Writing for Publication
Why Marian Catechists Write
Father Hardon believes firmly that Marian Catechists, who are both spiritually and catechetically advanced, are likely to write first class book and magazine article manuscripts. They are much needed. Many Catholic editors these days are seeing relatively few first class manuscripts and have to use some second class manuscripts. At this critical hour in the spiritual war, when the truths of our Catholic faith are so desperately needed in the world, when every faithful Catholic should be spending every waking minute teaching the great truths of our Catholic faith, our mission straight from Father Hardon is to write first class books and do all we can to get them published.
Naturally, all visitors to this site are cordially welcome to read anything here and follow the links. However, for reasons of limited available time, the Marian Catechist Writers Apostolate provides support only for Marian Catechists. If you are not a Marian Catechist but would appreciate some help, please try the Catholic Writers Association.
Absolutely the best guide to good writing style is a book written about a hundred years ago by a Professor of English, William Strunk, Jr, The Elements of Style. Use it. Depend on it.
Also see the Tilma style sheet for suggestions particularly related to Catholic writing.
Some Observations on Writing Books
There is a joy to Catholic book publishing that is indescribable. Second Exodus has touched the hearts of so many people. I hear so many stories of people whose faith and lives were unraveling, and after reading the book were secure and happy in their Catholic faith. The royalty checks, welcome as they are, are nothing compared with the satisfaction of seeing souls find comfort. That great love should be our constant motivation for writing.
Love for Christ and for our brothers and sisters in this life should also be our only motivation. Believe me, you are not going to make a lot of money in Catholic writing, particularly Catholic writing that is faithful to the Magisterium. None of us makes much money. But we do get rich.
Writing a magazine article is considerably easier than writing a book. It is well suited to articulate Marian Catechists who are not up to the rigorous demands of writing a book but who still have a scholarly and disciplined writing style.
Newspaper Articles and Columns
Writing for a newspaper is considerably easier than writing a magazine article, because the shorter lifespan of such writing requires less stringent standards for articulate expression. It is well suited to Marian Catechists who write naturally in a somewhat informal style.
Writing a pamphlet is actually quite challenging. The small amount of available space requires that the writer be skillful in getting straight to the point while remaining fully consistent with Catholic magisterial teaching.
Letters to the Editor
Writing a letter to the editor of a large publication still requires considerable effort at articulate and succinct expression.
Letters to the Bishop
Writing to the bishop. Strictly speaking, “writing to the bishop” doesn’t belong in this category. A letter to the bishop is a private communication, not intended for widespread publication. However, since Marian Catechists are invited to look in this section for help in writing, please forgive the inconsistency. In particular, a letter to the bishop must be clear, brief and well organized.