2021 Submission Guidelines for The Innovation
Created in May of 2020, The Innovation is a rapidly growing Medium publication that welcomes thousands of new followers per month. The Innovation curates quality stories exploring innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, inspiration, sustainability, writing, business, and design and delivers exceptionally high-quality content to educate, motivate, and inspire its readers.
Because The Innovation is selective in its choice of articles, we ask writers to adhere to our submission guidelines. We want to feature your fantastic writing, but if it does not meet the following guidelines, unfortunately, we will most likely have to pass on the submission.
Here are the submission guidelines that will be discussed in this article:
- Subjects we love to include
- Article topics to avoid
- Types of articles to submit
- Title and subtitle
- Body of text formatting
- Calls to action and affiliate links
- Cited source material
- How to become a writer
- How to submit your article
- Series and columns
- Additional notes
1. Subjects we love to include
The Innovation was created as an outlet for you to share your ideas, insights, and research with others. We want to help you help other people make their lives and businesses better and more effective every day. We love to include these topics in our publication:
- Entrepreneurship & Startups: Case studies, corporate entrepreneurship, business models, intrapreneurship, solopreneurship, marketing strategies, growing the business, strategies for success, experience with your startup, startup engagement, strategies for growth, financial management, money, finance, life advice for entrepreneurs, and anything else related to getting your ideas up and running
- Motivation & Self-Improvement: Productivity, inspiration, motivation, advice, psychology, careers, work, books, and success stories
- Sustainability & Innovation: Circular economy, zero waste, environment, pollution, disruptive innovation, open innovation, business model innovation, and social innovation
- Creativity & Design: Design thinking, design tools, human-centered design, creative problem solving, innovation culture, prototyping, product management, and imagination
- Other Topics: Health, food, sports, education, and anything else you think would fit into our publication that our readers would enjoy
2. Article topics to avoid
We love learning about everything, but we want to focus on ideas, motivation, creativity, and innovation. (Get it? Innovation?) The following topics would find a more appropriate home in a different Medium publication:
- Sex, erotica
- Drugs, alcohol, and addiction
- Promotional articles and sponsored content — (We do not publish stories whose sole purpose is to sell a product)
- Articles offering medical advice on health-related issues
- Software engineering, programming, AI, machine learning, coding
- We love that you love writing about writing on Medium, but we limit our Medium writing-related stories to 1–2 per day.
- UNPUBLISHED DRAFTS ONLY — This is a change to our submission guidelines. The Innovation no longer accepts articles that have already been published on Medium. Any already-published articles will be rejected.
3. Types of articles to submit
The Innovation strives to curate articles that provide its readers with actionable takeaways and well-researched and sound information and wisdom. We are not interested in generic information.
If you want to submit, for instance, an article about the benefits of making your bed in the morning, we would like for you to either include new research, make a fresh observation about the action, or add in your own personal experience or story.
We really dig the following types of articles:
- Breakdowns of topics
- Case studies
- Analyses of the aforementioned subjects
- How-to tutorials
- Personal stories that offer an actionable and researched takeaway for readers
All accepted articles will include proper grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. It is not enough to simply run your article through Grammarly. We ask that all of our writers make sure their pieces are polished before submitting. Yes, this probably means you will need to read it over a few times.
We recognize that not all of our writers are native English speakers. We love that! Articles do not need to be perfect to be accepted. However, we do ask that you read over your piece and make sure it is in the best shape it can be before you submit it.
We don’t want to be the grammar police, but your brilliant and creative ideas could potentially be lost in translation because they’re not presented in an understandable way. If you would like more writing tips, click on the “Writing Tips” heading in our navigation bar for detailed articles discussing how to share your ideas.
5. Title and subtitle
All pieces accepted by The Innovation must have a title and subtitle that follow these guidelines:
- Titles must be in title case and subtitles must be in sentence case. (To create a title or subtitle, simply highlight the text that you want to include and click the large or small T on the toolbar. The large T creates a title and the small T creates a subtitle).
- The title and subtitle of the story MUST match the display title and subtitle. (To do this, click on the three dots on the upper right-hand side of your screen and scroll down to “Change display title/subtitle.” Make any necessary changes and then click the “Done” button when you are finished.
- The title and subtitle must be the first thing on the page (do not lead with your image).
- Stories may have a kicker, but we prefer that they don’t.
- Please do not include a hyperlink in your title or subtitle. We love links . . . just in the body of your article.
