Model of Jerusalem at the time of the 2nd Temple now situated at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing for Jewish Religious Publications and Publishers

If you’re interested in writing for the Jewish  religious market then make a note to attend next year’s  Annual  Jerusalem Writers’ Seminar.

In one day we  heard from  book publishers, magazine and newspaper editors and a myriad of women successful in various writing- related  professions that suit religious women writers.

Representatives from the main religious publishing houses spoke about their needs and the type of manuscripts they are looking for.  Some topics are always popular e.g. cookbooks / inspiration / short stories/ humor but all the editors said they would happy to look at manuscripts that  were ‘out of the box’  and are always on the look out for new ideas.

Click on the names below to reach the publishers’ websites. Browse around and look at the kind of titles they publish to get a feel for what  they are interested in. Some have author's guidelines on the site- if there aren't any, request some by email.



Jewish E-books (Hebrew site)       English site should be running soon

There is an ever increasing number of high quality, weekly magazines for the orthodox reader:
One editor described her publication as a voracious animal desperate to be fed week after week, and she was always extremely happy to get pitches, fiction  and essays from writers. Although  they may have a small stable of  regular writers, all the editors agreed that there is a constant need for  material and they  welcome high quality  work from all writers whether experienced or newcomers.

Pitches for  articles and stories related to the Chagim (Festivals) should be sent 3 months in advance.

Mishpacha has three sections every week:
 A family magazine, a women’s section (Family First) and a children’s paper. Pitches, essays and fiction for Mishpacha should be sent to  and for Family First to the editor;
 At Pesach and Sukkot there are numerous extra supplements for teens / fiction/ literary etc which provide a wonderful opportunity for fiction writers.

 Ami  magazine is the newest pub. having started out only just over 6 months ago. It also consists of three sections every week : The general family magazine, women's section and teenagers' magazine.
.At the moment, it is only distributed in the USA  so many potential writers have never seen a copy. It seems to be very similar to Mishpacha and the editor encourages writers to submit pitches, essays and stories to

 Binah is a weekly women’s magazine with a separate section for children and numerous extra supplements for Pesach and Sukkot.
They have no website  but pitches and essays should be sent  to

Hamodia newspaper has a weekend edition with multiple sections including a weekend magazine with sections for women and children. 
Hamodia and Binah work closely together and if an article, essay or children’s piece is unsuitable for one, the editor will  probably pass it over to the other publication, so check before resending it yourself.
Queries for Hamodia to or

You don’t have to be religious to write for the religious  market – but it does help if you have some idea of the  needs and limitations of the market.
Manuscripts, both book and magazine, are always approved  by a Rabbinical advisory board and although editors will always help a good writer iron out  the wrinkles, if there are too many it won’t be worth the effort as nothing of substance will be left.

 The religious market  is a rapidly growing section of the publishing world and there’s no longer any need for a writer who only writes for religious publications to feel there’s no market for her work.

Monday, May 16, 2011


This  month is both traumatic and rich in writing opportunities here in Israel.
It starts off with  the festival of Pesach ( Passover) with all its myriand preparations from spring cleaning to clothes and food shopping and cooking.

This is followed just a week after the end of the festival,by Holocaust Memorial day.

Exactly one week later we have  Memorial Day for soldiers fallen in Israel's wars and terrorist attacks
.And the next day is Independence Day.

This month is both  a writer's blessing and nightmare. There are so many opportunities and so many possibilities to write about but you have to be very well organized to make the most of it.

And that organization starts a full 12 months in advance.

My neighbor's daughter went on a trip to see what remains of some of  the concentration camps of Europe and was there with the Israeli contingent on Holocaust Memorial Day.
As soon as she returned I went and interviewed her - ready for an article on this topic next year.. If I wait too long she'll have forgotten all her fresh memories and the raw feeling of pain  that she experienced there.

As I was cleaning and cooking before  Passover I made notes of things worth adding to an article or blog on Passover preparations for next year.

Wandering around town on the eve of Independence Day I marveled at  how much the celebrations had changed over the years and my mind was already writing an essay on Independecne celebrations of 20 years ago - no use for this year but I have every chance of selling it next year. If I wait another six months until submission time to write it I'll have forgotten all those memories that sprung up on the day itself this year.

The time when most of us have the greatest ideas for articles about an event, whether it is  Thanksgiving/ Xmas/  summer vacations /  Mother's Day etc , is in the midst of the event itself.

Don't despair and think you've missed the boat. Write it now and make a note in whatever form of online, virtual or physical calendar  you use, to remember to submit it in its entirety or a pitch in  6 - 9 month's time depending  on whether  it's a weekly, monthly or daily  publication or site.

Planning a year ahead makes sure you never get writer's block and can help keep the checks flowing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


For 18 months I've been blogging at Living and Writing in Israel but have decided the time has come to separate the 'living' and the 'writing' as the two aspects interest two totally different groups of readers

On this blog I hope to concentrate on aspects of writing which should be relevant to all writers, wherever they live.
Although it's inevitable that your home and  background affect your writing, which is good as it makes us each unique, writing and publishing can be done from anywhere in the world and we all have many problems,  challenges and solutions in common.