Guidelines for article submissions

Writing for Natural Awakenings

We welcome editorial submissions that are fresh, professionally written, educational and informative for publicaton as feature and/or departmental articles or HealthBriefs. Each article contains a byline for the writer and is followed by endnotes with a brief biography and contact information. If you also advertise (not required for publication) we put the page number of your related ad after the endnotes. 

Please make sure you read our submission, styling and deadline guidelines before submitting. (Bottom of this page)

About Natural Awakenings

Natural Awakenings of East Michigan is the region's premier magazine devoted exclusively to naturally healthy living. Launched in 2004, our magazine reaches over 45,000 health-conscious readers per month in the greater Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Lapeer and Genesee counties. Our mission each month is to educate readers in our community about new cutting-edge, but credible, ways they can learn about and take advantage of a naturally healthy and sustainable lifestyle for themselves, their friends and families...and even their pets. 

Editorial Overview

Natural Awakenings Editorial Calendar 2023Click image to view Editorial CalendarEach month, Natural Awakenings advertisers and writers provide the tools our readers need to assist them on their path to personal wellness and healthy living...naturally! We feature articles by national authors as well as from local leaders in the fields of health, nutrition, fitness, organics, personal growth, green living and the environment, and natural pet. We also provide news and events that are happening in our community and around the globe.

Natural Awakenings provides information in several formats. The articles we publish are written by individuals that are searching for ways in which they can make a difference in their lives and the lives of others. Being published in Natural Awakenings is a great way to promote your practice and business.

For content of a promotional nature, we have other departments that would be more appropriate, such as our NewsBriefs (news and announcements) department; Community, Therapy or Business Spotlights and a wide range of advertising and other promotional options. 

Before submitting or sending in a query, we suggest you review our submission AND styling guidelines (below) so you can select the section, theme and topic that best suits your submission and assure that it adheres to our length, style and deadline requirements. This will give your submission the best opportunity for consideration and publication in a future issue of Natural Awakenings.  

Thank you again for your interest in helping provide quality, cutting-edge editorial to our community. 

Jerry & Tracy Neale, Publishers 
Natural Awakenings of East Michigan


Natural Awakenings Writers' Styling Guidelines

What we want (based on modified AP styling):

  • Write in the third person (he/she/people/practitioners/clients/attendees) and use an active voice.
  • Alternatively, for articles, use we/our/us. Avoid the less formal second-person ‘you’.
  • Mix sentence lengths and keep paragraphs short; use plain language and briefly define technical terms.
  • Include strong, genuine quotes and short anecdotes or case studies to illustrate key points. 
  • Add credibility with key findings from scientific studies, statistics and updates on trends, citing authoritative sources.
  • Attribute all medical or health claims and scientific research results. List leading information source(s) and contact information in an italicized endnote.
  • Establish a strong lead paragraph and compelling close.
  • Remember the five W's: who, what, where, when and why.
  • Use a clear, logical order for content.
  • Use action verbs (E.g., ABC offers; not ABC is offering).
  • Use plain language and briefly define technical terms.
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short.
  • Include short anecdotes or case studies to illustrate key points–then expand the focus to a wider context.
  • Use strong, genuine quotes to aid in reader identification.
  • Add credibility with scientific studies, statistics and updates on trends.
  • Single space after periods.
  • Punctuation "inside" quotes.

What our readers expect:

We focus on hope, healing, practical tips and benefits. Every reader wants to know how they can personally use and benefit from this information in their life journey.

What our readers won't see:

A depressing lists of symptoms and technical details of treatment.

Extended, first-person (I/me/my) accounts of life journeys.

Marketing, sales copy or self-promotion disguised as an article (for this, we have paid advertorials and Community Spotlights, which our readers enjoy reading and from which the related business will benefit). 

Style notes:

  • Use Times New Roman, 12-point type. Use single-line spacing for body text, with an extra line between paragraphs. Use only one space after periods and no indentations to begin paragraphs. Boldface titles and subheads so that they are easily recognized.
  • Default to AP style in the Associated Press Stylebook.
  • Spell out sources’ credentials. Instead of using acronyms to list an alphabet soup such as LMT, ND, LPN, etc., spell out one or two of them and verify you got it right.
  • No "alphabet soup" in bylines.
  • Avoid jargon. If specific medical terms, technical language or idioms must be included, concisely define them for the reader.
  • Footnote all sources cited, in detail: Books and magazines need title, author, publisher, year and page number. Individuals need name, title, organization/company, phone, email, city and website. We won’t publish most of this, but it saves hours of fact checking.
  • For security reasons, unlink hyperlinks that may be in your document—(make them text only...we will reactivate these in online versions). 

We strongly recommend you query us with your idea to avoid overlap or redundancy that could prevent consideration of your submission. Want to query us on your idea? Use the "Submit Article Query" link at the bottom of this page.

Writer's submission guidelines:

Each month, we share pertinent global news and interviews with national experts. We welcome ideas for stories as well as local article submissions, some of which may qualify for one of our departments: Conscious Eating; Fit Body; Green Living; Healing Ways; Natural Pet; Healthy Kids; Graceful Aging and Wise Words.

Articles and other editorial should be submitted by email as a MS Word document attachment or text embedded in the body of the email. For the most chance of acceptance, we suggest you review the style guidelines (above). 

