Third Factor is nothing without our writers. But we have to be honest with you: we don’t have the resources to pay our authors—yet. (If you’d like to help us address that problem, would you consider becoming a patron?) So right now, we’re looking for those who believe in our mission and are willing to donate their labor as writers to help us demonstrate proof of concept.
This page will explain the process of “pitching” your article to us, which is simply the term freelance writers use to describe the process of proposing an article to a magazine editor. We explain the process in depth here because many of our contributors are just starting out as writers. (And yes, we welcome novices!) Please also read our description of what happens after your pitch is accepted to make sure you’re up for the challenge, and don’t hesitate to ask questions if something isn’t clear.
How to Get Our Editors’ Attention
Pitches (also known as query letters) should be in the form of a short paragraph and/or outline describing your idea, no more than 250 words. Your pitch should also explain why you think this article is a match for our creative, gifted, and intense readers. (You may be surprised how many pitches we get from people who obviously have no idea what Third Factor is about. You’re obviously not one of those people, because you’re reading this page—so make sure you signal this to us somehow!)
Occasionally, we’ve received full drafts written on spec, i.e., submitted to us as completed documents; while we’re grateful for such enthusiasm, we don’t encourage this. We’d prefer to agree on the content before you go to the trouble of writing it. It’s less work for you and for us that way.
So start off by contacting us with your pitch, and please specify that you’re offering your piece as a donation. (We don’t take that for granted.) Be sure to include a rough estimate of the word count you’re envisioning. Good writing should, of course, be precisely as short or as long as it needs to be. If it’s over 3,500 words, we might opt to publish it in a two-part series or suggest that you break it into separate articles, but we can be flexible here.
What kind of articles we looking for? Here are some suggestions:
Related to the Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD)
- Popularization of psychological research—perhaps your own, perhaps someone else’s—that ties in with or complements TPD and makes it accessible to the educated non-expert. Think academic content, but popular voice. (If you’re not fully comfortable writing in the popular voice, we’ll be happy to work with you to polish it and get it to fit our voice and our audience.)
- Personal memoir on positive disintegration and reintegration experiences. Think content that will help others going through this realize that they’re not alone, and see that others can come out the other side not only intact, but stronger than they were when they started.
- Biographical studies, much like the memoir but about someone who’s not you. We’re especially interested in role models for aspiring human catalysts.
- Creative writing that brings to light some element of positive disintegration. Sometimes fiction is the best way to reveal Truth—and get our imaginational overexcitability flying!
Complementary to the Theory
- Intellectual debates! For instance, if you have an opinion on a hot topic—and if you’re on good terms with someone who holds an opposing view—we’d love to hear you two talk it out. We’d like to feature stories where each side gets 400-500 words to make their case, then another 400-500 to respond to the other side. The key is doing so in good faith and respecting the humanity of the other side, the better to engage our readers’ intellectual OE while keeping their emotional OE from going off in the wrong direction.
- We’re also open to discussions of current events or the modern world without a debate partner. Just let us know why you think it relates to reintegration and personal growth, and we’ll consider it.
- Other perspectives on psychology, human growth, and character development, and so on that are not about TPD, but might interest an audience of creative, intense people.
- Got another idea not on this list? Pitch it! If you think our audience would be interested, we’d be honored to consider it.
Our goal is to start paying writers for articles sooner rather than later. We’ll eventually have an email address in place for freelancers to pitch articles in exchange for at least a semi-professional rate. Our editor in chief is a freelancer, so she knows how important that is. If you’re interested in the topic and want to know when we’ve reached that goal, you might sign up for our mailing list, or check back at this page later this year.
Thank you for considering writing for Third Factor!