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.
This relaunched initiative will be spearheaded by Musa al-Gharbi, an HxA Research Fellow, incoming 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 voices and place work in prominent outlets.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
Participation is restricted to HxA members. Because HxA is a small team, we can only support between 10-15 participants in each cohort (out of 5,400+ HxA members). If you’re not yet a member and you’re interested in this opportunity, join us! Faculty, students (graduate and undergraduate) and administrators are all eligible to join HxA and take part in this initiative, and membership is free.
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.
How To Apply For The Writers Group
Apply by filling out this form, telling us briefly about 1) why you want to be a part of the Writers Group, 2) the kinds of things you’re interested in writing about, 3) what makes your voice and perspective uniquely-suited for this program, and 4) representative links to any public-facing work you’ve previously done.
The inaugural cohort will run from March – August 2023. The deadline to apply for membership in the inaugural cohort is Friday, February 10, 2023.
A second cohort is anticipated to launch in Fall 2023. Application information for the next cohort will be released as it becomes available.
For questions, contact Musa al-Gharbi (email@example.com).