Writer and Submission Guidelines


As we review manuscripts, we ask:

Does this material meet a real need,

open a new door,

spark a fresh idea,

or fill a gap in the life and ministry of a mainline congregation?

CSS material is practical in nature. It focuses on “ready-to-use” ministry needs of congregations. Categories in our development list include:

  • Lectionary-based resources for worship, preaching, group study, drama, and use with children (but NOT children’s books).
  • Sermons, preaching, and worship resources for special seasons and days of the church year and for special themes or emphasis.
  • Children’s object lessons and children’s sermons.
  • Resources for working with youth.
  • Pastoral aids such as materials to assist in counseling.
  • Easy-to-perform dramas and pageants for all age groups. Our drama interest primarily includes Advent/Christmas/Epiphany and Lent/Easter. We do not publish lengthy dramatic works.
  • Parish-tested materials for use in parish education, youth ministry, stewardship, and church growth.
  • Material generally adaptable to the needs of congregations.
  • A few general titles of the type found in general religious bookstores.
CSS does NOT publish children’s books, novels, essays, curriculum, poetry, or anything that pertains to a single denomination.


You may either query first or submit a proposal with a sample of your manuscript (or the entire manuscript for very short works). We prefer but do not require a query prior to submission of a manuscript.


We accept queries by email and by postal mail.

Send email queries to editor@csspub.com.

Manuscript Submissions

If you are mailing your manuscript: For short works, you may send the entire manuscript. For longer works, submit three sample chapters and a proposal describing the rest of the work. NEVER mail your original manuscript.

Be sure to number your manuscript pages and to include your contact information (including your email address) on your cover letter and your manuscript. (You’d be surprised how many people forget to tell us how to reach them!)

We accept simultaneous submissions.

We will acknowledge receipt of your material and be in touch with you once a decision is made on it. We respond within six months to manuscript submissions.

If the manuscript is to be returned to you, be sure to enclose a SASE with sufficient postage. We are not responsible for returning unsolicited material not accompanied by a SASE with return postage.

Mail submissions to:

Acquisitions Editor
CSS Publishing Company
5450 N. Dixie Highway
Lima, OH 45807


  • Permissions are required when quoting copyrighted material. Authors are responsible for securing these permissions from the original publisher and forwarding them or a photocopy of them to CSS. Do not write for permission to quote from any version of the scriptures. We secure these.
  • Punctuation should be consistent throughout the manuscript. Place commas and periods inside quotation marks.
  • Lower case “he” and “him” when referring to the deity.
  • Always spell out names of books of the Bible. Do not use Roman numerals with Bible book names (1 John, not I John).
  • CSS prefers the New Revised Standard Version when using scripture.
  • Be as concise as possible when citing references. If your work includes many references, list them under “Endnotes” at the end of the manuscript or at the end of each chapter. Do not list footnotes at bottom of pages.
  • Avoid the temptation to over-capitalize words, especially those which are generally common nouns. Likewise, refrain from overuse of quotation marks around words or phrases for emphasis. Use quotation marks mainly for direct quotes and to enclose titles of shorter works. (When in doubt lowercase and omit quote marks.)

CSS follows Chicago Manual of Style for the most part.