2022 Call for Submissions
Here at Third Factor Magazine, we tell grassroots stories of the overexcitable, gifted, and unconventional. Of heptagonal pegs carving their own holes. Are you this sort of person?
Well, then, what do you wish you’d known earlier?
Help us share your wisdom with others who are looking for kindred spirits like you. We want to publish your essays and creative nonfiction that is meant to share your hard-won wisdom with others seeking to forge their own paths.
- We’re a very small operation with a limited Patreon-based budget, but we believe it’s important to pay our writers. Rates start at $35 for a well-written piece, with higher rates negotiable based on length, research required, or relevant expertise. We do not charge a submission fee.
- The first thing you should do, if you don’t know us well yet, is get to know Third Factor, its voice, and its mission. You don’t have to have any expertise in the theory of positive disintegration, but you should at least familiarize yourself with what it is and some of the key concepts, especially positive maladjustment and the third factor, which is so core to our purpose that we named our magazine after it.
We’re open to any pitch that fits our general theme: How do you know that your maladjustment is positive, and what do you do once you decide it is? You see that our logo is a phoenix rising from the ashes. Consider our motto, resurget cineribus—”It rises from the ashes.” Ultimately, we want stories about phoenixes: why did this one rise? What’s in the way of that one rising?
That said, we’re looking in particular for articles on the following topics for themed issues. We haven’t assigned them to months yet and will run them if and when we collect enough articles. So, in no particular order:
- Positive Maladjustment to the Internet. How has the digital side of life affected you, and what have you done about it? What has it shown you, for better or worse, about human nature and who you are? How does the Internet interact with emotional, intellectual, or imaginational intensity? So far, we’ve written Remembering How to Be (Without Your Phone) on this topic, and we’d like to expand on this.
- The Life of the Imagination. What is the life of the imagination truly like? What hasn’t been said yet but should be about life with a vibrant imagination? What’s good about it that no one realizes is good? What about its downsides, and what do you do about them? Check out Gothic Childhoods, The Mind Palace, and Creativity as a Collective Activity for a range of stories that we liked on this theme.
- The Body. Our readers live in their heads. We tend to suffer from the Cartesian split, acting as though the mind and the body are separate. This theme could be a great place to explore the two forms of overexcitability that we neglect, namely, the sensory and the psychomotor. Check out Activating the Third Factor through Mind-Body Communion for an article that lays the groundwork for this discussion.
- The Questioner’s Life. So you’re intellectually intense. What’s a lesson you’ve learned over the years that shows how to ask good questions and learn from the answers you find? When has it taken courage to do so? What’s the difference between being a contrarian and a critical thinker? Practicing Parrhesia and The Path of the Agreeable Questioner begin to explore this from the highly agreeable perspective; you are welcome to continue that lens, or approach this from an entirely different angle.
- Emotional Health and Growth. People often find us because they’re emotionally intense and they that as a good thing. Dabrowski certainly saw it as key to positive disintegration! But it can’t be denied that emotional intensity can be painful, both for the intense person and for those around him or her. In fact, we might even argue that it takes some skill to live a healthy, emotionally intense life. If you agree, tell us how you developed that skill. Bonus points to articles that incorporate Dabrowski’s dynamisms. (Again, you don’t have to be an expert there.)
- Integrity. It’s obviously related to disintegration and reintegration, but what does it mean to have it? Do you have it? Was there a time you realized you did not, and what did you do about it? Consider one of our most popular articles: The Confusing Life of Being Too Different. And then pitch us something about how you lived your own different life with integrity.
- Courage. How does it relate to sorting out your values? To positive maladjustment? To living an authentic life? Tell us a story about how you found the courage to face others–or to face yourself. Check out Part II of our biography of Robert F. Kennedy, Journey to the East: An Expat’s Disintegration, Part I or Political Iridescence for some of our previous writing on the topic.
- The Second Factor. We’re named after the third factor of development, which is our authentic conscience and our agency in acting in line with it. But what about the other two? Dabrowski said the first factor of development that makes us who we are is our innate, biological makeup, and the second factor is our environment—our peers, our families, our culture. It seems to our editor in chief that first factor explanations for why we are the way we are (neurodiversity, et cetera.) are en vogue at the moment. But what about the second factor? Tell us about a strong second factor influence that left its mark on you. How did your community’s values put you on the wrong road because you adopted them uncritically? How did your family shape who you are, for better or for worse? What about school? How about socioeconomic class?
What We Don’t Want
- Content published elsewhere, including your personal Substack. We will happily link to your personal site, but we are looking for original content at our site. Though we have made exceptions to this policy, they are very rare.
- Generic buzzwords that reflect the current zeitgeist without any specific argument or story. We often get pitches offering articles about, e.g., “mental health” or “racism.” These are too vague to be of interest. There could be good stories buried beneath these words, but you have to communicate it clearly; the buzzword will not be enough to catch our attention.
How to Submit
Interested? Hurrah! Please see Write for Us for how to submit.
But in brief, we’re looking for a short (roughly 250 word) pitch—not a full article—that explains your FULL idea—not just a teaser!—how you’ll develop it, and why it’s a fit for our niche.
Remember the phoenix. In every pitch, what we want to know is this: Does the phoenix rise from the ashes? If so, how does it manage it? If not, why not? What’s in the way?
Send that to editor at third factor dot org, or submit it through our Contact Us form.
Though it’s not a requirement, let us know if you’d be interested in participating in our community and joining conversations with readers.
And hey, if you read this far and liked our content, but you’re not planning to submit, would you consider dropping by our Patreon and becoming a member? As little as five dollars a month goes a long way toward bringing you quality content on these themes—and comes with membership in a community where we discuss them in depth.