Manuscript Submissions

Independent School magazine has evolved. We’ve made 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 are themes for feature articles in each issue, but there are also 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
Winter 2019
Deadline: 8/1/2018
Advancement: Promoting, Marketing, and Supporting Independent Schools

From communicating independent schools’ value proposition to establishing their financial security to engaging the students, parents, and community that support them, the advancement function is critical. What does the landscape in schools of all sizes look like today? This issue will seek to explore such ideas as: getting a seat at the leadership table, the enrollment management connection, successful admission and marketing partnerships, parent research and outreach, the strategic nature of communications and marketing function, alumni engagement strategies, the head of school as chief fundraiser, the board’s role in fundraising, social media management, crisis communications, the changing nature of recruitment, retention, and outreach strategies, and more.

Spring 2019
Deadline: October 1
Reimagining Schools: From the Physical to the Philosophical

As the education landscape continues to evolve—absorbing demographic, economic, technological, and lifestyle changes, to name a few—independent schools must continue to develop strategies to remain relevant and chart a course for the future. How can school leaders prepare for the unknown? In this issue, we seek to explore that question and others to create a conversation that reimagines independent schools. Is there a new narrative for schools to tell? Has the value proposition changed? How are schools preparing students for a changing workforce (and world)? How are campuses and physical spaces redesigned to support new ways of teaching and learning, safety protocols/standards, social and emotional well-being? How does governance need to adapt and evolve? How can schools balance tradition and change, respecting heritage and identity while still evolving? How can school leaders best cultivate the skills and future leaders who will navigate the road ahead? What strategies are schools using to manage enrollment challenges? What’s the best way to engage with a new generation of parents? How are financial aid and tuition models changing to meet the needs of the marketplace?

Summer 2019: Student Health & Well-being
Deadline: January 1


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 of several books 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
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: 550 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 1
  • Winter issue usually closes by August 1
  • Spring issue usually closes by October 1
  • Summer issue usually closes by January 1

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.