The Xylom Submission Guidelines

Let’s step out of our comfort zones! (Except the guidelines below)

The Xylom™
Sep 3, 2018 · Unlisted

Updated on 2 March

Hello world!

A big thank you for expressing your interest in writing for The Xylom™. We’re sure this is going to be an immensely rewarding experience for all of us.

However, to ensure our smooth sailing, your cooperation of the guidelines below is greatly appreciated. With that in mind, let’s begin!

First Things First

Applying to become a writer

  • Faculty in higher learning institutions
  • Postgraduates (studying or having obtained MPhil, M.S., Ph.D. or other equivalent degrees)
  • Young men and women who have won awards at prestigious science competitions
  • Staff working at science institutions

We welcome persons working in private or government institutions. You may add in a disclaimer just in case.

After you are added as a writer, you should be able to see your status in the “publications” page when you click on your profile pic on the top right-hand corner. As the publication gains traction, we’ll consider relaxing the requirements.

What we expect from our writers

  1. Share honestly. It’s common sense that trust is built on authenticity. Bluffing or even outright lying only erodes whatever goodwill there is between you and the audience.
  2. Embrace complexity. Narratives will be a part of your story, but cutting everything inconsistent with your narrative will only take us further away from the complete truth, causing more polarization and reaffirming what people have always believed. It’s okay to write about how you feel unsure or vulnerable because all of us have our uncertainties. It is precisely the feeling of internal struggle that intrigues and provokes.
  3. Learn to agree to disagree. Each of our worldviews is shaped by our own experiences. Even if two people share similar core values, they might not agree on a particular subject. If readers do give feedback, it’s important to listen to them first. Treat them not as your opponent but try to see the values, interests, and beliefs that you could agree on.

Actually writing

Here are some prompts to stimulate your thinking. They will be changed regularly:

  • Shadow
  • Wings
  • “When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it — but all that had gone before.” — Jacob Riis

Since our main site is on, your article will be first published on our site and then two weeks later on Medium. Your article will be published under The Xylom™’s moniker even if you don’t have a Medium account, but we will credit you wherever possible. If you have your own Medium account and want to write yourself, please follow the steps below:

On Medium

Click the magnifying glass for a new perspective.

After you finish writing, remember to submit your draft to The Xylom. Click on the three dots on the top right-hand corner, then click “Add to publications”. You should definitely submit to The Xylom!

Click the three dots up there and magic happens.

To make the most out of Medium’s algorithms, please send your unpublished drafts if possible. In the case that you’ve already published your article, you are still welcome to submit to The Xylom; just be mentally prepared that The Xylom might not be able to help you generate a large number of views and reads.

What if I would like some compensation?

If you would like to submit your article to without publishing on Medium yourself, you are still very welcome to do so. Please bear in mind that you would lose your eligibility to directly make income from your submission.

More details here:

Editing and Publishing

Things we might do

  1. Fix grammatical inaccuracies
  2. Replace your cover photo/ add photos
  3. Edit your headline
  4. Edit your tags
  5. Add something to promote your article (The signup form below, or links to your other articles)

To cater to readers of different time zones, we will schedule the posts to be published at set intervals. The width of the intervals really depends on the number of submissions on one day, so please don’t be upset if your article is published while you’re asleep!

Your article will be tweeted on The Xylom™’s Twitter account and shared on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages. You are strongly encouraged to retweet or reply to generate more discourse.

That’s all the guidelines for now. Please be reminded that the guidelines will be updated regularly.

Last but not least, remember to have fun and be yourself! That way we can all read the most authentic stories about the lives of scientists outside science.

PS. Here’s one last chance for you to sign up if you haven’t made up your mind.

The Xylom™

All scientists are humans. Humans tell stories. The Xylom is the place for scientists to tell their stories.


The Xylom™

Written by

All scientists are humans. Humans tell stories. The Xylom is the place for scientists to tell their stories.

The Xylom™

All scientists are humans. Humans tell stories. The Xylom is the place for scientists to tell their stories.

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