New guidelines apply starting July 13, 2021
Call for Submissions…
We’re looking for new articles from three types of people:
- Researchers, therapists, and other experts
- Authors and bloggers who write about high sensitivity
- HSPs who have something BIG to say
We’re especially interested in receiving pieces from writers of color who identify as highly sensitive people. We are also very interested in pieces from highly sensitive men, since the majority of our writers currently are women.
What We Want…
We look for pieces with:
- A strong connection to high sensitivity.
- A big takeaway: What are you hoping people will walk away with from your piece? What does it tell us about sensitivity in our world today? And, what change would you like to see?
- Solid research. You don’t have to a professional researcher, but we love it when you draw on recent science or authoritative reporting.
The best pieces solve a problem most HSPs have, or offer a fresh take that people haven’t already seen elsewhere. We also love bold (but sensitive) opinion statements — “Sensitive People Make Better Leaders, Period” is more fun to read than “Sensitive People Have Strengths as Leaders.”
See our guidelines and suggested topics below.
Topics We’d Love to See
Here are some topics we’d love to see someone write about. Feel free to tweak or adjust. We accept posts not on these topics, too!
- How to Handle Big, Challenging Things as an HSP
- How HSPs Can Master Emotional Intelligence
- Is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) the Best Therapy for HSPs?
- Being ‘Sensitive’ Was My Biggest Advantage in the Military. Here’s Why.
- This Is the Lesson That Changed My Life as an HSP
- Sensitive People are 30% of the Population. So Why Do We Feel Like We’re Rare?
- How to Deal with Angry People as an HSP
- HSPs, Is It Time to End Your Relationship? Here’s How to Tell
- How I Got Over My Fear of Failure as a Highly Sensitive Person
- Any and all articles digging into the science behind HSPs!
How to Submit Your Piece
Here are the basics:
- Please send a full article for consideration, not just a title or list of topics.
- Articles must be at least 1,000 words in length; please don’t go over 2,100 words.
- If you’re writing about a mental health, psychology, or science topic, we prefer meaty deep dives that explain the concepts, refer to research, and connect it strongly to HSPs.
- Please link to authoritative sources for any claims you make.
- Please be aware that we are a small team; it may take about 8 weeks to review a piece and make a decision.
If that all sounds good to you, then:
- Use this template to submit your article as a Google Doc.
- Make sure you’ve filled in all fields at the top.
- Create a Gravatar profile. The email address you provide us should match the email address associated with your Gravatar account.
- Then share your Google Doc with [email protected].
That’s it — we look forward to your contribution!
Do you pay for submissions?
We do! If we publish your article, you can choose one of the following options:
- USD $75: We use PayPal to send payment, so you must have a PayPal account. Payment is in USD, but you don’t need to be located in the United States to write for us. If this is the option you chose, please include your PayPal email address at the top of your Google document. (We will send payment before the 15th of the next month after your article is published.)
- Call-to-action: You can include a 1-2 sentence call-to-action at the end of your article. It must be relevant to HSP readers. You can direct readers to your website, book, course, newsletter, or even your TikTok. With our connection to HSP readers, we’ve found this is a valuable way for authors, new writers, life coaches, therapists, entrepreneurs, social media influencers, and others to grow their following. Please note that this text is subject to editorial discretion, and it may only include one link.
Can I become a regular contributor?
We’re actively seeking contributing writers. These are awesome writers who would commit to writing regularly for our website (about once a month). If you would like to be considered for a regular contributor role, please submit a full article — something that would appear on our site — so we can get a sense of your writing. If there are other places where you’ve been published, include links to them. Please also include three additional ideas for articles that you could write (simply tell us the headline — no need to describe more). Make a note of your desire to become a contributing writer at the top of the Google document. After working with you on your first article, we will make a decision on whether to invite you to be an ongoing contributor.
What Makes a Strong Article?
The most popular articles on Highly Sensitive Refuge have a few things in common:
- They appeal to most or all HSPs.
While we accept occasional niche pieces, the pieces that catch the most fire are about big topics that almost all HSPs can relate to.
- They have a clear message.
It leaves readers with an “aha!” moment.
- They solve a problem or help the reader.
Not every article needs a list of solutions, but if you speak to a pain point that HSPs have, do you help readers tackle and overcome it?
- If it’s a personal story, it leads to a bigger message.
We love personal stories, but they’re most powerful when they speak to an experience other HSPs have, too — and lead to a bigger message.
- They’re deeply personal and honest.
You don’t dodge around the details or make vague references to your experiences — you dive in and bare it all. Paint us a vivid picture that other HSPs can relate to.
- They bring in facts, expert advice, and science.
You don’t need to be an expert, doctor, or therapist to write for us — but can you quote one? Can you draw on the work of several, to make your point even more compelling? Or — can you bring in recent science to back up what you’re saying? Our audience loves research-based pieces, and a little science will earn their love quickly!
- Nothing generic.
If it’s advice we’ve all heard before, it doesn’t need to be said again. Instead, give us your NEW insights that are surprising, fresh, and truly valuable.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I republish my submission on my personal blog?
We ask that you don’t publish your article on your blog, Medium account, or elsewhere. This may sound harsh, but it’s important for SEO reasons! Search engines may punish websites for duplicate content.
2. Can I include links within the piece?
Yes! However, please only include links that will be helpful and relevant for the reader. It’s okay to link to appropriate posts on your blog (no more than two) or on any other news site or blog (the more reputable the source, the better). Bonus points if you link to other articles on Highly Sensitive Refuge. No affiliate or paid links allowed.
3. Are there any style guidelines I should keep in mind?
We edit each piece, so if you’re not familiar with style guides, don’t let it deter you. However, our publication’s preferences include:
- We love posts that use numbered lists, bullets, and subheadings.
- Use clear section headings that pull the reader through.
- Remember that for online writing, clarity and easy reading are key.
- Casual, everyday words are better than academic or formal language.
- Avoid overly promotional language.
- Include expert knowledge wherever it fits. Link to a study or expert source to back up what you’re saying.
- We approve of the use of “they” as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun.
- Since we’re based in the United States, we use American spelling (for example, “honor” instead of “honour”).
4. Will you edit my article?
We’ll edit it for content and clarity, doing our best to preserve your unique voice. You’ll see our edits in the Google doc before we publish your piece.
5. What should I put in my author bio?
Author bios can be casual and fun, or showcase your expertise. Use first person (“I,” “me,” “mine,” etc.). Total length should be about 3-5 sentences. Feel free to mention:
- Any schools you earned a degree from,
- Professional associations or other organizations you belong to,
- Other publications or websites you have written for, and
- Your own site (if any)
…and definitely include links!
6. What about my headshot?
Our system uses your email to grab your headshot from Gravatar, so make sure your photo is uploaded there.
Important: We need the email address associated with your Gravatar account, otherwise we won’t be able to access your photo.
7. I just sent an article. Now what?
We deeply value your stories and insights, and we’re thrilled that you’ve shared them with us! We’ll be in touch within the next 6-8 weeks. We’ll email you either way to let you know if your article has been accepted, or if we didn’t feel like it was the right fit for the blog.
8. What should I do after my article is published?
We’d love for you to share it on social media. Sharing your article helps Highly Sensitive Refuge grow. Also, we hope you’ll be active in the comments, responding to readers’ questions or thoughts.