Guidelines for Contributing Writers

The Mighty aims to share honest stories in a responsible and respectful way. We believe through storytelling, we can actually help people. To do that, we need everyone submitting a story to feel safe. These guidelines are here to help make that possible. They should encourage, not hinder, you in telling your story.

General guidelines to consider before submitting your story:

  • Think about the privacy of loved ones, friends and strangers mentioned in your story. Be respectful when sharing details of others’ lives.
  • Tell your story through your own perspective. Try not to make assumptions about how others in your story are feeling or thinking.
  • Please avoid suggesting that another person’s circumstances are better or worse than your own.
  • Use respectful language. If your post is critical, which it can be, it should also be constructive.
  • We welcome both person-first language (i.e. “person with disability”) and identity-first language (i.e. “disabled person”).
  • If you cite a study or statistic, please provide a link to the source.
  • Think about this question: “What is the purpose of my post?” This can have multiple answers: to share something you’ve learned, to let others know they’re not alone, etc.

Sensitivities to watch out for:

We have no problem with stories that explore “dark” topics – but need to make sure every piece is safe for our community members, who often come to us in times of need. Please adhere to the following sensitivities. If these details are in a piece, they will be deleted in the editing process.

  • Suicide methods: It’s OK to talk about suicide, but leave out details about specific suicide methods. If you have to a suicide method as part of a narrative, be as vague as possible.
  • Descriptions of self-harm: Similarly, it’s OK to talk about self-harm, but leave out detailed descriptions of methods and imagery.
  • Inappropriate details about your children or someone you care for: If you’re a parent or caregiver, write about your experience without disclosing intimate, graphic or potentially embarrassing details about your children or someone you care for.
  • Weight in pieces about eating disorders: Weight is relative for everyone, and it’s not productive, and even dangerous, to share your or your loved one’s “lowest” or “highest” weight while struggling with an eating disorder.
  • Calories and specific diets in pieces about eating disorders: Don’t include how many calories you or your loved one consumed per day or details about what exactly they were eating.
  • Words that have historically demeaned people with intellectual disabilities: This includes “idiot,” “stupid” and “retard.” (Unless you’re writing a piece about how we shouldn’t use these words.)
  • Words that have historically demeaned people with mental illnesses: This includes: “crazy,” “psycho,” “lunatic.” (Unless you’re writing a piece about these words, or have reclaimed them in a meaningful way.)
  • Outdated language about disability: This includes: handicapped,” “wheel-chair bound” and “crippled,” but excludes those who’ve reclaimed “crippled” in a meaningful way to self-identify.

As a reminder, we edit stories and their titles for length, clarity and our own editorial guidelines. For example, this might mean your title will be changed or certain language will be removed. If we feel we’ve made significant enough changes or altered your original tone, we’ll run it by you first. We never want to misrepresent your voice or message.

If your story is published on our site, it may be republished in full with your byline on a reputable Mighty partner site, such as MSN or Yahoo. Once republished on a partner site, Mighty moderation standards do not apply, and the piece cannot be removed from the partner site.

Also, unfortunately, we can’t publish every story or blog post that we receive on The Mighty. If we can’t edit your submission, it will be posted on your profile as a Mighty Thought.

Find out how to share your story with The Mighty here.

Still have questions? Check out our Mighty Contributor FAQs.