Welcome to Indelible Ink. Our pages are open to creative non-fiction writers writing pieces that resonate, that speak to us, that energize, invigorate, entertain and/or inform. Writing that will last.
That means we’re not looking for diary entries or navel gazing or off-the-top-of-your-head speed writing. Unless they’re brilliantly written or you’re Nora Ephron come back from the grave. Then they’re okay.
We’re not looking for stories with emphasis on straight reporting — stories that look like they should be in the company newsletter or in a college thesis. We want stories that reach out and grab from the very first sentence.
If you write timidly, in the passive voice, this isn’t the place for you. The key word here is “creative”. Not all non-fiction is creative, but when it is, it soars, it speaks to us, it draws us in and makes us laugh or cry or think. It resonates. It stays with us. It’s Indelible.
While we love thoughtful stories about writers and writing, we’re not interested in inside stories about writing for Medium. There are other places to discuss curation or payments or policies.
You should know that the owner of this publication is an unabashed FDR/Josiah Bartlet liberal and feminist, a Midwesterner with a strong BS meter, a big fan of humor and satire. (But if satire is your thing, remember what Molly Ivins said: “Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel — it’s vulgar.” Don’t be cruel simply to make points.)
These are trying times. There will be pieces on politics and advocacy here but that’s not the focus. The focus, as in any magazine, is on good writing. On resonating. On bravely going wherever we want to go. On making Indelible Ink a place where people want to be.
All submitted work must be in original draft form. I will no longer consider already published Medium stories with old dates on them. Medium is now enforcing rules against recycling old stories and this is a Medium publication so we’ll have to abide by them, too. (Read Shaunta Grimes’ explanation here.)
I will, however, take stories that have been published outside of Medium, as long as they’re submitted as an original draft. You can add a cross-post link at the end of your piece if you want.
Your submission should follow Medium’s (and the curators’) preferred order for style: Title, sub-title, photo.
If we accept your story and it requires some editing beyond simple typos, we’ll ask you to do it before we publish.
If the story you submit is wonderful but full of typos and errors, we’ll have to turn it down (gently) but we’ll ask you to re-submit when it’s fixed.
And a thought about length: The most successful essays on Medium run well under 1000 words. If you’re tempted to write long when your story doesn’t demand it, just don’t. If a sentence or even a paragraph doesn’t move the story, take it out.
Don’t ramble. Keep it tight. Make us want to read on.
Please note: This is a Medium publication so any payment for stories will come through them as part of their Paid Partner Program. I wish I could pay you! I really do! My goal is to make this a prestige publication with only the best writers, and, as we build a strong community here, people will notice and our writers will advance.
So that’s about it. If you would like to write for Indelible Ink, please email me at email@example.com or click on the Smedian Request to Contribute bar below.
Send a completed draft ready for publication, or up to three published clips if you don’t have a story ready but you would like to be considered for our list. We’ll send you a note as soon as we can.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you,
Ramona Grigg, editor.