Writer’s Guidelines for TOS


We’re always looking for creative minds and thoughtful writers to publish with us on TOS Blog and in The Objective Standard (collectively “TOS”). If you’re interested in writing for TOS, here’s what you need to know.

We publish articles on a wide range of subjects including politics, law, foreign policy, economics, environmentalism, history, education, parenting, productivity tools and techniques, good living, travel, and the arts. We also publish book reviews, movie reviews, and interviews. Some submissions are published on TOS Blog, some in the quarterly, and some in both.

Philosophy and Audience
TOS articles should be written from an Objectivist perspective—or, more broadly, from a rational philosophic perspective. However, our target audience is not primarily Objectivists. Rather, our audience is active-minded non-Objectivists (and Objectivists). Accordingly, articles and reviews should not assume understanding of or agreement with Objectivism—at least not beyond the self-evident or relatively obvious aspects of the philosophy (e.g., a thing can act only in accordance with its nature; wishing won’t make it so; people should be treated as they deserve to be treated).

Although you need not be an Objectivist to write for TOS, we are not interested in publishing anything that contradicts the basic principles of Objectivism. We’re interested in advocating and supporting reason (not faith or emotionalism), egoism (not altruism or utilitarianism), individualism (not collectivism), and capitalism (not anarchy or statism).

Articles for TOS should be fact based, logically structured, and written in plain English (not academese). They also should be crafted to convey a clear and specific theme, and should not include any material that does not work toward conveying that theme.

Book and Movie Reviews
Book reviews and movie reviews for TOS should do three things: (1) tell the reader what in essence the book or movie is about; (2) tell him why you think the book or movie is essentially good or essentially bad; and (3), if you think it’s essentially good but has significant flaws, indicate the nature of those flaws.

If you are interested in conducting an interview for TOS, please email us at editor@theobjectivestandard.com to see whether we are interested in an interview with the person you have in mind. If we’re interested, we’ll schedule a time to discuss interview questions and procedural details.

All submissions to TOS must be exclusive to TOS. If an article (or its likeness) has been published elsewhere in any form, we’re not interested in republishing it.

Our Style Guide
Manuscripts should adhere strictly to our style guide, which can be accessed here. (We neither read submissions nor reply to their senders if the submissions are not prepared in accordance with our style guide.)

Article Length
Articles intended for TOS Blog should be between 300 and 2,000 words. Articles intended for the quarterly should be between 1,000 and 6,000 words. Book reviews, movie reviews, and interviews should be between 800 and 3,000 words. (These word counts are general guidelines; we’re quite flexible about article length. The ideal is to use as many words as necessary to make your point, and not one more.)

Submitting Queries or Manuscripts
Blog posts, book reviews, and movie reviews may be submitted initially in full, without prior queries. For journal articles, however, queries should be submitted in advance of manuscripts. A query should state the overarching theme of the proposed article and provide a brief indication of how that theme will be conveyed in the piece. Queries should be no longer than 300 words.

When a query leads to a request for a manuscript, this does not mean TOS has accepted the article for publication. TOS reserves the right to reject any article at any time during the submission or editing process if the article does not meet our standards.

Queries and manuscripts should be emailed as Microsoft Word files, in 14-point Times New Roman font, to editor@theobjectivestandard.com. We aim to reply within a day or two, but sometimes we take longer. (Please note that if a query or manuscript patently contradicts our philosophy or grossly disregards our writer’s guidelines or style guide, we will not reply at all. Time is too precious.)

Once a manuscript is accepted for publication, it enters TOS’s editing process, which varies from writer to writer and piece to piece. We work with each writer as necessary.

TOS pays 15¢ per published word for articles and reviews, and 10¢ per published word for interviews (we pay the interviewer, not the interviewee). Payment is made by check in U.S. dollars within thirty days of respective publication. (We can make payment via PayPal if you prefer.) Although we may publish an article in more than one venue (the blog, the quarterly, an ebook, etc.), we pay for the article only once. We do not pay for endnotes, charts, or images included with an article.

TOS retains worldwide exclusive ownership of all copyrights to works we publish. We grant writers blanket permission to reprint articles in any book of which they are authors or editors, without charge, so long as they (a) publish it later than six months after its publication in TOS, (b) note that the articles were originally published in TOS, and (c) give credit to TOS as the holder of the copyrights in accordance with standard publishing conventions.

Get Started Today!
Submit your article, query, or blog post to editor@theobjectivestandard.com, and let the world know what you think!