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Illuminated Bible Story submissions are now being considered.

For over ten centuries, the greatest books conveyed their messages through stunning script and masterful illustrations. Illuminated manuscripts of the Bible and other works capture time, celebrate significant events and preserve history. As part of the upcoming Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of The United States of America, United We Pledge and Dowdle Studios are combining efforts to continue this tradition by presenting the Bible of American History to our nation.

Submissions will be accepted until July 4, 2023.

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Invitation

The Bible of American History will encompass over 250 American historical and covenant moments. These moments will be an eclectic collection of historical events defining and depicting the American Covenant as captured in our national motto: “In God We Trust.” These moments will be documented by essays transformed by Dowdle Studios artists into hand-scribed gothic text accompanied with intricate illustrations. 

E Pluribus Unum – “Out of Many, One” remains, perhaps, the greatest covenant statement of the United States. Our nation’s history and future presents the grandest mosaic of colors, religions, ethnicities, and economic opportunities the world has ever known. United We Pledge is gathering essays to be included in the manuscript from all corners of our nation and from writers of all backgrounds.

Essays selected for publication in the Bible of American History  will reflect these principles and focus on events that convey the “American Covenant,” the belief that America has promised to trust in God, and God has promised to bless America. 

Great individuals strive to be better.  Great nations do the same.  When celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and lifetime accomplishments for individuals, we focus and remember their successes.  For our nation’s 250th Anniversary, United We Pledge intends to do the same.  The historic moments in this manuscript may include faults, weaknesses or shortcomings.  However, the desire is to create a message celebrating America’s achievements over the past 250 years to keep her covenant with God, as well as ways God has blessed America.

To Submit

United We Pledge extends an initial invitation to members of patriotic, historical, and/or freedom focused organizations to submit one or more essays. We believe these organizations may have the expertise, knowledge, resources, and passion to properly highlight and capture some of the key components and undergirding principles of great American heroes, crucial historical events, and faith filled stories that have transpired and are part of our nation’s foundational fabric. 

Invitations will also be opened to all US Citizens on or before July 4, 2022.

To be considered for publication, please follow these writing  and submission guidelines:

  • Each essay must be between 600 – 825 words in length and include a short title (5-7 words or fewer). 
  • Essays must have a clear connection to God’s hand in the history behind the story and of divine providence through inspiration, direction, or guidance of those of whom the story is told.
  • Essays must be factual, and supported by credible sources. It is expected that all essays draw from primary sources.
  • Stories featuring living individuals will not be considered. 
  • Quotes and paraphrases must be accompanied by citations from reliable sources and conform to the Chicago Manual of Style guidelines.
  • For fact checking purposes, each quote or other attributed information must include a .jpeg or .pdf of the original source with the included text highlighted. If from print, include images of the title page, copyright page, and page(s) quoted (with quotes highlighted).  
  • Essays should be submitted in Word format (.doc or .docx), and should follow the naming convention outlined here: Authors Last Name, Authors First Name, Organization Name if applicable, Story Title, Date of Submission, and the title Draft. (eg. Smith.Tom.UnitedWePledge.LunarLanding.2021.11.04)
  • Essays must be submitted on the online portal at UnitedWePledge.org/IlluminatedManuscript. 
  • Submissions will be accepted until July 4, 2023

The Process

Upon essay submission, the following process will occur:

  • The essayist will receive a text message indicating that the essay was successfully received.
  • The essay will be read, reviewed, and considered for inclusion in the Illuminated Manuscript of America’s History and Covenant.
  • Essays that are not selected may be included in an electronic version of “Great American Stories” that will be showcased on UnitedWePledge.org, and the submitter will be notified.  
  • Essays that are selected for possible inclusion in the Illuminated Manuscript of America’s History and Covenant  will be notified within approximately 2 months that their essay was selected to be included in the illuminated manuscript. (Selection Committee Task). The entire file of content for that submission will be saved into a Dropbox Folder and labeled appropriately.
  • The Selection Committee will transfer the approved documents to the Editing Committee for an initial review. They will look at general content, focus on the core theme, do a simple review of the citations and ensure all source citations are included, etc.
  • The Editing Committee will send the edits and comments back to the original writer with the requirement that a rewrite be completed within 1 month that includes consideration for the comments. The original writer will resubmit the document and ensure all required documentation is included in the updated Dropbox folder.
  • A contract will be sent setting forth the exclusive right for United We Pledge to use the essayist’s work in the America 250 – Illuminated Manuscript of America’s History and Covenant. The agreement will include the benefits the writer will receive including a small payment, access to a limited print of the finished story, a complimentary copy of the first edition run of the finished printed book, and first right of refusal to purchase the NTF of the story with a video add-on for a nominal fee.
  • The Editing Committee will work together to complete the editing process and ensure the final work meets all the criteria. A finished draft of the work will be sent to the original writer for their files and approval.
  • The Editing Committee will present the final draft to the General Editor for final review and verification. The General Editor will create a final document that is sent to Eric Dowdle artists for the finished product to be completed.
  • The essayist’s words will then be turned into timeless art, and the essayist will receive a signed print of their finished illuminated essay from Eric Dowdle.

Conclusion

United We Pledge desires the essays and the authors to be representative of the American story. It is hoped that different regional and national organizations will publish this invitation to their members and followers. With this goal in mind, please consider forwarding this letter to all in your organization. Additionally, please consider submitting an essay yourself. As a leader, your contribution will be warmly received, and will have great value in the selection process.

The task of collecting over 250 diverse essays and turning them into timeless art is a monumental endeavor. Your help and your organization’s assistance are greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Dennis Leavitt
President
United We Pledge