- We really don’t like clickbait-y titles. If you make big promises in your title, your article should live up to the expectations you have set for the reader.
- Here is the appropriate formatting for a title, subtitle, and image:
For a more detailed (and slightly more sarcastic) overview of how to format your articles for The Innovation, you can click on the article below:
How to Format Your Medium Article for The Innovation
Your article may be rejected if you don’t follow these simple guidelines
So, the perfect order of components in your submitted article should be: 1) Title, 2) Subtitle, 3) Cover image.
All images published in The Innovation must have a caption below that credits the source. Even if it is a selfie (we love those). When you upload your photo, you will see a prompt that says, “Type caption for image (optional)”. For us, this is not an optional step. Your images should have appropriate attribution, even if it says, “Selfie: Author.”
If you choose to use a screenshot as an image, please include “Screenshot: Author” as the caption and imbed a hyperlink to where you procured your image.
Because of the format of our publication, main images in landscape format are best (portions of images in portrait format may be cut off on the home page). Main images should be set to the width of your paragraphs (the second option on the toolbar) and should be related (in some way) to the subject of your piece.
7. Body of text formatting
When possible, submissions should be split into well-organized sections using correctly formatted section headings. If you choose to include section headings within your text, we recommend that you highlight them and use the big T on the toolbar. This creates a clear separation between the sections of your article and makes it easier for the reader to navigate.
And, whether you like it or not, the era of the long paragraph has left us . . . at least for electronic publications. Many Medium readers enjoy articles on their phones or smart devices. This means that long paragraphs can seem even longer (and can lose your reader’s attention). We recommend that you keep paragraphs to six lines or less. If, on a few occasions, you go to seven, we won’t reject your article, but for the most part, we recommend you break it up.
One more thing — one-sentence paragraphs are okay. Every now and then. If you submit an entire article that is comprised of one-sentence sections, we will be more likely to pass on your piece.
8. Calls to action and affiliate links
We ask that you save your spammy submissions for somewhere else. You may promote your book, blog, service, tool, or other product, but we ask that you do this in a short text link at the bottom of your story. Any other promotional aimed submissions will not be accepted into our publication.
Additionally, we do allow respectfully presented affiliate links, but they must be in accordance with Medium’s ad policies and content guidelines. All affiliate links must also be disclosed. At the end of the day, your article should, first and foremost, provide value to your readers.
9. Cited source material
All statements that are not general knowledge or that do not directly relate to any credentials that you hold from a recognized institution must include a hyperlink to published evidence to back up your statement. If, for instance, you make a statement like, “The Foxtail palm tree takes 20 years to grow to maturity” and you’re not a licensed horticulturist, you should link to an article like this.
Additionally, if you include any material or research from another published source, you should cite the source (and yes, if you learned all about forming your new habits from James Clear and you want to write about it, you should cite his book). For everything from definitions to findings of psychological studies, statistics to benefits of water . . . when in doubt, cite it out.
10. How to become a writer
We are actively always looking for new writers with a fresh perspective on the world. We encourage you to join the growing population of creative minds that are changing the world one article at a time. If you are not currently a writer and would like to become one, please simply write, “I want to be a writer,” in the comments below and we will add you to the publication within 7 days.
11. How to submit your story
If you would like to submit a story, please follow the following steps:
- Open the story you want to submit
- Click the three-dot button
- Select “Add to publication”
- Choose the publication
- Click “Save” (don’t forget this step!)
- Remember that we only accept unpublished drafts
The editors at The Innovation work around the clock to make sure that your submissions are reviewed in a timely manner. We receive around 100 submissions per day, so we thank you in advance for your patience with our review process.
Most submissions receive a response within 72 hours. If it has been longer than 72 hours and your submission has not received a response, feel free to reach out and check in with us.
12. Series and columns
The Innovation houses a number of different series and columns. If you would like to view these, please click on the link in the navigation bar of the publication’s home page. If you would like to write a column or series for The Innovation, please send a message to Esat Artug on LinkedIn with the proposed title and description of your contribution.
13. Additional notes
We are grateful for your contributions and we want to make sure that your articles receive as many views and engagement as possible. We reserve the right to make minor changes to your submission without notice. We may make the following changes before publishing your piece:
- Rewriting a title or subtitle
- Changing the main image
- Reformatting section headings and paragraphs
- Making small grammatical corrections
- Removing undisclosed affiliate links
Thank you very much for supporting The Innovation. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave us a note in the comments. We look forward to a creative and innovative 2021.