A List Apart


Write for Us

Yes, you. We’re always looking for new authors. If you’ve got an idea that will challenge our readers and move our industry forward, we want to hear about it. But you don’t need to wait for an idea that will redefine web design. Just aim to bring readers a fresh perspective on a topic that’s keeping you up at night.

We’ll be honest, though: writing for ALA takes work. We want your article to be at its best, and we’ll push you to get there. You’ll get extensive feedback from our team, and you’ll work closely with an editor on revisions.

It’s also rewarding. Not only will thousands of your peers (and potential employers, clients, or publishers) read your work, but you’ll also learn a lot in the process—about communicating your ideas, about writing, and even about the topic you thought you already knew when you started.

We pay $200 per article, typically within a month of publication.

What we publish

We accept submissions for original, feature-length articles only (not blog posts or columns). These typically run between 1,500 and 2,000 words (though a little longer or shorter is okay, too). Make sure your submission:

  • Offers a clear argument, not just a list of tips and tricks.
  • Has a voice. Be bold, interesting, and human.
  • Is written for an audience of designers, developers, content strategists, information architects, or similar.
  • Is supported with convincing arguments, not just opinions. Fact-check, and cite sources where appropriate.
  • Follows our style guide.

What we never publish

  • Press releases. We do not run them or write stories based on them.
  • Sales pitches. You may use your own product as an example—as long as you’re sharing knowledge, not selling.
  • Extensions to articles we’ve published, unless they add significant new value.
  • Previously published work, even if it was only on your blog.

How to submit (and what happens next)

You don’t have to submit a completed article, but we need enough to see where you’re going. You may send either a rough draft or a short pitch (a paragraph summarizing your argument and why it’s important to our readers) paired with an outline. Before you do, look at our style guide and recent articles for insight into structuring and formatting your piece.

Email us your submission in one of the following formats:

  • HTML
  • Markdown
  • Plain text
  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft Word

Here’s what happens after you hit send:

  • An editor will review your submission and determine whether it’s a potential fit. If so, the whole team will review and discuss it. This typically happens once a week.
  • The editor will collect the team’s feedback and get back to you with notes. (We rarely accept an article on the first draft, but we’ll tell you if we’re interested.)
  • Once you’ve addressed our comments, you’ll send your revised draft back. We’ll discuss it again and let you know if it’s accepted.
  • If we accept your article, an editor will work closely with you on issues like organization, argumentation, and style.
  • We’ll schedule you for an upcoming issue as soon as revisions are complete. We can’t promise inclusion in a specific issue until we have a nearly publication-ready article.