Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction is a publication focused on spiritual direction, also known as spiritual companionship, spiritual accompaniment, and spiritual guidance. Please keep in mind that the number one reason submissions are not recommended by the editorial review panel for publication is that the manuscript does not deal directly and concretely with the ministry and service of spiritual direction. Authors commonly submit articles on the broader topic of spirituality, which is not specific enough to be considered for publication in Presence. The review panel is looking for articles that apply spirituality, theology, science, experience, arts, etc. to the ministry and service of spiritual direction.
Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction is an international and multi-faith journal. Authors need to keep in mind that terms and ideas not familiar to nationalities or faiths other than their own, need to be explained in the text. Christians from the United States need to pay particular attention to explaining familiar texts and places. Because of the majority status of Christian North American writers, there is a risk, however unintentional, of rendering invisible readers who live outside the United States or who are not Christian. So, for example, it is helpful to avoid jargon and abbreviations known to residents of the United States, but perhaps not in other countries. Examples include: ATM, CEO, 9/11, dotcom, and TV. Likewise, a Christian writer can be more inclusive by using phrases such as: "From a Christian point of view ..." or "In Christian terms ..."
All names of actual persons must be changed to fictitious names to protect their privacy. If the description of the person would make their identity obvious, even with a fictitious name, the author must obtain permission for inclusion in the article from the person referenced.
Because Presence is a peer-reviewed journal (see below), it is difficult to schedule an article for a particular issue. Ideally, your submission would be "timeless" and could be published in any month. If you intend your article to be published in a particular season or for a particular issue, it is safest to submit it at least one year ahead of when you'd like to see it published. Because of the blessedly large number of submissions Presence receives, at any given time the next two issues are usually filled. So, for example, if you submit an article in July for the December issue, it is likely that both the September and December issues are filled by the time you submit your article. By the time it is reviewed and revisions are made, the March issue will likely have been filled as well.
Article length may vary from short (2,000–3,000 words) to medium (3,000–4,000 words) to long (4,000–6,000 words). One thousand words corresponds to four typewritten pages, double-spaced.
At the time that you submit your manuscript, please include a brief (50–60 words) paragraph of biographical information that will be printed in the journal, should the article be chosen for print. Include your e-mail address in the bio. We reserve the right to edit the bio material for appropriate content, style, and length. If your article is accepted for publication, you will also need to submit a high resolution, electronic photograph headshot.
Please submit all manuscripts to firstname.lastname@example.org as an e-mail attachment. If you are not using Microsoft Word, please convert your document to RTF format before sending it. Include author's name (as you would like it to appear), address, telephone, fax number, and e-mail address prominently on the first page.
Editorial Review Policy and Process
All manuscripts will be reviewed by the editor and by at least two members of the editorial review panel. (The review panel will not know who you are until your article is published.) Sometimes the reviewers disagree on the recommendation to publish or not, and, in that case, the article is sent to another reviewer for feedback. Everyone submitting a manuscript will be notified within a few days that the manuscript has been received. If you don't get a reply within forty-eight hours, please send a follow up e-mail.
After your article is received, it is filed for review by the editorial review panel in the order received. Sometimes there are a large number of manuscripts ahead of yours to be reviewed and sometimes only a few. The wait-time to hear if your article is accepted or rejected for publication can be up to twelve weeks. Often it is sooner than that. You can always e-mail the editor for an update on where your article is in the process.
The reviewers will often recommend an article for publication after some revisions are made. The editor will communicate all suggestions for revision to the author. Major revisions will be the responsibility of the author. Minor revisions may be done by the editor. In most cases, the author will only be notified of major changes to the work. The author will not see a final proof of the article.
The second most common reason articles are rejected is for poor writing style. The editors strongly recommend that you examine the suggestions found on the website: How to Write in Plain English. For more helpful guidelines on writing style see: How to Write More Clearly, Think More Clearly, and Learn Complex Material More Easily" by Michael A. Covington
- Never abbreviate Spiritual Directors International.
- Do not use periods in PhD, MD, or initials of religious orders (SJ, OP).
- Spell out USA state names and Canadian provinces. Do not use postal abbreviations except in full postal addresses. Include "USA" after a state name and "Canada" after a province name.
- Spell out Saint with the names of saints and in place names; with personal names, spell it out or abbreviate it according to the preference of the individual if that is known, or spell it out if the person’s preference is not known.
- Use abbreviations such as e.g., i.e., and etc. in parentheses.
- Where necessary, alternate he or she and she or he by paragraph. Also generally alternate the gender in specific examples by paragraph.
- Generally prefer gender-neutral terms for God, but allow masculine pronouns to be used with Father, Son, Jesus, Christ, and Lord when those terms are necessary, and feminine pronouns to be used with Goddess, Mother, Sophia, Shekinah, etc. when those terms are necessary.
- Use short cites in the running text, with full cites in a “References” section at the end of the article. If an article references more than one work by the same author, the short cite includes a shortened version of the title. Include interviews and audiovisual materials in the reference list, without subheads.
- Include author's full name: Smith, Jane E., title of article or book, title of periodical where applicable, location of publisher, publisher, date of publication, volume, issue, and page numbers when the reference within the text is an article within a larger work or periodical. For example:
|Anderson, Daniel. “Transcendence and Relinquishment in Couple Therapy.” Journal of Systemic Therapies, no. 13 (1994): 36–41.
