Natural Awakenings of Greater Ann Arbor
PO Box 2717, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Phone: 734-757-7929; Email:


Natural Awakenings

Writers’ Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in writing for Natural Awakenings, a healthy living, healthy planet magazine serving almost 50,000 readers throughout Washtenaw County, including Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Dexter and Chelsea. We are a free monthly publication, therefore editorial priority is reserved for our advertisers whom without we would not be able to produce the magazine each and every month as we have done since June 2006.

Natural Awakenings articles are lively, insightful and informative, providing cutting-edge information in concise, well-organized, easy-to-understand journalistic prose. Health, fitness, personal growth, sustainability, inspiration and creative expression are ongoing themes. Our goal is to present healthful, Earth-friendly ways of living in a manner that is accessible to all of our readers, focusing on hope, healing, practical tips and benefits.

Each month, we share pertinent global news and interviews with national experts, complemented by locally generated news/health briefs, feature articles, spotlights and side-bar articles. Those included are local businesspeople, representatives of nonprofits and other experts that are contributing to our natural health and sustainable living community.

We ask that you familiarize yourself with our magazine’s style, monthly editorial calendar and general content, as well as the kinds of topics we have covered in the past, by visiting, and reading our archive of digital magazines.



Feature Articles (600 to 1,100 words)

Lead features 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”). We supply a proof before publication.


Department Sidebar Articles (75- to 350-words)

Departments often complement an issue’s theme and may include brief, 75- to 350-word sidebars. These may focus on an individual or group involved in a community, or may quote several individuals with expertise in a particular area. We supply a proof before publication.

  • Conscious Eating – ways that food can support health; eco-friendly choices
  • Creative Expression – empowering, accessible, arts-oriented practices
  • Fit Body – traditional and cutting-edge fitness styles and practices
  • Green Living – practical, how-to information for creating sustainable lifestyles
  • Healing Ways – therapies and practices that encourage and support natural health
  • Healthy Kids – mind/body/spirit health, well-being and green living tips for youth
  • Inspiration – uplifting essays and insights that speak to our soul
  • Natural Pet – holistic solutions and practices relating to behavior, exercise and nutrition
  • Wise Words – Q&A with leading thinkers, national authorities and other experts


Community Spotlight Articles (500 to 750 words)

These profile a local entrepreneur or another person of interest, including some personal perspective and biographical information exploring what they do and why. This may include a spiritual angle elaborating on the motives that drive them to contribute to the community. We supply a series of questions the person of interest answers, then our writers create and supply a proof before publication.

Business Spotlight Articles (500 to 750 words)

These profile a local business, including the top benefits customers/patients can expect to gain when visiting the business and the certifications/credentials, staff, services, products and equipment used in enhancing their health. This may include a a brief history of how the business got started/why and what the business has to offer the community in the near future. We supply a proof before publication.

Therapy Spotlight Articles (500 to 600 words)

This spotlight concentrates on your therapy(s), not your whole business, please include uses and benefits, where you learned it and why you like your therapy, etc. You can write as much as you like, but we will be limiting your therapy spotlight to 500 to 600 words after editing. Do not write about yourself (something for a quote is okay), just supply objective information to answer the questions. We supply a proof before publication.


Briefs (50 to 250 words)

News Briefs (Press Release); these “clips” of information, with a timely news hook, update readers on wellness and sustainability news, trends and events: highlight updates on local organizations, businesses and individuals. Health Briefs are “healthy tips” that cover findings from leading-edge research or a new health trend in a relevant field. Health claims must be attributed and footnoted.

Note: Word counts encompass titling and endnotes.



What We Want

  • Write in the third person (he/she/people/practitioners/clients) and use an active voice.
  • 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.


Style Notes

  • Ask for a copy of the NAPC Guide to Punctuation and Word Use. Email NAPC

  • 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 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.
  • Unlink hyperlinks that may be in your document—make them text only (links will be reactivated in digital version of magazine). Ask a web expert about how to do this in your platform/program.


Additional Notes

  • If your article has been published elsewhere, we are not interested in it unless you own the rights or can rework original copy on the same topic.
  • We claim one-time rights to publish your work in print and digital edition. The contributor retains the rights to their intellectual property; original copy is embargoed for six months from publication.
  • Your original work will be edited to fit Natural Awakenings’ We will send your edited article back to you for a final author fact check (only), and we ask that you be accessible.
  • Include a one-to-three-sentence bio at the end of the submission that lists the writer’s 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 cut for length.
  • Please write to recommended/assigned word length.



Editorial Text

  • All editorial must be in digital format. No faxed or printed submissions are accepted.
  • Email as an attached MS Word or text file to:


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 or computer-printed material.
  • Include all photos or graphics as email attachments accompanying your text.


NOTE: Submit all text as a Word document in 12 pt. Times New Roman, single space.

updated 10/10/14