Goals and Writer's Guidelines:
Sweetwater Still Publishing began with a simple goal: to share quality stories and a life-changing message with at least one person.
This might sound odd, but many people don't write---though they have an inspired message---and won't speak the words trapped inside because there isn't a large enough audience. What if nobody reads my story? What if nobody, except my relatives and a few people who feel sorry for me, wants to hear what I'm saying? Really. What if only your mother reads your writing?
Our attitudes changed with the revelation that just one person---even Mom---is worth all of our time and effort. We must share the hope that's within us, regardless of how many are listening.
Are you a writer, looking to get published? Please read this entire page before contacting us.
Sweetwater Still Publishing is a traditional, independent/small press. We are not a self, vanity or subsidy publisher. Our goal is to be an outlet for inspiring stories of faith, resources for evangelism and graphic novels/comics that encourage Bible literacy and communicate the simple truth of the Gospel. We desire to meet needs where materials are presently lacking.
Why another Christian publishing house? Aren't there enough already?
Good question. There's an equally good answer.
Are you aware that large secular corporations have bought up many of the Christian publishing houses? Also, a majority of those that remain in the hands of Christians are run by denominations, or individuals, that have moved away from literal Biblical interpretation---or any sort of Biblical world view. For this reason, the mission of many "Christian" publishers has changed from one of saving souls to that of making money. This is a dangerous shift in the mission of Christian Publishing. Now, more than ever, the body of Christ must remain steadfast; those who are called to write and publish the undiluted truth of the Gospel must boldly stand firm.
Please ask yourself the question: "When and why did 'preach' become a dirty word to Christians?"
More and more Christian writers and publishers pride themselves because their books are not preachy. We turn on the Christian radio station and hear the same thing: Our radio station is spiritual without being preachy.
Is that supposed to impress us? Satan is also spiritual . . . and not at all preachy.
The current trend to erase preaching from our Christian message is, at best, driven by greed. People want to sell more; they'll compromise and quench the Holy Spirit to reach that goal. But theres also a darker spirit at work, whispering the lie that youll reach more souls if you approach them gently---with a watered-down message.
Beware. Your enemy the devil (and the demons) have more experience in the world of writing and publishing than you could ever dream of. Unlike you, theyve been alive for thousands of years; their list of published works is immense. Theyre extremely intelligent and intent upon deceiving you. The only way to stand firm is to know the scriptures, learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, and let Him lead you.
We dont want to publish poor writing, sensationalism or weak and weird doctrine. But preaching is the great commission. Here am I, Lord. Send me. The prophet Isaiah, who said these words, was later killed for his preaching. Likewise, most of the apostles---whose teachings we acclaim---were killed when they refused to water-down their message. They were too preachy. Do we claim to serve the same Master? How can we obey God and proclaim the message he gives us, without being considered preachy? In fact, if we are writers, or even people who talk, we already are voices proclaiming a message. The question to ask is: WHAT MESSAGE are we preaching?
As a writer whos been published many times and worked as an editor as well, I admit that I havent always realized that. I began by writing what I knew God wanted me to say. But after awhile I wrote to build my resume. Later I wrote because . . . Im a writer----this is what I do!
But this isnt what God desires. If weve been given a talent for writing, we must invest it for His kingdom and bring a return for our Master who entrusted us with this talent. Read Matthew Chapter 25.
<Jesus said> He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30 (NIV)
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
Do not be quick with your mouth; do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 (NIV)
In the mid 1800's the author Nathaniel Hawthorne described a modern Christianity weakened by false doctrine. In The Celestial Railroad he notes that despite twenty thousand cartloads of "wholesome instruction" (as first described by John Bunyan in The Pilgrim's Progress), the Slough of Despond (or Swamp of Despair---into which the character Christian sinks under the weight of his sins and his sense of guilt for them) is still not firm ground. The foundation laid for the bridge over this Slough (presumably on the road to Heaven) was a mixture of Biblical principles, worldly philosophy, other religions and pagan beliefs.
Today the amount of wholesome instruction available is even more staggering than in Hawthorne's or Bunyan's days---but it's still deeply polluted by the beliefs of paganism, other religions and worldly philosophy.
We love that God desires to use His people to spread His message of hope. But what exactly is His message of hope? Do you know? We must be on our guard against spreading misinformation. We must study diligently, listen intently and learn to hear Him. If you haven't yet gained a thorough understanding of your Bible, and if God hasnt given you a message or story to tell, then wait. Keep studying, be quiet, listen and learn. Wait on the Lord and His timing. Don't let your talking or writing be unholy babbling.
Remember, it's not by might, nor by power, but by God's spirit. If this is the house He's building, then we will gladly be a little nail under His hammer. We pray that you will also follow His leading in your life and writing.
~ Sweetwater Still
Sweetwater Still is a traditional publishing house. The entire cost of publishing is our responsibility, should we choose to publish your work.
NOTE: Do not send a full manuscript unless requested. Please QUERY FIRST.
In your query, please answer this question:
Which of our books have you read?
If you haven't read any of Sweetwater Still's books, or any by our friends at Offspring Publishers, we recommend this first step. These books will help you understand what we're looking for.
WHAT WE PUBLISH:
SUNDAY SCHOOL RESOURCES (Adults & Children)
CHRISTIAN SCHOOL OR HOME SCHOOL MATERIALS
FICTION: we publish stories for children, youth and adult readers.(No talking animals, please.)Must be scripturally accurate and without speculative elements. (Do not attempt to show the unseen world with more clarity than the writers of the Bible did, nor put words in God's mouth that you cannot prove He said, etc.)
NON-FICTION STORIES: we publish stories for children, youth and adult readers. Classic examples of what we look for are The Pineapple Story, The Hiding Place, God's Smuggler, Through Gates of Splendor and The Cross and the Switchblade.
Regarding BIBLICAL FICTION: If the writing features a Biblical character, we do not consider stories that take artistic liberties. We'd rather see the same story with different character names, thereby showing your story is fiction, but based on a "type" of person within the same historical setting.
WHAT WE DO NOT PUBLISH:
Speculative Fiction - including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and any supernatural fiction attempting to animate the unseen/spiritual world.
Alternate History - including enhanced history, or stories wherein fictitious actions and dialogue have been given to real historical characters.
****** Do not send a full manuscript unless requested. Please QUERY FIRST.
Contact us by clicking HERE or emailing
SUBMITtoSSP at CalvaryOutpost.WitnessToday.org
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Sweetwater Still Publishing is an outreach ministry of Calvary Outpost.