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January 24, 2024+Team HxA

Apply to Join The HxA Writers Group

At Heterodox Academy (HxA), our mission for higher education often takes us into the public square — where there are too few voices of academic insiders who value open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement.

However, public engagement is different from academic writing; it takes a special set of skills to reach non-specialized audiences in a concise and compelling way. That’s where the HxA Writers Group comes in.

Through the Writers Group, HxA aspires to help its members develop a public voice, understand the media landscape, and cultivate valuable networks, allowing them to emerge as leaders in contemporary conversations around higher ed in general as well as their specific disciplines and areas of expertise.

What Is The HxA Writers Group?

Over the course of six months, a cohort of selected HxA members will receive training and support in developing and placing work in media outlets. HxA will help participants with every stage of the writing process:

  • Idea generation: Writers Group members will meet semi-regularly to develop possible pitches, and to think through different dimensions of contemporary issues and controversies. Between meetings, participating HxA staff members can also act as sounding boards for pitches.

  • Editing: HxA staff members will help you refine your ideas and edit your essay to render it compelling for mainstream audiences.

  • Placement: HxA will leverage its connections to help participants place essays in mainstream media outlets. Essays that have been pre-vetted and polished by someone editors already know – recommended by someone who understands what the publication is looking for (and what they aren’t) – stand a significantly higher chance of being accepted.

  • Dissemination: Essays published through the program will be prioritized for sharing on our social media channels, newsletters, and other outlets to help bring attention to your work.

By the end of their six-month tenure in the Writers Group, participants will be prepared to place essays successfully and independently in mainstream media outlets.

Previous cohorts of writers group members have placed essays in the Wall Street Journal, The Spectator, American Affairs, UnHerd, Front Porch Republic, Pop Matters, Contexts, Psychology Today, Liberal Education, Discourse, The Hill, DC Journal and beyond.

This initiative is spearheaded by Musa al-Gharbi, an HxA Research Fellow, assistant professor of journalism, communication and (by courtesy) sociology at Stony Brook University, and a prominent public intellectual who has successfully supported HxA members in the past to develop their voice and place work in prominent outlets.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

This round, participation is restricted to contingent, assistant, associate or full professors who are HxA members.

We will strive to ensure that each cohort collectively represents a diverse set of worldviews, backgrounds, institutions, disciplines, and institutional roles. We are especially interested in elevating new voices that our readers may not yet be familiar with, but who have really interesting things to say.

Because HxA is a small team, we can only support between 10-15 participants in each cohort (out of 6,400+ HxA members). If you’re not yet a member and you’re interested in this opportunity, join us! Membership is free.

How To Apply For The Writers Group

Apply by filling out this form, telling us briefly about 1) what makes your voice and perspective uniquely -suited for this program, 2) the kinds of things you're interested in writing about, 3) why you want to be a part of the Writers Group, and 4) representative links to any public-facing work you’ve previously done.

The next cohort will run from April - September 2024. The deadline to apply for membership in the inaugural cohort is Friday, February 29, 2024.

A subsequent cohort is anticipated to launch in Fall 2024. Application information for the next cohort will be released as it becomes available.

For questions, contact Musa al-Gharbi (algharbi@heterodoxacademy.org).

Additional Writing Workshops at the 2024 HxA Conference!

For those who are interested in public writing but are ineligible for participation in the writers’ group or were not selected this round, Professor al-Gharbi will be hosting multiple workshops on writing for mass audiences during the 2024 Heterodox Academy Conference in Chicago from June 6-8.

Early bird registration runs through February 29th. More information on the conference and a registration portal available here.


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