We ask that you familiarize yourself with our general content, styling and the kinds of topics we have covered in the past by reviewing a print copy (one or more) of the magazine. Our digital / archives can be accessed for review of past issues. Use the link in the "Read" menu option above.

General Notes

  • If your article has been published elsewhere, such as in other publications, websites or blogs, we are most likely not interested in it...unless you own the rights and can rework it to original copy on the same topic and to our style/guidelines.
  • We typically do not pay for locally written articles, unless the piece is produced on an assigned/contract basis. The byline and bio provided with each article, as well as the exposure publication in Natural Awakenings provides, create exceptional value through the exposure achieved for the writer and his/her business or practice. Educational and informative articles tend to build credibility and branding, whether alone or in ways that compliment and strengthen conventional advertising approaches. Thus, the space provided for articles published in Natural Awakenings can be valued as equal to, and in some cases much more, the same space in paid display advertising. And because we don't charge for article publication, it's a win/win: we get good articles for our readers and the writer benefits from the exposure.
  • We reserve one-time rights to publish your work in print, on our website and our digital editions of all Natural Awakenings magazines. The contributor, whether paid or not, retains the rights to resell their intellectual property; original copy is embargoed for six months from publication.
  • Your original work will, in almost all cases, be edited to fit Natural Awakenings’ style and we reserve that right. Edited submissions are not subject to copy review. We will contact you to fact-check as needed, depending upon the amount of editing necessary.
  • Local content, including NewsBriefs, HealthBriefs, Spotlights and articles produced by Natural Awakenings of East Michigan, or our writers, is copyrighted material and may not be copied, reproduced or otherwise published elsewhere, in print or in digital format, without the prior consent of the publishers of Natural Awakenings of East Michigan. 
  • Include a one-to-three-sentence (approximately 25 words) bio at the end of the submission that lists your city/state; phone, email and/or website; credentials (degrees and/or other relevant experience); and any areas of specialty. You may also list awards, published books (title, publisher and year) or books to be published (title, publisher, proposed release date). Avoid blatant sales promotion, which decreases the editorial credibility of the piece. We may edit for length.
  • Please write to recommended/assigned word length as indicated below.
  • Because of the volume of submissions we receive and the possibility of overlapping topics, we cannot guarantee publication; and if accepted, we may not publish your piece immediately. If you would like us to hang onto the submission for future consideration, please let us know when submitting your article.

  • If your article or Health Brief is selected for publication, we will notify you. Because of space limitation and layout timelines we do not notify in advance if a NewsBrief is being published, unless you are running a paid advertisement elsewhere in the magazine. 

  • If you are an advertiser, we will indicate the page number of your ad at the end of the published piece. 

Submission Lengths, Deadlines and Descriptions:

Local Feature/Department Articles

Lead features and departmental articles generally support the designated issue theme. Rather than tackle a vast subject, it is better to focus on a particular segment (e.g., “Using Chinese Medicine to Treat Menopause” rather than “Everything You Want to Know About Chinese Medicine”). Most features include at least one short sidebar.

Length: 300-700 words (some articles longer, but inquire first)

Due on the 1st of the month prior to publication.

HealthBriefs and GlobalBriefs

HealthBriefs are short, interesting bits of information often referring to a new health fact or leading-edge research in a particular field. They cover findings from leading-edge research or a new health trend in a relevant field. Health claims must be attributed and footnoted. GlobalBriefs are related to earth-friendly living. We invite you to share health information about your particular therapy, (examples: massage lowers blood pressure; acupuncture can shorten labor; exercise helps ease depression) or local eco-news in one of these two sections. It's a great way to share you knowledge with the community and get recognized! Send us your idea by submitting an article query (see bottom of page).

Length: 50-250 words (some longer, inquire first)

Due on the 5th of the month prior to publication.


What's new in here in East Michigan? Share it with us! Do you know of a new business? Someone who recently became certified in a new therapy? Do you have a special event coming up? Information about green or renewable resources? We welcome news items relevant to our publication as well as any hot tips or suggestions you may have for an article. Click here for more information on NewsBrief submissions.

Length: 50 to 200 words

Due on the 12th of the month prior to publication.

Submission information:

Editorial Text

  • All editorial must be in digital format. No faxed/emailed documents with content embedded or printed hard-copy submissions are accepted.
  • Email as an attached MS Word or text file, or in the body of the email. 

Photos and Graphics

  • Unretouched digital photos (JPG or TIFF format), right out of the camera, are preferred.
  • Professionally printed photos scanned at 300 dpi as TIFF or JPG format accepted. (We can also scan professionally printed photos in-house.) Provide credit line if appropriate.
  • Not accepted: graphics embedded into Microsoft Word documents, website images or computer-printed material.
  • Include all photos or graphics as email attachments, or upload directly to our site...usually available on all submission forms.


Send us your idea for an article: Click here.

Natural Awakenings of East Michigan...spreading the word about the benefits of naturally healthy, sustainable living...naturally!



We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements contained on this website, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised.

The information contained herein is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. Always seek the advice of your medical professional.

Contact Information

Michigan Healthy Living
& Sustainability, Inc.
d.b.a. Natural Awakenings of East Michigan
PO Box 283, Oxford, MI 48371

Telephone: 248-628-0125
Contact us by eMail