Submit an Essay!

Since 2009, the second year of this website’s existence, we’ve called it a “community-driven site.” What started as a simple place for me (Tsh) to catalog my discoveries as I was living cross-culturally soon morphed into a shared space where other people could tell their stories and ideas on the broad topic of simplicity. Except for its first year, AoS has always had contributing writers.

And now, we’re changing things up a bit… We’re opening up the space to you! In order to truly hit home the idea that AoS is a community-driven site, I’m inviting you to share essays you’d like us to consider for publication here.

Below, you’ll find the guidelines for consideration, as well as directions for submission.

But, I’ll emphasize this up front: we love to publish stories. Whether that’s a story about how you simplified your life, a story about a recent discovery that made your life better, or even a story about what a failure taught you, these are our favorite things to publish. They’re what the readers like best, too.

We’re not sure how long we’ll keep this door open, so if you’ve ever had an idea for an essay, and it fits the bill with the guidelines below, we’d love to read it! You’re welcome to submit more than one piece as well.

Join the hundreds of people who’ve written on AoS, and let hundreds-of-thousands of regular readers be inspired by your words.

14 Things to Know Before Submission

1. As mentioned above, we’re about storytelling—sharing what we’re learning in our own lives. Essays should come from personal experience. Capture the readers with a hook story at the beginning. The best ones tell a story about something that happened, or is happening, to you personally. (In other words: we’re not preachy. No one likes that.)

2. Submissions should be new, unpublished content.

3. Length should be approximately 300 – 900 words, but say what you need to say, and stop when you’ve said it. That’s more important than exact word count.

4. The topic must fit into the ethos of what we write about here. Scroll through recent blog topics to get an idea, paying attention to the age of a post (our scope has broadened in the past few years).

5. The tone of your post should be informal and friendly, like a friend who wants to chat over a drink.

6. But we still care about quality writing. The word “use” is always better than the word “utilize,” in other words.

7. Keep in mind that our readers come from a variety of perspectives, faiths, worldviews, and backgrounds. Treat them like smart people with all sorts of experience.

8. Links back to your own site should be modest and fit the content of your post. Absolutely no promotion, selling, or spamming of your product or brand. We prefer humans talking to humans about human-related issues.

9. You are welcome to submit photos that you have free and clear permission to use, but know that we may end up using photo(s) of our own choosing to accompany the post. Submitted photos should not have text on them. Photos must be a minimum of 1000 px wide, and you must include the photo’s credit. (If the thought of finding the right photo makes you break out in hives, don’t worry about including photos.)

10. Submission does not guarantee publication. Publication is at the discretion of our team here at AoS; please do not repeatedly contact us to see if your submission has been accepted. If it’s been accepted and scheduled for publication, we will usually let you know within a few weeks.

11. We reserve the right to edit your submission for brevity, grammar, or readability. If too much editing is required to make the post useful, chances are low that it will be published.

12. You retain the copyright to your writing, but once it’s submitted to us, we reserve the right to use and refer to it.

13. Published essays are unpaid. However, we will promote it on our social media channels and in Tsh’s weekly email.

14. Essays include a brief author’s bio that links to the site of your choice. The bio photo is pulled from your registered email at Gravatar. You’ll need to include a 1-2 sentence bio with your guest post submission.

How to Submit

You’ve got an essay you think we’d like? Great! Here’s how to submit it to us.

Please email it to us at submissions@theartofsimple.net with this exact formatting in the subject line:

SUBMISSION: [Potential Essay Title] by [First Name Last Name]

Please do not send queries or pitches; only send in completed, edited essays. Queries and pitches will be deleted and unanswered.

Include your essay in the body of your email in plain text — please do not submit an attached doc. Include hyperlinks, if any, directly within the text.

End the essay with your brief, 1-2 sentence author’s bio with up to one link to the site of your choice, as well as the email associated with your Gravatar (this will be the photo our site pulls as your photo).

Please make sure that you send this email using a good email address for us to reply to. We’ll do our best to respond to you in a timely manner, but if you don’t hear from us within a month of submission, you’re welcome to ping us once to check in (using your same email submission to start a threaded conversation).

We’re looking forward to reading your creative, outside-the-box, thoughtful essays! And we’re honored you’d consider AoS the right home for your piece.

All the best,
Tsh Oxenreider
founder, The Art of Simple