May 18, 2020
- What we’re looking for
- Writing guidelines: topics, style, etc.
- Members-only articles
- Becoming a contributor
1. What We’re Looking For
If you’d like to have your work published at Mind Cafe, there are a few things that you should know.
- Firstly, one single goal should underpin every article at Mind Cafe: it should teach our readers how to live a better, happier life.
- Next, your article should provide value to the average reader, not just a niche group of people. Before submitting, ask yourself: Would most of the people I know benefit from reading this article? If so, great. That’s another tick.
- Finally, your article should have a clear and actionable takeaway. This could take the shape of a step-by-step process or simple tips for the reader. Either way, they should be left with something that they can actually use.
2. Writing Guidelines
Below are some tips for maximising your chances of having your work accepted for publication.
At Mind Cafe, we pride ourselves on simplicity and honesty. Our tone is conversational and relaxed.
We believe in good writing, but good writing as something that’s accessible and easy to understand. We don’t want long, complicated sentences that people have to read several times to fully understand.
While these have their place in academic texts, we believe that readers looking to improve their lives want to access useful information quickly and easily — without having to decipher archaic words that only seven people on the planet can actually define.
As well as simplicity, we’d like you to keep your article engaging. Mix things up. Balance short, snappy sentences and longer, more informative ones to keep your reader interested. Make it flow. Keep it exciting.
We expect our writers to do the majority of their own editing. We’re happy to help with prose and framing ideas occasionally, but misspelt words and grammar errors are easy enough to fix on your own.
Because of this, we highly recommend that all of our writers run their work through Grammarly. When we receive a draft, we don’t want to see more than a couple of critical errors, and Grammarly will help you fix these easily (and for free).
Reed, Jon and I all Grammarly both in our own writing and to assist us during every stage of the editorial process. The tool has both worked to improve our skills as authors and content curators, and using it will vastly increase your chances of having your work accepted for publication.
The free version of Grammarly will help you with:
- Spellchecking: Grammarly detects correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. You can stop worrying about misusing homophones like lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, there/their/they’re, and many other commonly confused words.
- Grammar checking: Grammarly can fix hundreds of complex grammatical errors, including subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement, to name just a few.
Because we’re passionate about this tool, we’ve become an affiliate for Grammarly, meaning that they pay us a small commission for each download through us. If you wish to download Grammarly, please consider using our link.
- Use an eye-catching cover photo that you have the rights to. You can find such photos, license-free, on Unsplash, Pexels or Pixabay. Feel free to use your own photography, too. Just make sure to tell us where you got your photos from when you submit your article. To align with our colour scheme and brand, we may decide to change your photo.
- Ensure that your subheadings are capitalised and are separated using Medium’s in-built separators. Follow the exact formatting we’ve used in this article.
- Don’t promote. If you’re looking to sell or market products, Mind Cafe is the wrong place to do so. Leave out all promotion and CTAs.
Our best-performing articles are those that draw upon external support and evidence from research, philosophies or approved theories.
These references will make your article much more compelling, giving readers confidence in applying the information you’re providing.
Granted, not all topics will require equal amounts of supporting evidence. If you’re planning on writing about your personal experiences, do so, but aim to draw upon other sources to reinforce your points if you can. These may be studies, philosophies or even just quotes from relevant scholars.
There’s no right or wrong, but we’ve certainly found that our best-performing articles are the ones that are supported by at least some theory/evidence. If you’re going to hold anything up as absolute truth, just be sure to support your arguments.
3. Example Articles
To give you an idea of what we’re looking for, here are three articles that are a perfect fit for Mind Cafe:
4. Submitting Your Work
To submit your work for publication, please follow this link and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible if your piece has been accepted.
What happens after you submit your article
When you submit work to us, one of three things can happen.
1. Your work gets accepted
In this case, your work is accepted for publication and you’ll be added as a writer for Mind Cafe within Medium. A member of our submissions team will email you to let you know as soon as you’ve been added.
2. You’ll work with our writer development team to improve your article before having it accepted
If your work is a good fit but still needs a little work to meet our standards, a member of our writer development team will reach out to you and offer you some tips on how to boost the quality of your work.
Common reasons for this happening include:
- Weak introduction: The overall content is good, but the introduction to the piece needs work. Either it isn’t engaging enough, doesn’t provide enough depth or is irrelevant to the rest of the piece. Please specify.
- Weak conclusion: The writer has produced a solid article with plenty of actionable information, but they have failed to provide a clear conclusion to the piece. This conclusion doesn’t have to be explicitly labelled as ‘Conclusion’ or ‘The Takeaway’, but there needs to be some attempt to round up the article in a succinct and reader-friendly manner.
- It’s incoherent: Strong points are made and the article provides definite value, but it’s messy and clunky. The writer needs to provide more structure to the piece and make sure each section smoothly transitions into the next rather than abruptly ending and starting again.
- Incorrect formatting/layout: Headings aren’t properly formatted; paragraphs are either too short or too long; all-capitals used in sentences; misuse of quote feature.
3. Your article is rejected
In this case, your article wasn’t quite what we were looking for at this time. We’ll email you to let you know if your piece was rejected within five days of you submitting it.
If you encounter any issues or have questions about our guidelines, you can contact us directly via firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll look forward to reading your content,
The Team at Mind Cafe