Resounding Voices:  A hymn supplement to Voices Found

Call for Submissions

Submissions Open: January 1, 2023
Deadline: May 1, 2023

For the twentieth anniversary of the hymnal Voices Found,[1] the Women’s Sacred Music Project in partnership with The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada is curating Resounding Voices, a new collection of hymns, songs, and liturgical music by people who identify as women.[2] In our search, we long to address ideas, “which touch our hearts, fire our imagination, and encourage us to action.”[3] Themes may relate to Christian or Jewish religious traditions with or without referring to the Bible or other sacred texts. We also hope to honor the spiritual legacy of Voices Found by connecting with issues of moral justice in our day.

Voices Found, published twenty years ago, was one of the first ecumenical and interfaith hymnals by, for, and about women. It made three important contributions to hymnody: celebrating biblical and other visionary women of faith; expanding imagery for God by challenging masculine linguistic conventions; and acknowledging that a woman’s experience is part of human life. Seeing the feminine face of God allows us to see God’s divinity in women. In your submissions for Resounding Voices, we call on you to fill your hymns with this spirit.  

If works are selected for publication in Resounding Voices, applicants will receive an honorarium of $250 for each previously unpublished text or musical setting ($500 for both music and words). We also welcome submission of previously published hymns for inclusion in this collection, but no honorarium will be provided for these. The finished collection will be published online by The Hymn Society and The Hymn Society will own the copyrights to submitted materials unless a composer/text writer chooses to retain copyright, in which case, the honoraria for previously unpublished works are reduced to $125 and $250.

The deadline to submit materials is May 1, 2023, but writers are encouraged to submit material as early as possible. Applicants will be notified by July 1, 2023 if their work has been chosen. The entire collection will be published by November 15, 2023.

Let me hear your voice. ~ Song of Solomon 2:14

Click to read a LETTER of INTRODUCTION from Janet Wootton, Executive President of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Guidelines 

  1. Submissions of Music & Text
    Submissions should be one of the following:
    • Original music and original text for a hymn or song. Submissions may be made by a composer/poet team. Teams must include one person who identifies as a woman.
    • Original music that uses text that is either: (1) in the public domain, or (2) written by another author and has explicit permission for use and publication by the Women’s Sacred Music Project. Permission must be granted directly from the secondary author.
    • Musical settings must have strong, singable melodies. They may be strophic or through-composed, appropriate for worship and may be a cappella or accompanied. If written in standard, four-part chorale style, the parts must be in an appropriate vocal range for an SATB choir.  Examples of a well-constructed, singable melody are “Lord of All Hopefulness,”[4] “Come, Labor on”[5] or “Morning has Broken”[6]. Examples of strophic hymns with four independent, singable lines include “In the Bleak Midwinter,”[7] “Once in Royal David’s City”[8], or “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light”[9].  An example of a thorough-composed song is “Lord God, You Now have set your Servant Free.”[10]  
    • Texts should be written in an accessible poetic style and appropriate for the ecumenical Christian tradition, Jewish tradition, or interfaith settings.
  2. Submissions of Text Only
    Submissions should be one of the following:
    • Original text appropriate for a musical composition such as a hymn or song. A musical tune or hymn meter must be supplied.  Please no texts without a suggestion for music to go with the words. Examples of tunes are Old 100th, Slane, Aurelia, or Houston. 
    • Original text that is set to a musical hymn or song in the public domain.
    • Texts should be written in an accessible poetic style and appropriate for the ecumenical Christian tradition, Jewish tradition, or interfaith settings.
    • If the text is written in hymnic meter, the meter should be indicated, and a tune suggested. Examples of hymn meter include 87 87 87;  CM; 66 66 with refrain.  76 76 D.  LM. 
  3. Entries may be new and unpublished[11] or published since the publication of Voices Found twenty years ago. In the first case, the entry should not be simultaneously submitted for consideration in any other contest or for publication in any collection. In the case of previously published works, there is no honorarium, and permission to reprint the hymn must be given by the original publisher.
  4. All submissions must include copyright statements that document public domain verification [for text or music] or permission granted by the composer/author for use by the Women’s Sacred Music Project. Permission must be granted directly from the secondary author.
  5. Each submission must be submitted as a PDF document and uploaded through the submission form.
  6. Typeset manuscripts are required. Reformatting for readability and uniformity may be requested after acceptance.
  7. Hymn writers must agree to a one-time free download of their material.  This is so people can see the work they may wish to use; it does not give them the right to duplicate the material. This policy is standard for resources published by The Hymn Society. A disclaimer will appear at the beginning of the collection stipulating the terms for use of the material.
  8. There is no limit to the number of submissions.
  9. The text and/or music must be received no later than May 1, 2023 to be considered.
  10. The chosen entries will be published in a final collection by November 15, 2023.
  11. The Women’s Sacred Music Project reserves the right to include hymns in the collection that are identified by other means.

Questions? Contact Us!


NOTES:

[1]  The hymnal came into being through the imagination of the Rt. Rev. Allen Bartlett, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, and Lisa Neufeld Thomas, a musician and member of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Marilyn L. Haskel, herself a hymn writer, edited the collection for Church Publishing. 

[2]  Gender identity is one’s own internal sense of self and their gender, whether that is man, woman, neither or both. Unlike gender expression, gender identity is not outwardly visible to others.

For most people, gender identity aligns with the sex assigned at birth, the American Psychological Association notes. For transgender people, gender identity differs in varying degrees from the sex assigned at birth.

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/02/996319297/gender-identity-pronouns-expression-guide-lgbtq

[3]  Gillian Warson, Using Vintage Hymns in Worship: Hidden Treasures rediscovered for Today’s Church (Durham UK: Sacristy Press, 2021), p.3. 

[4]    Words by Jan Struther.  Music from an Irish ballad. Hymn #482 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal.

[5]    Words by  Jane Laurie Borthwick.  Music by Thomas Terius Noble.  Hymn # 541 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal.

[6]    Words by Eleanor Farjeon.  Music from a Gaelic melody. Hymn # 8 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal

[7]    Words by Christina Rossetti. Music by Gustav Theodore Holst.  Hymn #112   in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal. 

[8]    Words by Cecil Frances Alexander and James Waring McCrady.  Music by Henry John Gauntlett and Arthur Henry Mann. Hymn #102 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal.

[9]    Words and music by Kathleen Thomerson.  Hymn # 490 in the 1982 Episcopal hymnal.

[10]  Words by Rae E. Whitney.  Music by Orlando Gibbons and Ralph Vaughan Williams. Hymn # 499 in the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal.

[11]An exception may be made in the case of item 1b above where a previously published text is used that is in the public domain or for which the composer and the Women’s Sacred Music Project has been granted use permission by the author/author’s estate and/or publisher of the text.  Also, if the composer or author previously self-published, these works may be submitted.