Six places for English teachers to get published

There comes a time in many an English teacher’s career when they decide they want to turn to writing. Maybe it’s an urge to share some of the things they’ve learned over the years in the class. Maybe it’s seen as a way to get ahead at work. Maybe it’s seen as a way of making extra money. Actually, a lot of English teachers I know secretly harbour a desire to write a great novel (but who doesn’t?). And above all, it’s a boost for one’s ego to get published somewhere. For all of you wishing to get started in the glamourous world of ELT writing, here are my six recommendations. All of these places accept submissions from teachers, just like yourselves…

etpcover

1. English Teaching Professional. One of the best known magazines for English Teachers with a worldwide circulation, ETp is a good bet. However, be aware that waiting lists can be long (up to a year). You could write an article, or submit some of your best ideas to their It works in Practice section. ETp’s style is informal and accessible, so don’t send your MA dissertation here.

Ego boost factor: High. Your article will be in colour, nicely designed, and with a photo and bio of you at the end. People all over the world would read your stuff. You may share content credits with very well known people in the field.

iateflmedium

2. Voices. This is the IATEFL newsletter. You’d have to be a member of IATEFL to get a copy, but this publication is much more widely read than you might expect, and articles from it are quoted in other places. Here the style can be completely informal or quite formal indeed, but they are often short pieces. Voices has a very international makeup of contibutors. This is a place to submit an article, rather than a teaching tip (or make your teaching tip into a whole article, I’ve seen that done several times).

Ego boost factor: Medium. No colour inside and the design isn’t as nice as ETp, but your photo and mini bio would appear at the end. And you would probably find that you are being read in the most unusual places.

metcover

3. Modern English Teacher. A bit like English Teaching Professional (MET is a sister title, according to their website), this is another glossy magazine for teachers. It has several different sections including a big one on practical ideas which would be a logical place for many teachers to start. I don’t see this magazine around quite as much as English Teaching Professional, but it’s been  going on for 30 years. 

Ego boost factor: Medium to high. Design is slightly classier than ETp but not as colourful. I personally think ETp is better edited, but that’s just my opinion!

onestopenglish1

4. Onestopenglish. Web publishing doesn’t have quite the same feeling as seeing your name in print on the page, but the big difference is the number of people who will read your stuff. If you want to aim high, go for Onestopenglish. They scout writers through the Lesson Share competition. If you are a fantastically witty writer, submit an anecdote to the anecdote competition. Fancy yourself as a methodologist? Enter the methodology competition and get a chance to win a trip to IATEFL as well as getting published. Each of these could lead to paid writing work with the site. 

Ego boost factor: High. This site gets 400,000 visits or so a month. I haven’t been to a country and given a talk to teachers who don’t know Onestopenglish. It’s pretty motivating to think that your stuff could be read by tens or hundreds of thousands.

lgo_hlt

5. Humanising Language Teaching. The Pilgrims webzine started by Mario Rinvolucri is one of the oldest on the web. It’s been going for quite a while, and is read by an awful lot of people. They are also very open to new articles and submissions but be warned you may have to wait a while before it’s published. There also seems to be a rather flexible publication schedule, if your article is to appear in the November issue that could mean beginning or end of November or beginning of December even. Have patience.

Ego boost factor: Medium to high. The layout isn’t particularly interesting and sometimes looks all squashed together but your article will be read by many, and some gurus perhaps as well. 

6. Local newsletter or magazine. Even though I left this to last, it’s probably the first port of call, try a local magazine. Or the newsletter of your local teaching organisation.

Ego boost factor: Will vary. Some of these publications are very good-looking and well-edited indeed and may in fact bring more kudos than one of the bigger magazines above.

I realise there are probably more, and I’ve restricted myself as usual to only six. There were two notable omissions, English Language Teaching Journal (ELTJ) or TESOL Quarterly. These two publications are much more for the academically minded. The selection process is harder, and you will have to wait probably at least a year before your article is published. But the ego boost factor is probably very high if you work at a university, as appearing in either of these two might help you up that particular ladder. 

For more tips on getting into writing, check out the Onestopenglish’s section on Author of the month where authors share advice on how they got into it. My one piece of advice I’ll reprint here is “Don’t lord it over colleagues”. Walking around saying “As a published author…” won’t win you many friends. 

Good luck with it!

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Published in: on February 24, 2009 at 9:10 am  Comments (5)  
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  1. Hey, there’s also my blog – don’t forget The TEFL Tradesman! Many teachers have made contributions there, especially concerning warnings about crappy jobs, nasty (or just plain mad) bosses, unsavoury colleagues, etc. So there you have it – the reply button for Tefl.

    And it’s a place to share stories of a humourous and, erm, ‘alternative’ nature too – classroom capers, how you managed to fall into bed with the wife of the executive you were teaching – or the exec himself!

    But of course, if you’d rather write worksheets (dull, Alex, so DULL!) and pieces on how wearing red socks to class improves your students’ motivation, try one of the above publications. My favourite one is Dehumanising Languaging Teaching – great for a laugh, even though the articles are quite serious!

    • Quite true – I did mean to mention blogs but this bloody six things rule… thanks Sandy!
      Teachers may in fact that posting something on a blog gets more readers than some of the above publications in fact…

  2. Dear Sir,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me how to publish my articles? I really appreciate your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Yours,
    Mohammed

    Name:Mohammed Ali Alfadhel
    M.A. in English Literature
    Nationality: Syrian
    Work Address:Alandalus University, Faculty of Education & Arts
    Department of English. Sana’a, Yemen.
    Position:Full time lecturer
    Mobile: 009671- 711488934

    • Hi Mohammed,
      I’d start off by going to any of those sites that I mentioned in the blog. There will be information there on how to submit an article, what they are looking for etc. You can do this all electronically now. Best of luck with it!

  3. Might I also make a plug for TEFL.net Articles and Ideas ThinkTank pages, always looking for new content! You can submit online by clicking the big red button on this page:

    http://edition.tefl.net/category/articles/

    Sandy

    If I may take you seriously when I really probably shouldn’t- surely lessons by teachers who never write their own stuff and so are stuck regurgitating Headway, Communication Games and breakingnewsenglish.com is the definition of dull, both for teachers and students!


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