Write for Us
We welcome submissions from external contributors. In order to help you better pitch your idea, we have drafted this writer’s guide based on good practices adopted by other similar outlets.
Directions aims to provide content that is engaging, relevant and accessible. Therefore, we are keen on receiving submissions by authors who have personal experience (e.g. research, government, NGO, etc.) with the subject they wish to write about. We do not publish journalistic reporting. Our publication is dedicated to analysis and commentary. All submissions should have a clear European angle: discuss cyber-related policy or technological developments in Europe; offer a European perspective on global or regional developments; discuss the impact of the solutions adopted in Europe in other parts of the world or assess how policies developed elsewhere will impact Europe.
Content. We only accept original content. Do not send us an article that has been submitted elsewhere or one that is based on the text published elsewhere. We do not publish research papers but will consider a commentary that is based on your research, field work, etc.
Length. Opinion should be 800-1,300 words and commentaries 1,000-2,000 words in length. Please do use the navigation on our home page to read a few of each of these types of pieces.
References and notes. Please use hyperlinks when you cite factual statements (speeches, statistics, events, etc.) or work of other authors. For a book, a link to the publishers website will do. To facilitate copy-editing at a later stage, the hyperlinks should be inserted as footnotes and the text to be hyperlinked highlighted. When citation via hyperlink is not possible, try to refer to the source in your text. Use endnotes only if absolutely necessary.
Professional biography. We aspire to publish the top experts in their respective fields. Please include your short bio (maximum four lines of text) at the bottom of your submission. You can hyperlink your projects and publications, if you wish to point readers to your book, personal website, or your Twitter handle.
Peer review. Your submission will be reviewed by one of our contributing editors and/or external reviewer. Be prepared to answer questions and revise your article, if required.
Fact checking. It is the author’s responsibility to ensure that all facts in the article - titles, names, treaties, numbers, years, etc. - are correct.
Editing. We understand that most of the texts we receive will be written by authors for whom English is not the mother tongue. Every article we decide to publish is subject to editing, sometimes several rounds. The editor’s proposed changes may be extensive and address structure, tone, spelling, grammar, or style. During the editing process, you will be asked to address the editor’s questions and proposed changes. Writers are not obliged to accept every suggestion, but when rejecting changes they should explain why. Make sure to use the track changes function on when you make your revisions in response to the comments. Do not delete our comments. We usually defer to AP style guide.
Pitching and submitting. Start by sending a short (200 words max) pitch to a managing editor with “PITCH” in the subject line. Explain to us your main argument, the relevance of the topic, and what makes you well-suited to address the topic in question. We will respond within 2 days.
If we accept your pitch and ask for a full submission, it can take anywhere from 3 days to over a week to review and edit your article. This timeline may be adjusted depending on the urgency of the topic. Texts in French and Spanish will usually require more time. Submissions should be emailed as single-spaced Word attachment with “SUBMISSION” in the subject line. Please note that if we ask you for a submission, that does not mean your article has been accepted. If for some reason we turn down your pitch or submission, please try again in the future with a new idea. Please read our tips for writing below to increase your chances of success.
If you wish to write for us, please contact our managing editors and consult our tips for writing.
Tips for writing
Even great ideas require good packaging. Give your ideas a solid form, structure and language that they deserve. Here are three tips to help you prepare a strong submission.
Lead and argument: To catch your reader’s attention, open your article with a provocative question, engaging anecdote, unusual fact or news event. Then state your argument clearly and up-front in your first or second paragraph. Do not leave the reader wondering halfway through your article what your core argument is. Then give them the meat of your argument in the body section. Use a lot of evidence. If yours is a longer article on a complex set of issues, consider using section breaks with titles. Finally, give us a strong conclusion. Rather than repeating your argument, use that last paragraph to push the discussion forward. If you make recommendations, be clear who your recommendations are for and who exactly you want to take action.
Clear and engaging language. We are not big fans of long sentences, passive voice and personal pronouns. If you wish to increase your chances of publishing with us, make sure you avoid all three. If you are writing about something theoretical, use real-world or even fictional vignettes to illustrate your point. This is particularly important when you use terms of art that only experts in your field will understand. If you can avoid or limit acronyms, that would be great.
Explain from the beginning. People avoid cyber and digital topics because they find them too technical. Prove them wrong. Show that even technical and complex issues can be exciting. We are sure that you know your topic well. But most readers probably do not share your particular expertise. Help them better understand and appreciate your ideas by explaining concepts and contexts in your article.