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 look for pieces with a strong connection to high sensitivity, and 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?
See our guidelines and suggested topics below. Then, use this template to submit your article.
Welcome to Our Community of Writers
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; they may not go over 1,700 words. However, for articles focused on the science or psychology behind sensitive people, we enthusiastically accept longer pieces.
- Although we occasionally run poetry, it’s rare; please do not submit a poem.
- Please be aware that we are a small team; it may take up to 6-8 weeks to review a piece and make a decision.
Do you pay for submissions?
If we publish your article, you can choose one of the following options:
- Call-to-action: You can include a relevant 1-2 sentence call-to-action at the end of your article. You can direct readers to your website, your book or course, your newsletter or blog, or even your YouTube channel. 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 and direct readers to where they can find more resources. Please note that this text is subject to editorial discretion, and it may only include one link. You will not receive $60 if you choose this option.
- USD $60: 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. (Please be aware that in some cases, PayPal removes a $1-$5 transaction fee; unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this.) You are not allowed to include a call-to-action with this option.
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 then determine if we want to extend an invitation to you to write more.
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 also accept niche pieces (such as raising an HSP child), the pieces that catch the most fire are about big topics that almost all HSPs can relate to.
- The article has a clear message or lesson.
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 that pain?
- When possible, they take on big ideas.
What needs to change in our society to make it more HSP-friendly? What do the “less sensitive” people need to know to stop treating HSPs as “broken”? Give us your big ideas and passionate calls for change!
- 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, with a takeaway that helps others.
- 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.
- Nothing cliché.
Especially in the advice you give — if it’s a tip we’ve all heard before, it doesn’t need to be said again. Instead, give us insights that are new, actionable, and truly valuable.
- Your topic has a strong, clear connection to high sensitivity…
- …and you avoid stereotypes and blanket statements about HSPs.
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! (However, we are no longer taking pandemic-themed pieces.)
- Yes, I’m Sensitive. No, I’m Not an Introvert. Here’s the Difference.
- 8 Things You Should Never Do to a Highly Sensitive Person*
*It’s okay to do more than the suggested number of items for these!
How to Submit Your Piece
Before you submit an article, please run through this checklist. Have you…
- Used this template?
- Created a Gravatar profile? The email address you provide us should match the email address associated with your Gravatar account.
- Turned your post into an editable Google Doc?
If so, you’re ready to submit!
Please share your Google Doc with [email protected].
We look forward to your contribution!
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.
- 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.