Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do You Want to Write for Universal Values Media?

Our "Submission Guidelines"

While we do not actively discourage submissions, our standards are somewhat different from what you are probably used to.  Plus, as you can see, our policy is to price new short and mid-length fiction at 99¢, and new novels at $2.99.  This means that, even if your book is accepted and turns into a "small press best seller" (3,000 to 5,000 copies), you're not going to see much of a return, even with a 50% royalty (of the net margin, not the retail price) after our cost recovery — and we don't pay advances, either.

Added to that is our policy of not publishing anything that we believe to be contrary to the "Just Third Way" of the Center for Economic and Social Justice, a non-profit think tank in Arlington, Virginia, USA, with which we have a close relationship.  CESJ was established to promote the economic justice principles of Louis O. Kelso and Mortimer J. Adler, and (even though CESJ has members from many faiths and philosophies) the social doctrine of Pope Pius XI.  CESJ has a publishing program for non-fiction under its "Economic Justice Media" imprint, and it's standards are, frankly, even stricter than ours — you can get away with a lot more in fiction than in non-fiction.

If, after all that, you have something that you'd like to see published by Universal Values Media, do not submit anything without first sending us an enquiry at "publications [at] cesj [dot] org" (yes, it's CESJ e-mail, but it will be forwarded to us — we have the same distributor, and it's easier not to confuse them with two different entities, one for-profit and one non-profit).

Most important of all, do not even write anything to submit to us until and unless you are in material agreement with the principles of the Just Third Way.  Unless you are, you'd only be wasting your time and ours.  To get a good idea whether you can write for either Universal Values Media or the Center for Economic and Social Justice, visit the CESJ website and, at a minimum, read the following books — all of which are available free.  We list them here in chronological order:

Rerum Novarum (1891): Considered the first "social encyclical," and the lead-in to all the others. Yes, CESJ has an interfaith membership, but that doesn't mean we can't accept truth wherever we find it.

Quadragesimo Anno (1931): "The" 20th century social encyclical.

Divini Redemptoris (1937): The follow-up to Quadragesimo Anno.

Introduction to Social Justice (1948): Do yourself a favor and don't try to read any of the three encyclicals listed above before you have read this condensation of Father William Ferree's The Act of Social Justice, his 1941 doctoral thesis published in 1943 and republished in 1950.  When he died in 1985, Father Ferree, a co-founder of CESJ, was eulogized by his friend, Father Andrew Morlion, as "America's greatest social philosopher."

The Capitalist Manifesto (1958): the book co-authored by Louis Kelso and Mortimer Adler that began the "expanded ownership revolution."  Ironically (as far as the title is concerned), it describes a system that is the antithesis of traditional laissez faire capitalism.

The New Capitalists (1961): Kelso and Adler's second collaboration that, again, doesn't really have much to do with capitalism!  The true significance of this very short book is found in the provocative subtitle: "A Proposal to Free Economic Growth from the Slavery of [Past] Savings."

If, after doing your homework, you still think you can be a "Just Third Way" writer, give it a shot.  A final word of warning, however.  We started UVM (Universal Values Media) and the CESJ publishing program to present our views, not the opposing positions.  If you want to prove that Kelso and Adler are all wet, or that our understanding of Catholic social teaching or the natural law is off the wall, you are certainly entitled to your opinion — but don't expect us to provide you with a platform.  We wish you the best of luck elsewhere.