Oliver, Michael A. Conjugal Spirituality: The Primacy Of Mutual Love In Christian Tradition. Kansas City, MO: Sheed and Ward, 1994.
- Christian writers should generally use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
- Other faith traditions will use the scripture translation commonly accepted in their tradition.
- When citing scripture from the Christian Bible, use the two-letter abbreviation for the book, followed by the chapter in numerical notation, a colon, and then the verse numbers. Consecutive verse numbers are separated by a "–" and non-consecutive verse numbers by a ",": 1 Pt 2:10–14; Mt 5:3, 6, 8–9; Nm 12:3–10.
Callouts (aka pull quotes)
- Please include a list of three to six suggested callouts at the end of the article.
- Capitalize all proper nouns referring to God: God, Father, Mother, Goddess, Sophia, Shekinah, Creator, Son, Redeemer, Holy Spirit, Spirit, Jesus, Christ, Allah, Abba, Amma, etc. Pronouns referring to God remain in the lower case.
- Bible is capitalized, and scripture is lowercased.
- Lowercase church unless it is part of a name of a denomination or an actual parish (Sacred Heart Church; The United Methodist Church; a Methodist church).
- Capitalize Internet.
Names and titles
- Do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms.).
- On first reference, use first and last name of a person. On subsequent reference, use last name only.
- Exception: Use last name alone even on first cites to a reference list;
- Exception: Use first and last names on subsequent references if necessary for clarity or parallelism.
- Do not use the honorific title Saint.
Numbers and dates
- Do not abbreviate years (’96, the ’90s.) Instead, use the entire year (The class of 1996, the 1990s).
- Abbreviate a month when it is used in a specific date, such as Dec. 21, 2002, but spell out just a month and a year: December 2002.
- Possessive forms of words ending in “s” get an apostrophe and an "s" (Jesus’s, Moses's).
- Generally, do not use a slash (e.g., use "and" instead of "and/or" or "him and her" instead of "him/her").
- Run in short quotations (less than 100 words or 8 lines).
Spelling and distinctive treatment
- Prefer USA style spelling, but British, Canadian, and Australian spellings are accepted from authors in those countries.
- Italicize Presence when referring to the journal.
- Hyphenate e-mail.
- We encourage the use of subheadings, especially in articles that are medium length and longer (see above). Subheadings should be in capital and lowercase letters, bold, flush left.
- The Holy Spirit may be referred to as “it.”
- Allow “since” to be used as a synonym for because.
- Always use “spiritual director” in place of “director” and “spiritual directee” in place of “directee.”
Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction maintains first rights only. This is also called Rights Reversal. This means that you guarantee that the article has not appeared in its present form elsewhere and we grant you fair use of the article in any way once we have published it. Should the article be reprinted elsewhere, we ask the author to acknowledge that the article was first published in Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction along with the correct volume and issue number.
Submissions can be e-mailed to: email@example.com
Poetry submissions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before writing a review, it is best to contact media review editor Pegge Erkeneff: email@example.com.
Presence addresses issues of spiritual direction, the training and mentoring of directors, spiritual direction as art and profession, the relationship between director and directee, spirituality, and prayer. In addition, we help generate dialogue that is across faith traditions, cross-cultural, and socially conscious. Media reviews, therefore, should be written with these perspectives in mind since we are the only journal in the world to focus exclusively on spiritual direction.
When writing your review, first explain what the item you are reviewing is about. It is not always necessary to outline a book chapter by chapter when an overview would suffice. You might include brief quotes from the material. Be appreciative in your review. Identify the positive heart of the item you are reviewing and connect to it in ways that heighten energy and generate interest for the reader. Was the book well written? Is the material interesting and authentic? Does it foster the relationship between director and directee? Are issues that arise in spiritual direction illuminated? Does it honor dialogue that is cross-cultural and socially conscious? Is there a religious tradition the item is primarily intended for? Who is the general audience? Once the content is established, consider the following questions:
How does this book speak to the issues of spiritual direction? Does it represent the point of view of a director, directee, or supervisor? What is its scholarly or intellectual level? Does it contain graphics, notes, bibliography, or other features? Is its approach narrow or broad? Does it reference other books? Is it reflective of a multicultural, diverse worldview? In what ways would this book help you as a director? Your review need not be entirely praise and recommendation. What improvements would you like to see? Offer your personal response. You might include information about the author, especially if she or he is connected to Spiritual Directors International as a member, office-holder, conference presenter, or author of other books in the field of spiritual direction. Finally, a question that might be helpful to reflect upon after reviewing an item is: “How was I inspired, surprised, challenged, or deeply moved?” by the material.
Each review needs to be approximately 425-500 words in addition to book title, etc. Please refer to back issues of Presence journal for ranges of style and length. At the beginning of each review, list book title and subtitle, full name of author, place of publication, publisher, date, number of pages, and price (if known). An image of the book cover (if it is photogenic) may accompany your review. Submit your review electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org in a Microsoft Word document, or insert the text in an e-mail. Please include a few sentences about yourself for your biographical note. Your review may be edited for content, style, and length.