lived experience, help us illustrate the many faces and vocations of women in the Catholic Church today by writing a narrative essay in the form of a letter to our readers about what belonging in the Church looks like for you.

Requirements

  1. Writer is a Catholic woman of at least 19 years of age

  2. Letter is between 800 and 1500 words

  3. Letter is original and unpublished elsewhere

  4. Letter is submitted as a typed transcript

  5. If accepted, writer is willing to work with our editors through two rounds of revisions

What We Look For

  1. A personal story written in narrative form, which should include: a plot, exposition, conflict, rising action, climax and resolution

  2. The story is shared in the form of a letter addressed to Catholic women

  3. The letter provides a unique perspective on what it means to be a Catholic woman today

  4. The story gives the reader an intimate look at who the writer is

  5. The letter cultivates belonging and solidarity among our primary readers (millennial Catholic women)

 

Writing Tips & Prompts

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Tips for Success

  1. Read our published letters for inspiration and guidance

  2. Consider people, events, and experiences that have made a strong impact on your life and faith

  3. Write the letter you want to read: what’s important for you as a Catholic woman?

  4. If you feel comfortable, ask a friend to peer review your letter 

  5. Run the letter through spell check before submitting

Letter Prompts by Collection

If you’re looking for inspiration for writing a letter, here are a list of prompts inspired by each of our letter collections that may help!

Identity

  • Womanhood: Tell us a story of how your understanding of womanhood has grown and changed over time. How has your faith played a role in this?

  • Race & Immigration: Share a story about how your race or ethnicity has affected your faith and your understanding of the Church.

  • Well Being: Tell a story about finding healing from physical or mental illness. How did this impact your faith and your sense of belonging in the Church?

  • Motherhood: Tell us about a specific experience about how motherhood challenged, grown or changed your faith or relationship with the Church. 

Vocation

  • Tell us about your experience discerning religious, consecrated life, single life, or marriage.

  • Is your vocation different than what you thought it would be? For example, did you always plan to get married, but felt called to consecrated life?

  • Share a story about how being a Catholic woman has informed your secondary vocation (i.e., academics, jobs or careers).

Spirituality

  • Faith: Are you a convert or revert to the faith? Tell us your story! How have you found home in the Catholic Church?

  • Spiritual Practices: How has your prayer life changed throughout different seasons of your life? Share how this has shaped your understanding of what it means to be a Catholic.

  • Redemptive Suffering & Death: Tell us about an experience of suffering––such as chronic illness or death of a loved one––and how it challenged your faith and shaped your relationship with Jesus.

  • Freedom: Tell us a story about a time when you found greater freedom within your faith.

Relationship 

  • Community & Family Life: Tell us a story about how authentic friendship has given you deeper insight to what it means to be a part of the Church.

  • Single Life: Tell us a story about realizing your singleness as a gift and explore how this has shaped your understanding of being a member of the Church.

  • Same-sex Attraction: Share a story about your experience with same-sex attraction and how it has changed, strengthened or transformed your relationship with God and the Church.

Church

  • Has the Catholic Church always felt like home? Share a story about how your understanding of the Church as home has changed over time.

  • Tell us about an experience when you encountered the beauty of art (sacred or otherwise) and how it transformed your relationship with God and the Church.

  • Tell a story of how the saints have played a role in deepening your understanding of what it means to be a part of the Church.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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Where do I submit my letter?

When we reopen letter submissions, you will be able to submit the transcript of your letter at the bottom of this page.

Do you accept every letter you receive?

Unfortunately, we cannot accept every letter we receive. We will let you know if your letter is accepted within five weeks of your submission.

When will I hear back from you?

You will hear back from us on whether or not your letter is accepted, and if it has revisions or edits to be made, within five weeks of your submission.

What are common reasons why we turn letters down?

Doesn’t tell a story

The most common reason we turn down letters is because they are not written in narrative form. We are not looking for a spiritual reflection, but a personal story of your own that gives us a glimpse of who you are as a Catholic woman. A letter that only shares an anecdote or a reflection and fails to tell a story will be rejected. 

Tip: What’s the difference between a story and an anecdote?

Too Much Information

Given the 1500 word-count limit, there isn’t enough space for the writer to share their life story. Instead, focus your story on one moment, event or season in your life, providing more context when necessary.

The Story Isn’t Clear

We look for letters that paint a clear, and detailed picture of a personal experience. In other words: show, don’t tell. Good storytelling allows the reader to learn from and empathize with the writer, and, ultimately, grow in charity.

If I’ve submitted a letter in the past, can I submit a new letter?

Yes, please do! We are happy to hear from you again.

If you have had a letter featured on our platform before in the past, we will not accept a second letter. In the spirit our mission to illustrate the many faces and vocations of women in the Church, we feature a letter from a new Catholic woman every week.

Our Copyright Disclaimer

By submitting a letter to The Catholic Woman email, you are granting The Catholic Woman copyright permission to publish, use, advertise with, distribute and reproduce your message on a non-exclusive and perpetual, basis, along with the right to incorporate any such content into any format or medium developed. When you submit your letter on this website, you hereby relinquish all claims to monetary compensation for any and all of these uses.

Got a question we didn’t answer?

Contact us here! We are happy to help you.