Writing guidelines

Contributing to the Friend

Can I submit an article to the Friend?

Yes. While a lot of material is commissioned, the Friend publishes unsolicited material, particularly letters and articles of the correct length and on an appropriate subject. It is helpful when unsolicited material has already been carefully fact-checked and worked on by the writer.

It is often very helpful to email or talk to the editor about an idea before submitting a contribution.

What kind of material do you like to receive?

Any report, reflection or comment on the life, worship and witness of Quakers in Britain is welcome.

We especially welcome contributions from younger Friends, personal reflections on spiritual matters, reports of individual and cooperative witness, and pieces on the faith and/or practice of what it means to be a Quaker/

How should I submit my contribution?

Submissions received by email, as a Word or Open Office attachment, are preferred. Please send your article to editorial@thefriend.org.

You can submit written or printed material to: the Friend, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

What word count should I work to?

The standard word counts for submitted articles are:

One page articles have a much greater chance of being published. There are always hundreds of unsolicited articles in the ‘pending file’ and many of these are too long or on inappropriate subjects.

What is the best advice you can give a potential contributor?

Do read the magazine carefully, and regularly, and get a sense of what kind of material is accepted for publication. This is the best advice for anyone who wishes to be published in a magazine.

Do you pay contributors?

No. Only on rare occasions for some commissioned pieces, as agreed with the editor in advance. All contributors receive a complimentary copy of the issue in which their contribution or photograph appears. Contributors can request up to six copies but need to contact us to arrange this.

What information should I provide?

Please provide your name, address, daytime telephone number and Monthly or Area Meeting (if applicable).

If you are writing on a specialist area, and have a background in it, such as an academic position, or are part of a relevant association or organisation, it is helpful to know this.

Will you correspond with me about my submission?

The editor is not always able to correspond with every contributor about their submission.

If you wish to know the status of your submission it is very helpful if you contact the office (0207 663 1010) and enquire about it. Many articles, particularly those that are not ‘time specific’, may be held for a considerable time as there is always a significant backlog of unpublished material.

Do you edit articles?

Yes. All articles are subbed, proofed and fact-checked. A consistent ‘house style’ is applied to all material published.

Articles that have been carefully written and crafted, which only require minimum editing and are the correct word count and on a suitable subject, tend to get published quite quickly.

Do you issue proof copies?

We do not, generally, send proof copies of material to contributors due to the pressures of a weekly production schedule.

Who writes for the Friend?

Contributions from members and attenders of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) are given first priority. We encourage subscribers of the magazine to contribute, especially to the letters pages.

However, appropriate material from non-Quakers, particularly on subjects of concern to Friends, are sometimes published.

Who holds the copyright on submitted material?

The copyright is held by the writer/contributor as we do not pay for submitted material.

Please be careful when quoting from other works. This can cause copyright problems.

We do receive requests from other publications (almost always Quaker ones) to republish articles. We always contact the contributor concerned where possible and invite them to respond to the request directly. We do not send out contact details of contributors.

What about arts and book reviews?

Reviews of cultural activities, events, performances and books are welcome.  They work very well at 600 words as a one page article.

The magazine is always looking for Friends who would like to write reviews, particularly book reviews. Please contact the office if you are interested.


Letters are very welcome and are an important and valued part of the magazine.

The maximum word count for a letter is 250 words.

Letters for publication are chosen by the letters editor. Letters may be edited.

Please ensure that your letter includes your name and address. It is helpful to indicate whether you wish to have your Quaker Meeting, email or postal address printed with your name if your letter is published.

We do not have time to correspond with contributors of letters that have not been published.

Can I submit photographs and other images?

Yes. We welcome photographs, particularly of Quaker witness and activities in Meetings, and request that they be sent as high resolution jpg files, ideally the original file from the camera.

It is very important that people who are included in a photograph that has been submitted for publication have given their permission for their image to be reproduced in the Friend. We will not use photographs unless this permission has been sought and given.

Every photograph published in the Friend is clearly credited.

Illustrations are sometimes accepted for publication if appropriate.

Do you publish poetry?

Yes. Poems are welcome. Poems that do not fit easily on one page are not published.

We receive considerably more poems than we can print, please be patient and be prepared to accept that your poem may not be published.

Do you publish obituaries?
No. We encourage Friends to contact the recording clerk’s office of Britain Yearly Meeting at Friends House in London. ‘Testimonies to the Grace of God as shown in the life of…’ are always an important part of Yearly Meeting.