general submission guidelines

what we publish

Saint Mary's Press publishes resources that address our mission and are consistent with our product mix. These are summarized below, but please review our complete mission statement and our current catalog to see the types of resources we publish. You can call 800-533-8095 and ask for our mission statement and a free catalog, or you can click here to view our mission statement on the Web.

Those interested in submitting a proposal for our College Division, please click here.

mission statement summary:

To enliven young peoples' hearts and minds with the Good News of Jesus Christ! With our partners in schools, parishes, and families, we share the Good News of Jesus Christ with Catholic Christian youth, ages 6-19, using all appropriate means and media through publications and services.

examples of the types of resources we publish:

  • Catholic high school religion textbooks and teaching manuals.
  • Parish catechetical curriculums for junior and senior high youth.
  • Resources for Catholic school teachers and campus ministers.
  • Resources for parish youth ministers and religious educators.
  • Spirituality and catechetical resources for the family with adolescents.
  • Spirituality resources for adults who minister to adolescents.
  • Spirituality resources for teens themselves.

examples of the types of resources we do not publish:

  • Personal memoirs and autobiographies.
  • Young adult fiction.
  • Books of poetry.
  • Books for children, youth, and young adults.
  • Adult spirituality resources that are not specifically for adults who minister to adolescents.

before you submit your manuscript

Your thoughtful consideration of the following questions will help you prepare your proposal as effectively as possible and increase the possibility of your resource being chosen for publication.

  • Is my resource clearly in touch with the needs of Saint Mary Press's audiences? Which audience? Is my material written to satisfy that audience's needs?
  • Have I looked at the Saint Mary's Press catalog to make sure my proposed resource doesn't duplicate currently available resources? To be sure that my proposed resource is consistent with the types of resources published by Saint Mary's Press?
  • Does my resource offer something new, significant, or unique?
  • Am I qualified to create a resource for this audience on this subject?
  • Will my resource be fresh and relevant 12 to 18 months from now? (This is the time it takes to produce a book after a manuscript has been accepted.)

preparing your proposal for submission

If you answered yes to all the previous questions, it's time to contact us. You will need to create a proposal including the following three items, which generally does not need to be longer than 20 pages.

  1. Cover Letter. Introduce yourself and describe your background and experience. Provide a list of all materials you have previously published and be sure to include your address, phone numbers, and e-mail information.
  2. Resource Information Sheet. Help us understand the resource you are proposing by providing us with an information sheet organized by the following categories.
    • A description of your resource’s purpose and content.
    • A statement of who the intended customer is and the need or problem your resource will address or solve for this customer.
    • If the resource has already been used by yourself or others, tell us how the participants responded and what you learned.
    • A list of current competitive resources (including Saint Mary's Press titles) and an explanation of the unique feature(s) that will make your resource stand out among the competition.
    • An explanation of any special or unusual design features required by your resource.
    • Ideas you have about how you could promote the book after it is published.
    • Names of potential endorsers.
    • An estimated word and page count.
    • The date your completed manuscript will be available and your hoped-for publication date. (Keep in mind that the usual turnaround time is 12 to 18 months from when you deliver your complete manuscript.)
  3. Resource Sample. Finally, to evaluate your skill as an author, we require an actual sample of the resource you are creating. Your sample should include the following:
    • A tentative title for your manuscript.
    • A tentative table of contents.
    • The introduction.
    • An actual session, chapter, or activity.

Please prepare your proposal carefully. First impressions are important. If you want your proposal or manuscript returned, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope large enough to hold and protect it. Be sure to keep a copy of the material. We cannot be responsible for returning manuscripts at our cost, or for loss or damage that occurs during mailing. Completed proposals may be sent to:

Submissions Editor
702 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN  55987
Or, e-mail to submissions@smp.org.

Thank you for considering Saint Mary's Press.