Calling All Writers and Teachers 1. FROM MISSION 2. FROM TIM FERRISS

  1. Submission Guidelines — Third Eye Alliance

What we’re eager to publish, plus best practices

The Mission reaches millions of the smartest readers in the world each month. Our social followers are at 300k and growing, and we publish a weekly and a daily newsletter that reaches 200k+ subscribers.

We strive to publish as many evergreen stories as possible. We want to publish stories that will matter today, next year, and if we’re lucky… for decades. This pursuit forces us to have strict editorial standards for the submissions we accept. We receive a large number of inquiries and submissions, and will only consider those that fit the criteria below.

Align With Our Themes
Each story must align with one or more of our themes. Our themes include: accelerated learning, startups, technology, health, science, art, design, and how to build a better future. We love promoting uplifting stories about the individuals and teams lifting humanity and creating a better world.

Tell a Story
Each submission should include a story, no matter how brief, to draw the readers into your story. We’re looking to publish stories between 750 - 3,000 words. The types and format of stories we publish include: Op-Ed’s, in depth how-to pieces, interesting musings, high quality listicles, journalistic works of art, narrative nonfiction, near-term speculative fiction, historical fiction, and fascinating interviews.

Here are some of examples of the type of stories we’re looking for:

Build Your Reputation, But Don’t be Afraid to Destroy it And Become Notorious
How to Gamify Your Life to Quickly Accomplish Big Goals
Rocket AI: The Most Notorious AI Launch and the Problem with AI Hype
The Greatest Sales Deck I’ve Ever Seen
The Dropout and One of the Greatest Comebacks Ever
Steve Jobs & Dan Kottke’s “Spirit Bookshelf”
Humanity’s Extinction Event is Coming
The Miracles of Mathematics Will Make Your World More Vibrant
How to 10X Your Instagram Growth

Side note: To get stories like the one’s above delivered to your inbox on M-F, plus updates and other goodies, you can subscribe to our newsletter here.

Entertain & Educate
Each story should try to tie into an important topic (whether its importance was lost in the past, exists now, or will be vital in the future). Our stories seek to explore, entertain, and spark conversation around rapidly emerging technologies and issues. We’re looking for strong opinions, weakly held.

Architecturally, Stylistically, and Visually Appealing
For the philosophy nerds out there, we want each of our stories to reach for the three-tiered platonic cannon: the good, the true, and the beautiful. We’re looking for stories which have been carefully structured, and edited for grammar, spelling, readability, and cohesiveness. We suggest that writers get help from places like Hemingway App, Grammarly, and friends who can provide critical feedback (prior to submitting your piece!).

All submissions should have a featured image above or below the title. Our favorite stock photo site is Twenty20! Bonus points for articles with beautiful, rich media (video, data, charts, or even GIFs) throughout the story. All images must be owned by you or include a cited source. We retain the right to remove images from submissions and replace them with those our editors pick.

Please use Medium’s formatting features! Headers, quotes, italics, etc.. A careful use of formatting is what helps make an article easy to read and share.

The Topics We’re Interested in Covering
Technology and Science — Startups, software, hardware, apps, VR/AR/MR, the IOT, machine learning, engineering, robotics, nanotechnology, bio-engineering, material science, and breakthrough technologies that are helping abundance become ubiquitous
Explorations — Personal challenges, tragedies, triumphs, and travels, emerging physical and mental trials, new sports, innovative types of entertainment and art, seafaring, spacefaring, along with asteroid identification and mining
Improving the Human Condition — Rebuilding our crumbling culture, developing the developed world, optimizing ourselves, promoting empathy and love, health and longevity, personal mastery of our bodies & biome, neuroscience, helping politics and systems of cooperation evolve, and promoting voluntary evolution

Things to Remember
Please Only Submit Unpublished Drafts
In the spirit of trying to get your article the most exposure possible, we prefer unpublished drafts over published stories. Medium’s algorithm favors fresh stories, and our homepage is sorted by date of when the article was published (not when it was accepted into the publication). The longer it’s been since a story’s original publish date, the poorer it will usually perform.

We Reserve the Right to Alter and Edit Your Story
The Mission team can edit the content of your story if grammatical errors are found, along with adding logos, bylines, ads, images, etc. to your story. If you remove this content after your story is published, it will be removed from The Mission, and you will be removed from our list of contributors.

We’re Looking For Long-Term Relationships
Once we’ve published your story on The Mission, we ask that it remain in our publication. We will not be accepting articles from writers who publish with The Mission and then publish the same stories elsewhere on Medium.

We will only publish author bylines that are 1–2 sentences long. Please feel free to include 1–2 links. Anything longer will be removed (including author photos, newsletter forms, excessive links, etc). These shorter bylines and a single sentence CTA to recommend and share will help increase the amount of people your story reaches.

Response Time
Our response time varies, but we’re usually pretty quick. If you haven’t heard back about a submission within 48 hours, please assume it won’t be published.

2. GUEST POST REQUIREMENTS

Hello! If you’re reading this, you probably got the link directly from me. Please don’t share it.

