Commonweal welcomes original manuscripts dealing with topical issues of the day on public affairs, religion, literature, and the arts. We look for articles that are timely, accurate, and well written. Articles fall into three categories:

1)      "Upfronts," running from 1,500 to 2,500 words, are brief, "newsy" and reportorial, giving facts, information, and some interpretation behind the "headlines of the day." 

2)      Longer articles, running from 2,500 to 5,000 words, are more reflective and detailed, bringing new information or a different point of view to a subject, raising questions, and/or proposing solutions to the dilemmas facing the world, nation, church, or individual.

3)      The "Last Word" column, running from 750 to 1,300 words, is a more personal reflection, on some aspect of the human condition: spiritual, individual, political, or social.

* "Closing Shot": We are accepting high-quality original photographs relevant to the topics and interests of the magazine. With the image, please submit a paragraph-length description/reflection on the photograph to be published alongside it.

Please upload your submission as a Word document and include your name and email address at the top of the file.

Articles should be written for a general but well-educated audience. While religious articles are always topical, we are less interested in devotional and churchy pieces than in articles which examine the links between "worldly" concerns and religious beliefs.

The best way to get a sense of what we’re looking for is to read what we have already published. Commonweal tends to be opinionated and engaged, but tolerant in tone, emphasizing reasoned discussion over sectarianism. This doesn’t preclude taking strong and controversial positions.


We welcome queries that outline an idea and an approach, though if we accept a pitch that does not guarantee publication. Please email your pitch to and include some information about your background or previous publications with your query.


We do not accept unsolicited reviews, including reviews of books, film, music, or art. If you would like to be added to our list of book reviewers, please attach writing samples and a CV as a pitch to We will be in touch if we are able to add you to our roster.


Please submit poetry submissions through the "Poetry Submissions" form.


Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for a response, though occasionally response times may be longer. 

Payment for articles is made on publication, and Commonweal customarily retains the copyright on all published articles.

Due to the high volume of submissions, we will not be able to provide feedback on pieces we do not accept. 

If you are submitting two or more articles, please upload them in separate forms.

Please upload poetry submissions here. Poetry submitted cannot have been published elsewhere, either in print or online.

Commonweal welcomes manuscripts in any of our three categories. If you think your manuscript falls into a particular category, please indicate this in your cover letter.