Here are guidelines for those considering contributing an article to Life Learning. Please read them carefully prior to contacting us.
Who We Are
Life Learning publishes articles for and from the community of people living and learning without school. This includes unschooling – which we prefer to call "life learning" – as well as progressive homeschooling, self-directed education, and other forms of interest-led, active, informal, non-institutionalized, school-free learning. Our readers are located at many different places on the unschooling spectrum. You can learn more about us here.
What We Publish
Our articles explore how people of all ages learn without school – what helps and what hinders; share ways to respect and trust children to learn as if school doesn't exist; reassure ourselves that children can be trusted to learn what they need to know; and legitimize the principles of interest-led, self-directed learning from life.
We like to publish real-life personal stories from people of all ages who have deschooled themselves and learned on their own or helped their children to do so; articles about how we have been limited by a society that believes in compulsory schooling and how we can transcend those limits; and profiles (autobiographical or otherwise) of teens and adults who are/were unschooled. But please do not let these suggestions limit you; if you have an article idea, please discuss it with us!
Life Learning articles dig deep and challenge the assumptions related to "experts" (whether within the homeschooling community or outside it); to learning as a result of being taught; and to the trappings of school, such as grading, testing, curriculum, and hierarchy.
We are not afraid of controversy and are willing to present articles that deal head-on with challenges in the unschooling and homeschooling communities.
We are not necessarily looking for professional writers; Life Learning is mostly written by its readers, whose contributions reflect their personal experiences with life learning and non-coercive parenting.
We use gender-neutral language (accepted articles will be edited to reflect this policy if necessary). We are not interested in the academic credentials of our writers; in fact, we do not, by policy, include degrees or other credentials in writers' bylines. (They are acceptable in your bio, which will appear at the end of the published article.)
Our readers are located in the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Japan, and many other countries around the world. Therefore, articles should not focus on any one country or on political issues relevant to just one country or area. We prefer to use the term "life learning" rather than "unschooling."
We appreciate tight writing that is well-organized and doesn't ramble, but article length is flexible.
If required, your article will be edited for spelling, punctuation, grammar, clarity, space, and consistency in tune with our editorial style.
If major renovations are required, your article will be returned to you with suggestions for reworking it. We reserve the right to edit or replace the title of your article if necessary.
Here is an index to some articles that we have published in the past. If you are unfamiliar with Life Learning, please have a look at these articles before querying us.
Remuneration and Copyright
We are unable to pay contributors but like to barter. We will provide you with a link to your website or blog in the bio at the end of your article. If you send us a photo of yourself, we will add it and your bio to our contributors' page. We also barter for advertising.
We require your permission to publish the article on the website and in annual article compilations, and as part of third-party versions of our articles that are licensed to libraries and other institutions. Writers retain all other rights to their work, and are therefore free to contribute their articles to other magazines or websites without our permission. You can also publish it on your own blog (with a link back to this website, if possible). If your article was written specifically for us, please ask future publishers, as a courtesy, to give us a credit with a link to this website.
How to Query Us
Please query first by email with an outline of your proposed article and a bit of background about you and your experience with the topic and with writing. We need to know if your article has been published elsewhere – either in print or on the web, or if you have submitted it elsewhere, or plan to do so (although that will only be a barrier to publication if a direct competitor has published it recently or will be publishing it in the near future).
If you wish to submit a photograph to accompany your article, it should be a high quality electronic file in JPG format, preferably with a horizontal orientation. Please include photo credit information. If the photograph has been taken by someone other than the writer, you should have on file a release signed by the photographer. If you are submitting photos that include recognizable individuals, you should also have their permission. We reserve the right not to include your photos if they don't fit with our layout or are not of sufficient quality.
I appreciate your interest in contributing to Life Learning and look forward to helping you share your thoughts and words with our readers!