If you’re thinking of a blog post for this site, the checklist is below. I highly encourage you to use it precisely as a checklist — literally, go through the points and ensure your draft satisfies all of these criteria.

When posts don’t hit these points, I usually have to decline them. At a minimum, I’ll postpone them for several weeks at a time. The blog isn’t my full-time job, so I often push off unready posts for months, if they ever get up at all.

That said, here’s how to stay at the top of the pile!

Required

Sign the guest writer agreement.
It’s based on Mashable’s standard agreement, and it’s a requirement for my liability insurance. Please sign it here before you get started. I can’t run anything without it.

Substantive posts and original content. 
An article that feels too short, or that lacks depth, will be sent back. Nearly ALL of my most viral posts are more than 3,000 words.

Dive deep into the topic and treat the post as seriously as you would a full-page Op-Ed for The New York Times (there’s evidence this blog sells more). It’s easier to cut the unnecessary stuff than it is to figure out what’s missing. When possible, back up what you’re saying with research or stories, as well as data taken from your own experiences. The writing should take you at least a few days to get right.

Be SPECIFIC and get into exact details.
Three good examples, which all did extremely well, are below. If you’re unwilling or unable to provide an article like these, this blog is probably not a good fit.

Please DON’T ask me last-minute favors. Give me at least 3-4 weeks to schedule.
This is a very active blog, and I get a lot of guest post requests. Please treat me as you would an editor at a “real” media outlet. This blog has about half the subscriber base of The Wall Street Journal, so it’s a reasonable request. If your email is last-minute, I’ll sadly almost always have to politely pass.

IMPORTANT: Send me a few topic ideas before drafting anything.
Before you write a post, email me 3-5 of your best topic ideas based on all the above points, including prospective titles and a few bulleted “takeaways” for each. If you draft something without my thumbs up, I can’t help if I then reject it as unsuitable!

When in doubt, link it out.
My readers come to me for ease-of-use and resources. So, if you write, “I once went to Saison restaurant in SF, where I learned about the book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing from a friend,” you should link out to what I bolded. Make it easy for readers to dig deeper! TECHNICAL REQUEST: Always have links open in a new tab, please.  In other words, I don’t want people to leave my site.  Here’s how to format links to open in a new tab.

Next, for bonus credit, please suggest further reading from past posts on my blog that are relevant, and link to them. Search the “Topics” sidebar for ideas. In all cases: always TEST your links before sending the draft to me.

Include actionable takeaways and recommended next steps.
Readers care about your story, of course, but they also need to learn specific lessons from your post. Ramit Sethi is particularly good at giving readers actionable “next steps” they can take, and you can clearly see this in his guest post on “The Psychology of Automation.”

Create quality “evergreen” content. 
Nearly all of the posts on this blog are written to be just as relevant, if not more relevant, five years from now. The most popular post from the last four years is “How to Lose 20 Pounds of Fat in 30 Days… without Exercise.” No matter what year that post is read, the content will always be relevant and people will tell their friends about it. Having evergreen content is what made this blog successful, and it’s the most important thing to keep in mind when writing your post.

Send me the right formats.
– Please send me the post in two formats: 1) Word doc and 2) HTML, the latter formatted for WordPress. I don’t want to spend hours reformatting after copying and pasting from Word, but I like to print from Word to hand edit first.
– Do NOT send me just a single Word doc with blue links — can’t use it.
– If possible, please host any images on your own servers (or Flickr, or whatever), and format them to display at 500 pixels wide. All that said, still email me the image as attachments, just in case I need to access them or tweak something. If you aren’t able to figure out the hosting, I can do it, but it can delay publication.

Remember and accept that I have final editorial call.
This means that I might want to delete or rework sections entirely.  If you’re not OK with me freely editing your stuff (mostly for clarity and format), my blog isn’t the right place for your piece.  For what it’s worth, most writers enjoy my edits and appreciate them.  I do the least necessary, not the most possible.

Have fun with it!
If it’s not fun for you to write on some level, it won’t be fun for my readers to read. Tell stories, crack jokes if you like, and be yourself. Try and enjoy the process and the end product will be better.

Optional

Lists work.
One of the most popular guest post is Gary Arndt’s “20 Things I’ve Learned from Traveling Around the World for Three Years.” It resonated with people and made good use of pictures, but it was also very easy to read because of the list structure. You don’t have to use lists, but they are effective.

Another hugely popular list-based guest post was “Playing B-Ball with Obama: 6 Steps to Crossing Anything Off Your Bucket List.

Media works. 
Having pictures and/or video can provide a richer reading experience, assuming the pics/videos are high quality. One example of a guest post that made good use of video was “Clinton’s Reality Distortion Field Charisma,” where Michael Ellsberg incorporated a clip of Clinton at the end and provided his play-by-play analysis.

You’ll notice I have photos (roughly 500 pixels wide) at the top of almost all posts. It helps things to provide one such picture or find one on Flickr.com (search with checking “creative commons” and sorting by “most interesting”).

Thanks for reading and hope it helps,

Tim