GUIDELINES FOR WRITING YOUR CONVERSION STORY

FOR THE DCF VANGUARDS

If you have already or are planning to submit your story to other possible publication venues, please let us know.

Please note that all stories will be considered by DCF Vanguards, but submission of a story does not guarantee publication (whether in online, newsletter, book, ebook or other format).

Here are general guidelines in writing your journey to Catholicism:

1. Try to avoid Catholic jargon that may be unfamiliar to non-Catholics, as our audiences’ theological knowledge varies. In addition, we want to display an attitude that is confident of Catholic truth without being smug, dismissive, or hostile toward the non-Catholic traditions from which we and other converts have come.

2. The story should be written in a conversational, first person style than a formal one.

3. When addressing specific theological and intellectual issues that acted as hurdles or challenges for you, provide some sense of how these issues were resolved.

4. Our readers want to know as well the other kinds of factors that mattered in your conversion: not just theological and intellectual, but also devotional and emotional, social and relational, and even what we might call the providential factors – the “special arrangements” God seems to have made to bring all these other elements together in an effective way. In general, how did you come to be dissatisfied with your spiritual “status quo”? What aspects of the Catholic faith attracted and ultimately drew you to the Church?

5. A few dates (years are sufficient) for the most important milestones in your story will help readers get some sense of how long your journey took and how long ago it took place.

6. Include a brief account of what has happened since you entered the Church and some sense of how God is using you now as a Catholic.

7. Be sure to specify the religious tradition(s) from which you have come (or lack of religious background, if that’s the case). Though you may mention particular denominations and institutions in your background, it’s better not to provide the names of individuals (except perhaps for immediate family members) who opposed your conversion or who might remain opposed to it (e.g., a particular pastor or college professor in your former denomination). We want to avoid appearing to cast individuals by name in an adversarial role.

8. Longer stories should be approximately 4,000 words; shorter stories should be approximately 1,700 words. Your submission can be either length. Use subheadings if you like.

9. Don’t forget to include a brief author’s bio — one or two sentences providing a simple introduction to you for our readers (not a summary of the testimony). Feel free to include a personal website or blog address if you have one.

10. Please submit the document in as a MS Word .doc or .docx file.

11. Please use 12-point type. The Times New Roman font is preferred. Indent paragraphs rather than putting a line space between paragraphs.

12. Finally, don’t worry that the manuscript you submit won’t be perfect; we can revise it with you, if necessary. The DCF Vanguards edits all conversion stories in-house prior to publication. We regret that we’re unable to pay you for your story. But if we choose it for publication, we trust you’ll take considerable satisfaction in knowing what a help and inspiration it will be to our readers.

Please email your submission to Defend the Catholic Faith at [email protected] Include a phone number where we can contact you and your personal picture or selfies .

Thanks again for thinking of us!