Greetings! As the newest member of the OMTimes editorial team, it makes sense to introduce myself formally, in spite of being tardy. I'm typically the last one to get to a party or gathering anyway, and if questioned about my lack of consciousness or consideration my response is simple. "If I wasn't late, I'd be perfect, and this is my way of keeping the Cosmos in balance. You're welcome." I am seldom late for travel endeavors though, and you can count on me to be on time for my weekly iOM.fm broadcast, Thursdays at noon, PST. If you haven't had a chance to listen to Radio Nahmaste yet, here's your invitation!

I've been an editorial nut job for most of my life -- I'm delighted to share that several of my short stories, prose and research articles have won awards, I've been the production editor for two excellent print and digital magazines; however I have yet to publish a book, this is on the agenda for 2015. In the meantime I am now the newest irreverent reverend at OMTimes Magazine, and the Spirituality Editor. Lucky you.

Lucky for me, Shelly Wilson (The Metaphysics Editor) managed to articulate a few key points for contributing authors which I will heartily repeat and paraphrase for us all:

  • Sarah says: When searching for articles to fit a category in the writer's community, the editorial overlords will make snap judgments when they read the title and first paragraph. Think of the rule of CCC: Keep it clean, clever and current. In other words, read OMTimes every week. If you've got a great article about how to channel Sananda while changing a diaper but there have already been several recent articles regarding how to channel while picking apricots, etc. there's a good chance we know you don't read our magazine, and that's just silly. Don't be silly.
  • Shelly says, "I encourage you to have a strong and inviting opening paragraph so that I will want to read the entire article and the reader will do so as well. With that being said, the rest of the article cannot fall short, so to speak."
  • Sarah says: "Keep your blog posts for your blog. Discussions for the forum and write your articles as though you were narrating a scene, not reliving the details of your experience with a cup of tea on the couch with your bestie."
  • Shelly says, "Make sure the article is written in third person and is inclusive to all readers by using the words, we, our, etc. rather than I. This differentiates a blog and an article. If you are sharing a personal experience or opinion, please indicate as such with “Personally speaking, From my own personal experience, From my perspective, Based on my opinion, etc.”

These are the details that many contributing authors tend to ignore or overlook -- and it can have a direct affect on whether or not the editorial team will consider the submitted work, regardless of how well written, so please remember these important points:
  • Title: maximum 60 characters including spaces. The article title must be consistent with the theme/message of your article. If you submit an article with the title: "Three Days In A Space Suit", do tell us about those three days in a space suit, or the metaphor you're alluding to.
  • Article length: 700-1,200 words. Seriously. Everyone on the planet with a computer has a word editing software product installed. There's this handy tool called "word count". It's in the status bar in the bottom of your window or in the "review" tab.
  • Author Bio: Please include your short bio at the end of the post for ease in submission to publishers.
    Give us no more than 60 words that tell us about you and why you are qualified and/or inspired to write about your topic.
    Here's my 53 words: Reverend Sarah Nash is the founder and co-facilitator of  the White Light Express and creator of Cosmic Triage™; a revolutionary new healing modality for the mind and spirit. Sarah was the editor and producer for 6 years of "The Hiss Quarterly” an award winning magazine that later merged with "The View From Here".
    You should not give us a bio that resembles this: Sum Wan lives in a city with four cats and collects used toothpicks. Sum Wan visited a theme park in 1990 and had a good day that day. Wednesday is taco night at the food stand on the corner and Sum Wan really likes tacos, but not with cheese. Sum Wan would like to learn more about waffles.

In retrospect, that's kind of a clever bio! However, I hope that it illustrates the difference between what a bio should and should not portray.

Finally, regarding "Spirituality vs. Metaphysics" -- please tag your submission with both if you still feel you must, and we'll handle the rest. Articles with an emphasis on faith without religious bias will be bumped to the top of my "must read" list each week. My schedule includes reading articles on the weekends. Pieces about successfully navigating the spiritual path to a healthy destination, defeating moments of doubt, and overcoming obstacles through faith based practices are all welcome. Remember, faith is something held in the heart, belief is limited to the brain. Feed our hearts with your words, and nourish our spirits with your wisdom!

In closing I would like to share that one of the most profoundly spiritual people I know does not have a foundation of organized faith. He's not been a member of a religion or cult and couldn't quote theological texts, although he is fond of saying, "Going to church doesn't make a person good any more than standing in a garage makes someone a car." He cannot claim to be saved or healed through devotion to a deity or group of divine beings. His excellent character isn't a result of conditioning through fear of a low quality afterlife or displeasing an all knowing creator. His healthy lifestyle isn't dictated through strict guidelines for membership to an exclusive temple, club or committee. Missionaries from quite a few realms of faith based worship misunderstood his considerate silence as curiosity or acceptance; one can only imagine their disappointment when he declined their formal invitations. Doing the "right thing" comes as naturally as breathing to this guy, and if you ask him what his higher power is or if he believes in a God, he will say, "I'm pretty sure there's something going on behind all this life and death stuff, but it's none of my business."

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Comment by Nancy Oakes on February 8, 2015 at 9:52pm

Thank you Sarah for your comments and guidelines. I am excited to be working with both you and Shelly can't wait to get started. 

Comment by Holly Austin Grimes on February 8, 2015 at 3:13pm

Wonderful, Sarah!!  I so totally dig your wit and wisdom!  So very excellent to know you!!

Comment by Kathy Custren on February 8, 2015 at 1:41pm

Awesome sauce, my dear Sarah--well said!

Hopefully we can dig in to more of what makes a good title one of these days, as that looks to be one of the prime lead-ins to how folks can find us online. Here's to the power of words. ~ Blessings! 

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