Manuscript Submissions

Independent School magazine is evolving. We’re in the process of making something great even better. And we want you to be a part of it.
We’re still looking for the same kind of deep thinking and fresh ideas we’ve always relied on from contributors; we’re just pushing it forward in new and exciting ways. We hope you’ll see even more opportunity to contribute and be a part of the Independent School magazine community.
As always, there will be themes for feature articles in each issue, but there will also be additional avenues to share your expertise, ideas, and experiences. The following department descriptions should help guide you through the submission process.

Themes for Feature Articles

Word count for Features: 1,800-2,500 words
Spring 2018: Leadership
There’s no one-size-fits-all model for what constitutes a leader. Leaders come in all forms, shaped by a variety of forces and experiences, and every leader’s journey looks a little different. What does it mean to be a leader? What does leadership look like in today’s independent schools? What are the qualities necessary to be an effective leader in today’s changing education environment? What do leadership journeys look like at independent schools? What are the different models and styles of leadership? How is leadership evolving to meet schools’ future needs? What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks on the leadership journey? How can we nurture the next generation of leaders at our schools? These are just some of the important questions we’ll seek to explore in this issue.
Deadline: 11/1/2017
Summer 2018: Teaching & Learning: What does independent school education look like today?
Deadline: 1/15/2018
Fall 2018: Diversity & Inclusion: Where are we now?
Deadline: 5/15/2018
Winter 2019: check back soon
Deadline: 8/15/2018


School News
Short profiles of independent member school news, programs, awards, and more. (Similar to the items in the current “Reporter” section of the magazine). School communications directors: Send relevant press releases, and include photos when available.
Word count: each item 200-300 words
News You Can Use
Short items broadly related to education, including new reports, surveys, and studies; new books; new software; and education-in-the-news stories. Press and public relations officers: Send relevant press releases.
Word count: each item 100-150 words
Reading Room
Book reviews—of professional and education-related books as well as for-pleasure reading—include one longer, in-depth review and a few shorter review-like pieces.
For the short bits: Did you read a book recently that you want to tell your colleagues about? Tell us about it in a few sentences: why did you like it? What made you want to read it? What was your biggest takeaway? Did you have a favorite line?
Word count (long review): 1,000-1,200 words
Word count (short “review”): 80-100 words
Research Insights
Articles provide the context and results of important research study and survey results that are useful to independent schools; highlights NAIS research and institutional research from member schools, as well as studies from universities and think tanks. Please note: This is not an outlet for publishing research papers or journal articles; the focus is on interpreting results and providing greater context and insight for independent schools.
Word count: 1,200-1,500 words
Trend Lines
Articles address and report on issues related to the changing education landscape—school models, financial models, admissions, financial aid, wellness, parent relations, legal issues, diversity & inclusion, and teaching & learning. They provide a big-picture view of trends and issues that are or will be impacting independent education.
Word count: 1,200-1,500 words
Leadership Lessons
Designed to inspire current leaders and keep them engaged in their work and to activate and inspire administrators and teachers who may not be in leadership positions—yet—these articles explore many facets of leadership, including theories and approaches, training, professional development, and more. This department consists of a big-picture look at a broad leadership issue or concept, and a shorter, first-person, how-I-got-here leadership story.
Word count (main article): 1,000-1,200 words
Word count (first-person): 200-250 words
What’s the Problem?
Everyone sees things a little differently, and oftentimes, the root cause of an issue is elusive. Gathering multiple perspectives on a problem can help us address it more effectively. Are you wrestling with a thorny issue on your campus—or maybe something seemingly mundane—and need some perspective? Tell us about it. We’ll present your scenario and solicit feedback from readers to help you uncover what the problem is (as well as some possible solutions).
Word count: 100-150 words
In Practice
A place for case studies. Articles provide an in-depth look at how an independent school has implemented an idea, theory, program, or practice. Submissions should include background information, a description of the specific approach, insights learned along the way, as well as key takeaways and useful guidance.
Word count: 1,500-1,700 words
Board Room
The head-trustee relationship is one of the key factors in a school's success. This department, geared for heads and trustees, explores the many facets of this important relationship. Articles focus on key governance issues and are designed to help build and secure productive working relationships.
Word count: 1,300-1,500 words
The Conversation
Designed to capture the essence of a dialogue between school colleagues, this Q&A explores the interconnectedness of relationships in the school community and seeks to break down silos and to get people talking about how their roles and work impact each other. Have you had a conversation recently with someone on campus that changed the way you think and work or led to an unexpected collaboration? Tell us about it. Do you know of—or are you a part of—an exemplary mentor-mentee pair? A great student-teacher duo? We want to hear about it. Send a brief description, and we’ll follow up.
Independent Spirit
Independent schools are truly unique, as are the passionate people who make up the school community. Designed to capture the essence of independent school life, this essay is a thoughtful reflection on why you chose to work at and be part of the independent school community—essentially, why you love what you do. Maybe you wound up at a school somewhat accidentally or after a long career elsewhere—what was your a-ha moment? Or maybe you grew up in independent schools—why did you decide to stay on? Reflect on and share your journey.
Word count: 750-850 words

General Writing Guidelines

Independent School is not an academic journal. We do not publish dissertations or other academic papers.
We follow AP style, with a few exceptions (namely, we use the serial comma). We do not include footnotes or endnotes. This information should be incorporated into the text in a journalistic style.
We’re always reviewing and accepting ideas and articles, so feel free to send along any ideas you may have at any time. All articles and ideas, including theme-related submissions that arrive after the posted deadlines, will be considered for future issues. Submit manuscripts (Word or Google document) to

Please note that we generally close out each issue three months prior to publication.

  • Fall issue usually closes by May 15
  • Winter issue usually closes by August 15
  • Spring issue usually closes by October 15
  • Summer issue usually closes by January 15

Allow at least two months for a decision. When submitting an article, please indicate whether your article, or any variation, has been published in another publication.