An Invitation to Authors
We welcome compelling, thoughtful articles exploring trends, principles, history, and ideas underlying a free society: private property, the rule of law, voluntary exchange, individual rights, morality, personal character, cultural evolution, self-responsibility, charity, mutual aid, and limitations on power.
What to Submit
We publish nonfiction articles that are accessible to intelligent lay readers — particularly young people. We emphasize the positive case for liberty in the political, social, and economic spheres. We avoid name-calling and partisan politics. The audience is general, not narrow or partisan, so the arguments and rhetoric should be structured not to exclude any potential reader.
FEE will not publish substantive changes to your draft without your approval. However, consistent with publishing convention, FEE assumes primary responsibility for the packaging and presentation of your piece, including title and image. Authors should also be aware that publication is permanent. It is not our editorial policy to grant or consider post-hoc revisions, retractions, cuts, or anonymity following publication of an article.
How to Submit
Submit articles via e-mail in MS Word format, or Google docs, with the Title of Article, Author Name as the subject line. Please include a sentence or two explaining the main idea of the submission, as well as a brief, one-sentence bio that we can use to identify you to our readers.
We receive a lot of submissions at FEE.org. Please don’t take things personally if we decline. There are all kinds of reasons pieces may not be a good fit for us at a certain time.
Great pieces will have the following characteristics:
- Be interesting. Be memorable. Think about whether this is an article you would click on, email to friends, or share on social media. Think about lines you would quote from the article when you share it.
- Lede strong. Your opening should grab people and pull them into the rest of the article. Tell stories about people and events that are relatable.
- Be fair. No strawmen — no men who even have pockets full of straw. No vague allusions: “Some say...many believe...” Be specific and cite sources.
- Be focused. There is a limit to what you can cover in a single article It’s better to pick one or two points and really nail them, rather than trying to recreate philosophy from the ground up.
- Resist writing a “thesis statement” in the first paragraph, but throughout the article, always remember what you are trying to communicate.
- Write clearly. Be professional, but please submit articles in English, not academic-ese.
- Consider your intended audience, the best way to market to it, the most appealing aspects of your thesis (have you buried it?), and what readers are going to take away from the piece.
Other Rules of Thumb
- Length. We are willing to look at pieces between 800 and 1200 words for features, but can even be as few as 400 words. If you have an idea for a piece longer than 1200 words, we suggest you pitch your idea first.
- Documentation. We want to see documented facts and quotations, with attributions incorporated into the text. (No endnotes or footnotes.) When citing online sources, we strongly prefer URLs embedded as part of the text. In other words, use the link tool in your word processor.
- Tone. We are looking for a specific tone: Imagine you are talking to a group of smart first-years at an Ivy League-level university. While we don’t want to lose your unique voice, we want the tone and style to be relatable to young people who are curious about our ideas.
- No long paragraphs. Digital reading is different from print. Paragraphing should be frequent, and a single paragraph should not be more than three to five sentences. Breaking up long paragraphs will greatly improve readability.
- Add subheadings. Subheadings help the reader navigate your prose. They also help you to organize your writing.
- Bios and Pics. Please add your preferred biography and include a picture of yourself. This will save the editorial team time.
We generally do not pay writers for their submissions.
FEE asks for no exclusive rights to any article. FEE takes no rights from you but embraces the right to distribute articles accepted for publication in any format, including print, web, e-reader, and formats currently known or yet to be discovered. FEE has maintained an open-reprint policy from its inception. We use the Creative Commons CC-by guidelines. In cases where an author’s content is syndicated, we will use specific language to preclude CC-by.