Guidelines for Submitting Posts to On Solid Ground

On Solid Ground (OSG) is a community blog with the purpose of sharing life-serving ideas with young adults. If you’d like to write for the blog, this guide will help you craft posts that align with OSG’s purpose.

Writing Style 

  • Tone: Please use a simple, clear, and conversational style. A good yardstick is to imagine that you’re explaining your idea to an intelligent high-schooler. 
  • Approach: The ideal OSG piece shares ideas in a manner that meets readers at their values and then shows them how your ideas may help them achieve those values (this is what we call a “value-up” approach). To start at readers’ values, consider writing sentences with a structure similar to “Do you want to reduce your stress levels?” or “Many of us are looking to get a higher-paying job,” then explain how your ideas can help them achieve those goals. Also, consider sharing your ideas with a “learn-out-loud” attitude. This means writing in an exploratory, rather than a definitive or matter-of-fact manner. Consider using phrases such as “In my view…,”  “My thinking on this is…,” or “Given what facts I have so far…” to achieve this.

Example Posts

Here is a partial list of the kinds of posts you could write for OSG.

  • How-to: Cut right to the chase by giving readers a step-by-step process to achieve a particular value. (Example 1, Example 2)
  • Role Model: Show how one of your favorite authors, speakers, or heroes embodies ideas or mindsets that help readers achieve a certain value. (Example)
  • Review: Share the most important takeaway(s) of a book, video, or podcast you’ve recently consumed and how these may help readers achieve related values. (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3)
  • Celebration: Talk about a song, movie, TV show, or video game you admire and the life-serving values it has given you. (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Tell a story of how you’ve matured or come to understand an idea deeper than before and what lessons others can pull from it. (Example)
  • Personal Advice: Tell a story of how you learned or developed an idea, how you have been using it to improve your life, and how readers can use it too.
  • Continue the Conversation: Describe an interesting conversation you’ve recently had and invite the reader to contemplate the value of a particular idea from it.
  • Course or Conference Takeaways: Share with readers the most important points you learned from a course or event you took part in and their value to readers.

Submission Guidelines

  • Format: So our editors have an easy time reading and editing your piece, please submit your writing in a Google Doc in 14pt. Times New Roman font. Name the Google Doc using the file naming convention “initials-osg-subject.” At the top of the doc, please include a single-sentence summary of your theme (the main point your piece is making).
  • What to Submit: If you want to save time and/or you’re new to working with us, please either submit a preliminary theme or an outline of your piece before writing a rough draft. This will give editors a chance to identify any theme or structure-related issues early on.
  • Sources: Directly link to mentioned sources (e.g. a book or video). As needed, leave a footnote(s) including page numbers or timestamps if you’re referring to a particular part of the source.
  • Word Count: Ideal posts are between 500 and 1000 words. 
  • Submission: Please send your piece to [email protected] or submit a post here. Allow at least two working days before following up.

If you have any questions, please send them to Maddox at [email protected].