St. Anthony Messenger Fiction
Information for Fiction Authors
Besides these guidelines, freelance authors submitting fiction pieces should read our
guidelines for articles. Note the audience for whom we publish and the purpose of St.
Anthony Messenger. Most of our readers live in families. The majority are women between
40 and 70 years old.
- Preferred word length for short stories is 2,000 to 2,500 words. Manuscripts must be
typed double-spaced. We cannot accept responsibility for undelivered, lost or damaged
manuscripts. Authors should always keep a copy of their stories. Only manuscripts with
a self-addressed stamped envelope will be returned.
- Submissions sent as e-mail attachments (Word format, if possible) are preferred. Please
do not phone to ask if your manuscript has been received. Allow six to eight weeks for
a response or return of your manuscript. Any story accepted will have had six readers.
Many returned stories have had as many readers.
- We receive hundreds of short story submissions a year. We publish 12 at most—one
per issue. Many stories must be returned—even stories that may be well- written
and have merit.
- In submitting a short story, please clearly label it as fiction. Place your name, address
and phone number (including e-mail if you have it) on the first page. Number the pages.
Address manuscripts to John Feister, editor-in-chief, St. Anthony Messenger, 28
W. Liberty St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 or e-mail as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We pay 20 cents a word on acceptance for first worldwide serial rights. We do not publish
reprints or stories simultaneously submitted to other publications.
- We are interested in stories about family relationships, people struggling and coping
with the same problems of life our readers face. Stories should show people triumphing
in adversity, persevering in faith, overcoming doubt or coming to spiritual insights,
without being preachy. Stories don’t always need a “happily-ever-after” ending,
but they need to offer hope with real and believable characters and resolutions. Sudden
realizations, instant conversions and miracle solutions won’t do.
- Stories that sound more like essays or monologues or stories that are straight narratives
with no dialogue or interaction on the part of characters will not succeed.
- Dialogue should move the story forward and sound real—the way people speak in
real life. Conversation should not be artificial or sound stilted.
- We do not publish retold Bible stories, stories set in biblical times or stories that
are overly sentimental or pietistic.
- Seasonal stories (Christmas, Easter, etc.) should be submitted at least six months
THE BEST WAY TO KNOW WHAT WE PUBLISH IS TO READ
AND STUDY SEVERAL RECENT ISSUES OF ST. ANTHONY MESSENGER.
28 W. Liberty St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202