Call for Submissions from Writers of Color…
We are very interested in receiving pieces from writers of color who identify as highly sensitive people. This includes topics about what specifically it’s like to be sensitive and a person of color, or general HSP topics through your own lens. 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 and race in our world today? And, what change would you like to see?
Examples of topics might include what it’s like growing up as a highly sensitive person in your community; how sensitivity is seen differently in your community; how racism has affected you, and how your sensitivity plays into that; or any big idea related to HSPs. If you have an idea for a piece like this, please submit it following the guidelines below.
All Other Authors… We Want You Too!
Other topics, from writers of all backgrounds, are also welcome — see our guidelines and suggested topics below.
Welcome to Our Community of Authors
We’re looking for new posts 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
Here are the basics:
- Please send a full article for consideration, not just a title or list of topics.
- Articles should be at least 1,000 words long, and no longer than 1,600 words.
- Although we occasionally run poetry, it’s rare; please do not submit a poem.
- Please be aware that we are a small team; we currently take up to 8 weeks to review a piece and make a decision.
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.
- 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!
- 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 solve a problem or help the reader.
We don’t necessarily need it to be a “how to” piece, but if you speak to a pain point that HSPs have, do you help readers tackle and overcome that pain?
- If it’s a personal story, it leads to a bigger message.
We love, love, 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.
- The article has a clear message or lesson.
It leaves readers with an “aha!” moment.
- Nothing cliché.
Especially in the advice you give — if it’s a tip we’ve all heard before, it probably doesn’t need to be said again. Instead, give us insights that are new, thought-provoking, and deep.
- Your topic is has a strong, clear connection to high sensitivity…
- …and you avoid stereotypes and blanket statements about HSPs.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I republish my submission on my personal blog?
Absolutely! We also accept submissions previously published on your personal blog. However, if we run your article, we ask that you don’t republish it on another major website.
2. Do you pay for submissions?
We do! If we publish your post, we’ll pay you US $40. We use PayPal to send payments, so please include your PayPal email address at the top of your Google doc.
3. How long should my submission be?
Posts must be at least 1,000 words; please don’t go over 1,600.
4. Can I include links within the piece?
Yes! Please only include links that will be helpful and relevant for the reader. It’s okay to link to appropriate posts on your blog 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 links, please.
5. 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”).
6. Should I include a headline?
Yes, please! We may to tweak it for SEO, style, or just to make it more attention-grabbing. But if you want to suggest one of your own, that makes our job easier.
7. Can I include a call to action?
Yes, you can include a call to action/link at the very end of your post directing readers to check out your book or course, download your free guide, subscribe to your newsletter, or follow you on social media. 1-2 sentences only.
8. Will you edit my post?
We’ll edit it for content and clarity, doing our best to preserve your voice. You will see our edits in your Google doc before we publish.
9. 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!
10. 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.
11. I just sent a post. 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 4-8 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.
12. 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.
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!)
- This Is What It’s Like to Be Sensitive and Black
- ‘Sensitive’ Is Just Another Word for Deep Thinker
- 13 Signs You’re a Sensitive Man*
- 13 Signs You’re a Highly Sensitive Woman*
- 15 Signs You’re Secretly More Sensitive Than You Think*
- 13 Reasons You’re Hiding Your Sensitive Side*
- The 6 Amazing Things That Happen When You Finally Show Your Sensitive Side*
- Sensitive People Were Born to Lead. Here’s Why.
- Yes, I Can Feel Your Feelings — and They’re Quite ‘Loud’
- Dear World: Please Stop Assuming Every Sensitive Person Is an Introvert
- Dear World: ‘Sensitive’ Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Means
- Sensitive People Are Tougher than Tough Guys
- Sensitive Men Are the Antidote to Toxic Masculinity
- In general, we love to see articles that could grab someone who has no idea they’re an HSP, and show them that there’s a reason for what they experience. For example: Are You Sensitive to Violent or Scary Movies? You’re Not Alone
*Any number is fine for these “list” type articles
Other Writing Prompts
Here are some more ideas to get you started:
1. Time for a change
Are schools, workplaces, communities, or a social expectation harming HSPs? (For example, the busy “go-go-go” mentality of modern life, loud music blasted in stores, or the constant expectation to fill up your weekend with social plans.) Write about it. How does it hurt HSPs? Why? And what could be done instead that’s more HSP-friendly?
2. What’s one thing that people misunderstand about you as an HSP?
Many HSPs feel out of place in a world that’s too loud and harsh, and they’re frequently misunderstood. Write a compassionate vindication that explains and defends an aspect of the HSP’s behavior. What is the misunderstanding, and how has it negatively affected your life? What do you wish others understood about you? How have you learned to embrace this characteristic — and can it actually be a strength?
3. Calling all mental health experts
Are you a life coach, therapist, counselor, psychologist, or other mental health professional? Write compassionately about a common problem your highly sensitive clients face. What is it like to experience this problem? Why do HSPs in particular struggle with it? Have you yourself struggled with it at some point? Give expert advice to solve or overcome this issue. See examples here and here.
How to Submit Your Piece
We now have a Submissions Template you can use! Using the template is not required; it’s just here to make your life easier 🙂 Click here to get the template.
Before you submit an article, please run through this checklist. Have you…
- Put it in a Google Doc?
- Put your name, email address, and a 3-5 sentence bio at the top of your post? (If you want, you can also include a link to your website or social media profiles.)
- Created a Gravatar account with a profile picture? The email address you provide us should match the email address associated with your Gravatar account.
- Included your PayPal email address?
If so, you’re ready to submit!
Please share your Google Doc with [email protected].
We look forward to your contribution!