The Tête-à-Tête thrives on your participation! There are a number of ways readers can contribute:
1. Post a comment on an existing Discussion, Article, Personal Essay, Case Study, or Editorial.
2. Suggest a question for a future Discussion, or suggest a link for the weekly links posts. To do so, please either post your suggestion in the comments on the Discussions page or include your suggestion in the body of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can be either posed simply (e.g. ‘Should assisted suicide be legal?’), or can be posed with a neutrally worded preamble of 500 words or less. We encourage preambles for questions whose importance or controversy is not easily understood by a simple statement of the question. Links suggestions can be sent on their own or with accompanying analysis (which we would credit appropriately in the post).
3. Submit an Article, Personal Essay, or Case Study. We would love to have more guest posts. To do so, please first send pitch (a proposed title and a short (200 words or less) outline of your piece) in the body of an email to email@example.com. We will let you know within 3 business days if we are interested in publishing your piece. If we invite you to submit the full piece, please also send it in the body of an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Before submitting the full piece, please read the Author Guidelines below. In keeping with our mission to be a safe space, authors have the option (but are not required) to publish anonymously if they wish (see Anonymity Policy below).
Thanks for your contribution!
Types of Contribution
Discussion Question – a provocative, neutrally worded question posed for readers to debate.
Article – a fact-based opinion article, which may either be related to a previous Discussion or a new topic.
Personal Essay – an essay, either related to a previous Discussion or a new topic, centered on personal experience.
Case Study – a piece describing an example of a productive, consensus-seeking discussion in a public, scientific, business, or other forum, which summarizes key factors or strategies employed that, in the view of the author, allowed the discussion to be productive.
There is no length limit for Articles, Personal Essays, or Case Studies, but they should be as concise as possible given their content.
In keeping with The Tête-à-Tête’s mission to be a safe space, authors may choose to publish their Articles, Personal Essays, or Case Studies anonymously or under a pseudonym if they wish. If you wish to publish your piece anonymously or under a pseudonym, please indicate this in your submission. For ethical reasons, we require all authors identify themselves to us in their submission email, but we will keep your identity confidential if you ask to publish your piece anonymously.
In keeping with The Tête-à-Tête’s Mission to have safe, reasoned, and civil discussions reaching a wide audience, we ask that authors keep the following style recommendations in mind.
Write for a general audience. This means, to the greatest extent possible, avoid academic jargon, use active language and use short, clear sentences.
Be concise. Keep your content:length ratio as high as possible. If you can make your point equally well in fewer words, please do.
For Articles, write in a tone that is rigorous but accessible, and consensus-seeking if opinionated. We suggest that you write as though you are having a respectful discussion with two people – one who disagrees with you, and one who knows nothing about your topic; where the goal of the discussion is to reach consensus and (where applicable) recommend a clear course of action. This means, if you are presenting an opinion, try as best as you can to understand, acknowledge, and rigorously address (instead of dismissing) the arguments of people who might disagree with you. Write your piece imagining that we will send it to someone who disagrees with you to review (we probably will). Imagining the second, unknowledgeable person in the audience will help you make your case as clearly and convincingly as possible to a non-expert.
For Personal Essays, find your voice, and write in it, whatever it may be. Above all else, we want Personal Essays to be honest, unedited reflections of you and your experience. We will generally apply minimal copyediting, if any.
The Tête-à-Tête has few formatting restrictions. We want you to format your piece in the way that makes it as clear, well-organized, and smoothly flowing as possible.
Language & Spelling: All articles should be written in English. We welcome the use of either American or British spelling conventions, but ask that you keep them internally consistent (i.e. use only British or only American spelling in each piece).
Hyperlinks & Citations: Where appropriate, please reference external sources of information used in your piece. For all sources available on the web (including academic journal articles and e-books), please use hyperlinks to the source content instead of footnotes, parenthetical citations, and/or reference lists. If your word processor does not allow hyperlinks, please include the web url’s as footnotes or parenthetically in your submission and we will add the hyperlinks for you. For non-web sources, you may use either numbered footnotes or parenthetical in-text citations in combination with a reference list at the end of your article.