Equity and Accountability in Skinner House Publishing
Skinner House Books is committed to publishing books that promote justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. To that end, we have instituted an Equity and Accountability Panel to advise and support authors in incorporating these values into their manuscripts, beginning as soon as the book proposal has received preliminary approval from the Skinner House Editorial Board, focusing on the following questions:
- How can values of justice and liberation and under-represented perspectives, experiences, and voices be centered in the project?
- How do your own identities, experiences, and levels of privilege and marginalization affect your understanding of and perspective on the topic?
- What areas of expertise/unique insight do you bring to the project? Where do you think you may need help? What are your growing edges?
- What aspects of the subject matter are of particular concern to under-represented readers and readers most targeted by systems of oppression?"
- Who is the reader? When referring to “we,” who is the “we”? What assumptions are being made about the reader?
- How can the book be useful outside of the dominant cultural context?
- How can the book be revelatory and encourage growth within the dominant cultural context?
- How can the book challenge dominant cultural context and how can we avoid uncritically reinforcing it?
- What education on topics, language, or systems of oppression would best support you in this project?
Goals of the Equity and Accountability review are to:
- apply a counter-oppressive lens to each book project at the proposal stage so that it is applied to the framework and concepts rather than only in revisions in the late stages of writing.
- cultivate accountable relationships between the author, Skinner House staff, and the reviewers.
Current members of the Skinner House Equity and Accountability Panel are:
Julica Hermann de la Fuente and Mary Benard, Co-chairs
Kiana Nwaobia, Administrator
Rayla D. Mattson
Rev. Elizabeth Nguyen
Rev. Sunshine Wolfe
Our Publishing Wish List
We are currently seeking proposals on the following topics. Please note that this list is updated frequently and that it is not comprehensive.
Religious perspectives on reproductive rights
Religious perspectives on reparations
Pastoral care/mental health resources for kids and teens
Wisdom and needs of under-represented and underserved communities
Resources on cultural competency and cultural borrowing
Resources on dealing with conflict (both in a congregational context and in a general context)
Spiritual practices of covenant and lament
Healing religious wounds
Spiritual grounding and theology/spirituality connected to activism
- Resources for lay leaders in Unitarian Universalist and other liberal religious communities
- Theology applied to life issues
- Theology applied to social issues
- Innovative and creative ways to conduct worship, religious education, pastoral care, justice work, outreach, etc. online
- Small group ministry resource for seekers and/or new members of Unitarian Universalist congregations
- Leadership development/mentoring in congregations
- Meditations for readers in certain life stages, moving out of parents' home, first job, marriage, first child, divorce, death of parent, etc.
- Reframing the theist/atheist dialogue in Unitarian Universalism
- Introductions to Unitarian Universalism
- Stories about Unitarian Universalism transforming lives
- Living a life of faith
- Congregational hospitality toward visitors and new members
- Unitarian Universalist theology on sin, confession, reconciliation
- Connections between pastoral and social justice work
- Presenting Unitarian Universalism to people from a variety of cultural traditions and religious backgrounds
- Prayers for daily life
- Stories of coming into Unitarian Universalism after deep commitment to another faith tradition
- What it's like to be a Unitarian Universalists in a climate that is hostile to liberal religion or where Unitarian Universalism is relatively unknown, and how to cope with those challenges
- Resources and stories about gender identity and transgender/genderqueer experience, perspectives, and needs
- Resources for dealing with religious bullying
How to Submit Your Book Idea
Please send in your submission in the form of a query or proposal, addressed to Kiana Nwaobia, email@example.com.
A query is a way to gauge interest in a book idea before submitting a full proposal. This is appropriate when preparing a proposal would require significant effort (e.g., soliciting contributors for a book of essays). A query should be 1-3 pages long and include the following:
- Description of the proposed manuscript
- The author’s qualifications
- Explanation of why the proposed manuscript is appropriate for the Skinner House audience.
We also encourage authors to be clear about any of their personal identities and/or social locations that inform their perspectives on the topic of their proposal.
A proposal should include:
- A cover letter that summarizes the proposed manuscript, describes the author’s qualifications, and explains why the proposed manuscript is appropriate for the Skinner House audience. We also encourage authors to be clear about any of their personal identities and/or social locations that inform their perspectives on the topic of their proposal.
- A draft table of contents
- A draft introduction
- 2 sample draft chapters
- We do not consider unsolicited manuscripts.
- Unsolicited hard-copy manuscripts will not be returned.
- All submissions must be sent electronically, with all of the required elements in one document.
- Due to the large number of submissions we receive, Skinner House is unable to comment in detail on proposals that are declined.
- We typically select illustrators ourselves and commission their work. You may submit illustrations with your proposal but please let us know if we may consider the text independently, i.e. if you are willing for your work to be published with different illustrations.
Skinner House Books is committed to advancing the core mission and values of the Unitarian Universalist Association and working in partnership with UU professional and identity associations and seminaries, as well as our interfaith partners. We seek authors, editors, and contributors whose personal and professional history within UU and other communities effectively supports these commitments. We encourage you to share in your proposal your contributions to the communities that may be interested in your proposed book. Authors, editors, and contributors will also be vetted for a history of conduct inconsistent with Skinner House's commitments as a publishing imprint of the Unitarian Universalist Association.