Guidelines For Contributed Essays On Co.Design

Want to contribute to Co.Design? Great! Read these answers to frequently asked questions.

Guidelines For Contributed Essays On Co.Design

Who Can Contribute?

Co.Design accepts contributed essays from designers, academics, and business leaders. We don’t accept stories written by PR people. Writers should be experts in their field and should only cover topics on which they can speak authoritatively.


What Can I Write About?

We accept fresh think pieces, advice columns, and reported essays about design. Please research your idea to make sure it hasn’t been covered on Co.Design or in another publication.

Your story should present an argument and back it up with evidence. It’s not enough to assert something. The assertion has to be supported convincingly and compellingly.

We don’t accept promotional stories. You can’t mention your own company or product in a story. Similarly, you can’t discuss companies or products in which you have a financial stake unless you explicitly disclose it. If you would like us to cover your company or product, please email our general tips line:

Should I Send A Pitch First?

Yes. Don’t send a completed essay unless otherwise instructed.

How Should I Format My Pitch?

Explain briefly–in a paragraph or two–what argument you’d like to make and what evidence you would use to back it up. Subject line should be “Contributed Essay Pitch: Working Title Of The Story.”

Should I Include A Writing Sample?

Yes. If you have been published, please include links to no more than three clips. If you have not been published, please attach a recent piece of writing.


You Accepted My Pitch. Now What?

Word count, deadline, and art requirements vary from one story to the next, so a Co.Design editor will work with you to set expectations. After you file your first draft, you can count on at least one round of edits. The editor has final say over your copy, including display copy.

A few notes on style and formatting: The tone should be loose and conversational, but clear. Avoid jargon, abbreviations, and acronym soup. Please send drafts in either Word or Google Docs. Don’t send PDFs.

You Did Not Answer My Pitch. Now What?

We get thousands of emails a day and can’t respond to each one. Feel free to send a follow-up email. If we still don’t respond, we’re probably passing on the idea. You’re welcome to pitch new ideas.

To pitch an essay, email Co.Design editor Suzanne LaBarre: slabarre at fastcompany dot com.

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D