Natural Awakenings Writers' Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in writing for Natural Awakenings, a healthy living, healthy planet magazine serving more than 50  holistic communities throughout the United States. We are a free monthly publication. The mission of our family of publishers is to educate our 1.3 million readers about how they can make the most of natural and green living. profiles this mind/body/spirit-savvy audience.


Natural Awakenings articles are lively, insightful and informative, providing cutting-edge information in concise, well-organized, easy-to-understand journalistic prose. Health, fitness, personal growth, sustainability, inspiration and creative expression are ongoing themes. Our goal is to present healthful, Earth-friendly ways of living in a manner that is accessible to all of our readers, focusing on hope, healing, practical tips and benefits.


Each month, we share pertinent global news and interviews with national experts, complemented by locally generated news briefs and articles. Among these, we spotlight local businesspeople, representatives of nonprofits and other experts that are contributing to natural health and sustainable-living communities.


We ask that you familiarize yourself with our magazine’s style, monthly editorial calendar and general content, as well as the kinds of topics we have covered in the past by reading the articles on our website.




Feature Articles (600 to 1,100 words in local markets; 1,400 for national features)

Lede features generally support the designated issue theme. Rather than tackle a vast subject, it is better to focus on a particular segment (e.g., “Using Chinese Medicine to Treat Menopause” rather than “Everything You Want to Know about Chinese Medicine”). Most features include at least one short sidebar.


Departments (500 to 700 words)

Departments often complement an issue’s theme and may include brief, 75-to-350-word sidebars. A local market article may focus on an individual or group involved in a community or might quote several individuals with expertise in a particular area. National departments have a wider scope.


·  Conscious Eating – ways that food can support health; eco-friendly choices

·  Creative Expression – empowering, accessible, arts-oriented practices

·  Fit Body – traditional and cutting-edge fitness styles and practices

·  Green Living – practical, how-to information for creating sustainable lifestyles

·  Healing Ways – therapies and practices that encourage and support natural health

·  Healthy Kids – mind/body/spirit health, well-being and green living tips for youth

·  Inspiration – uplifting essays and insights that speak to our soul

·  Natural Pet – holistic solutions and practices relating to behavior, exercise and nutrition

·  Wise Words – Q&A with leading thinkers, national authorities and other experts


Briefs (50 to 200 words)

These “clips” of information, with a timely news hook, update readers on wellness and sustainability news and trends: Global Briefs, Action Alerts and Eco Tips are written in-house at our national office. News Briefs, generated at the local level, highlight updates on local organizations, businesses and individuals. Health Briefs, compiled both in-house and locally, cover findings from leading-edge research or a new health trend in a relevant field. Health claims must be attributed to professional journals, studies or other credible sources. Submissions are accepted.


Note: Word counts encompass titles and endnotes; optional short sidebars count separately.




What We Want

·  Write in the third person (he/she/people/practitioners/clients) and use an active voice. (says)

·  Mix sentence lengths and keep paragraphs short; use plain language, avoid repeating key words in same and consecutive sentences and briefly define technical terms.

·  Include strong, genuine quotes and short anecdotes or case studies to illustrate key points. 

·  Add credibility with key findings from scientific studies, statistics and updates on trends, citing authoritative sources.

·  Attribute all medical or health claims and scientific research results. Cite leading study information sources in the body and supporting links at the top of the submission document.


Style Notes

·  See our Style and Punctuation Guide. After that, default to the Associated Press Stylebook.

·  Use Times New Roman, 12-point type single spaced, with an extra line between paragraphs. Use only one space after periods and no indentations to begin paragraphs. Boldface titles and subheads so that they are easily recognized.

·  Spell out credentials and use acronyms such as LMT, ND, LPN on first mention only, and only if repeated. No credentials in bylines.

·  Avoid jargon. If using specific medical terms, technical language or idioms must be included; concisely define them for the reader.

·  List links at top of doc for all sources cited or quoted, in detail: books and magazines need title, author, publisher, year and page number; individuals need name, title, organization/company, phone, email, city and website. We won’t publish most of this, but it saves hours of fact checking.

·  Deactivate hyperlinks in your document—make them text only (publishers will reactivate these in digital versions of their local magazine). Ask a web expert about how to do this in your platform/program.


Additional Notes

·  If your article has been published elsewhere, we are not interested in it unless you own the rights or can rework original copy on the same topic.

·  We buy one-time rights to publish your work in print and digital editions of all Natural Awakenings magazines. The contributor, whether paid or not, retains the rights to resell their intellectual property; original copy is embargoed for six months from the month of publication.

·  Your original work will be edited to fit Natural Awakenings’ style. We will send your edited article back to you for a final author fact check (only), and we ask that you be accessible.

·  Include a one-to-three-sentence bio at the end of the submission that lists the writer’s city/state; phone, email and/or website; credentials (degrees and/or other relevant experience); and any areas of specialty. You may also list awards, published books (title, publisher if necessary and year) or books to be published (title, publisher, proposed release date). Avoid blatant sales promotion, which decreases the editorial credibility of the piece. We may cut for length.

·  Please write according to recommended/assigned word length.



Editorial Text

·  All editorial must be in digital format. No faxed or printed submissions are accepted.

·  Submit all text as a Word document in 12 pt. Times New Roman, single spaced.