Energion owners Henry and Jody Neufeld discuss writing and how to get published, with emphasis on small presses, and of course Energion Publications. This is one of our weekly Google Hangouts on Air, each Tuesday night at 7 pm central time.

(Also available in PDF format.)

Energion Publications

Proposal and Submission Guidelines

Revised: July 31, 2015 (PDF is not yet updated)

Mission Statement

Summary Form

Our mission is to use web and print publishing to educate Christian laity and clergy, to energize the whole church to commitment and action, and to empower all members of the body of Christ to be effective witnesses for Jesus.


We accomplish this mission by publishing books that will challenge the broad Christian center. By the “broad Christian center” we mean that large group of Christians who are willing to work together with one another despite disagreement on non-essentials, who are interested in genuine dialog and learning, who seek sound teaching and understanding, yet are too often left to drift.

We also believe that Christianity is best served by a well-informed people, capable of defending their faith and also of challenging their leadership. The church is not an organization of professional ministers, but all are ministers.

Content Guidelines

Energion Publications is a small company, in business for just under 11 years, and we have some very specific plans for development. We are not a “paid publisher.” If you would like to have a manuscript evaluated we will be happy to look at it, and will assure you confidentiality while we do so.

We’re interested in manuscripts that display some or all of the following characteristics:

  1. Challenge the thinking of the laity
  2. Invite conversation
  3. Address concerns of mainline Christians
  4. Deal with the experience of being a Christian in this world
  5. Present a positive approach and attitude
  6. Encourage Christians to be more committed
  7. Educate readers to clarify their beliefs and understanding

Despite our interest in dialog we are not interested in homogenization or compromise. Your manuscript need not agree with the positions of our editorial staff, but you should have a clear position, argue it effectively, and respond to other positions.

If you have a manuscript that you would like us to evaluate please email Energion Publications (pubs@energion.com) with your concept. We do accept submissions via e-mail, but it’s best to discuss your concept and send us a portion of your manuscript first.

Do not be discouraged or annoyed if we, or any other publisher, reject your manuscript. We have specific goals in mind and we need to be able to work your manuscript into our marketing and business development plans.

For further information on our manuscript standards, read these articles from our web site:

The Ideal Manuscript for Energion

How to Achieve Instant Proposal Rejection

Why Did You Publish THAT Manuscript

Why I Rejected Your Manuscript

For help with your writing, try reading:

The 3 Golden ??? by Dr. Dolly Berthelot.

For help with formatting, the following is a good source: Biblical Studies Editing Tips by Jacob Cerone.

Manuscript Submission Standards

Submit your manuscript electronically, in either Microsoft Word document format (Word 97 or later), Open Document Format (see OpenOffice.org, any version), or RTF. We no longer accept paper submissions. Please read and follow the suggestions in our article Manuscript Formatting. Though the article itself says these are not mandatory, they have been promoted to strong suggestions.


New authors without a publication record should generally include a completed manuscript. At a minimum provide at least two sample chapters and an outline of your proposed work. Previously published authors can reference prior work.

Proposal Content

The proposal format is informal. It is divided here into three sections for convenience. All information is needed, but variations in the order and style are acceptable.

  • Cover Information
    • Proposed or working title
    • Author name
    • General category (Biblical Studies, Church History, Theology, etc.)
    • Energion Publications special categories
      • Study guides, specifying Bible book/passage or a topic
      • Small group resources
    • Audience
  • Author bio and qualifications, telling us why you should be the writer of this project. We do not have hard criteria. Knowledge from experience is acceptable, but your manuscript will be reviewed by people who are qualified.
  • Abstract or summary, and outline of content. Tell us how this manuscript would help fulfill the Energion Publications mission.
  • When would you propose completing the project.

Book Series

Energion Publications accepts manuscripts for three book series. Each of these series has specific requirements for submissions and/or manuscript preparation.

Areopagus Critical Christian Issues Series

The Areopagus Critical Christian Issues series is jointly edited by David Alan Black and Allan R. Bevere. For more information on the series and its purpose, read the series description.

Submissions for this series should be short (approximately 25,000 words or less) and focused on a single issue. They should be well referenced and include a good, selective bibliography.

In addition to the manuscript requirements listed above, any Greek or Hebrew words should be transliterated, and in-text notes used, rather than footnotes or endnotes.

The editors prefer to see a proposal prior to submission of your complete manuscript.

Participatory Study Series

Before submitting a manuscript or proposal for this series, request a copy of one of the current books or the book Learning and Living Scripture. You should also consult the series description and the list of books currently available in it. If you will e-mail us with your query, telling us what book of the Bible or what topic you wish to write about, we’ll be happy to send you those sample materials.

After taking a look at the sample materials, write a proposal according to the standards above. Energion Publications owner Henry Neufeld is the series editor.

Conversations in Ministry and Guides to Practical Ministry

The Conversations in Ministry series is produced jointly by the Academy of Parish Clergy and Energion Publications. Manuscripts should be short and concise (<30,000 words), and should relate to a topic about ministry of interest to pastors currently involved in parish ministry.

If you have a manuscript that is on a topic that sounds good for Conversations in Ministry, but that is longer than 30,000 words, consider the Guides to Practical Ministry series, also from the Academy of Parish Clergy.

The standard Energion proposal format and process is acceptable. The series is edited by an APC board, led by Dr. Robert D. Cornwall.

Topical Line Drives

This series is limited in size and designed to be low-cost. Key requirements are:

  1. 12,000 word limit. There is a small variation permitted based on specific issues (illustrations, text structure). Any variations must fit within 44 pages, including front matter.
  2. Standard font stack, applied to the title during typesetting. There are no restrictions on fonts in the submitted manuscript.
  3. A standard series cover, which varies only in some text placement details and color set.
  4. Sufficiently narrow topic. The topic can be a summary or introduction to a greater greater topic, or a specific subtopic.
  5. Illustrations are limited. Please clear any required charts or pictures with the editor before assuming they can be used. Use of illustrations can reduce the word count. The 44 page limit remains fixed.

For more information on the series, see Topical Line Drives.

General Notes

Energion Publications is small and new. We’re willing to talk informally and negotiate, so feel free to call us and discuss your project. Our owner is Henry Neufeld and our chief editor is Chris Eyre. To reach either of them, email pubs@energion.com or call 850-525-3916.

For more information on our history and our current publications, see our catalog site (energiondirect.com).