The purpose of the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval is to help Catholic bookstores and venues in their determination of the Catholicity of a work. This reassurance from a professional organization can assist authors in marketing and promoting their works. Books are also judged by their editorial integrity as well. Books that are not professionally edited or publication-ready are not eligible the Seal of Approval.
Authors looking to reach a Catholic audience, but whose books do not qualify for an imprimatur (like fiction), or authors who do not have access to the process to get an Imprimatur, can submit their book for the SoA. It provides a tangible reassurance to readers and bookstore owners that the book does support Catholic beliefs and values; and in the case that it does not, it gives the author some useful feedback.
Readers can be assured that SoA books will not offend their faith and have a certain level of editorial quality.
Store owners can be assured that they can stock the book on their shelves, host the author for a signing, etc. without compromizing their appearance or mission as a faithful Catholic apostolate.
Applications for the Seal of Approval open up quarterly. The spots are filled very quickly -- usually within hours of opening the application. During the application period, you can access the SoA Application through Google Docs.
It is free for CWG members to apply; non-members pay a $10 fee.
The SoA is available to Catholic authors of Catholic books, and authors of works of fiction that support Catholic traditions and morals. You do not have to be a member of the CWG to receive the Seal of Approval. It is for books only. The Seal of Approval does not transfer to other books by the same author, nor can it apply to websites, blogs, magazines or other non-static works.
The SoA can only be awarded to published books or manuscripts that are under contract. Manuscripts under contract should have gone through content edits already. The reason for this is to ensure no changes that might alter the Catholic nature of the book are made after the award is given. Self-publishing authors may submit manuscripts, but again with the understanding that the copy will not be undergoing content changes. The manuscript must be publish-ready before it can be reviewed.
Before applying, please review more detailed information on the SOA Applicants page.
You may incorporate the Seal of Approval into your cover art, as long as you do not change the content of the book in a way that might violate the intent of the award.
Right now, CWG members are allowed to submit contracted manuscripts for the SoA, so that, if awarded, they may incorporate the seal into their design. Recipients of the SoA will receive 25 sticker seals, and jpgs of the seal in color and grayscale for use in cover art or on their website.
You can order extra seals in groups of 25. The price is currently $10.00 per 25, plus shipping. To order by mail, send a check (payable to Catholic Writers Guild) to: PO Box 39326, Indianapolis, IN 46239. They will be available online through this website soon.
Meet the SOA Committee
- Patrice Fagnant MacArthur, Author Coordinator
- Carolyn Astfalk, Evaluator Coordinator
- Barb Szyszkiewicz, Forms Coordinator
- Ellen Gable Hrkach, Online Training Coordinator (Interim Chair)
- Rebecca Willien, Results Coordinator