Thank you for your interest in submitting content to STS!

Please note: because our editorial board members are not currently able to review volunteer submissions, we are not accepting any. We will update this page when that changes. If you think you may be interested in submitting content for consideration once we are again open to such submissions, you can learn more about what we’re looking for and how to submit below. Thank you. 

Jessica Murray
Managing Editor
Fall 2020


Below are some instructions for submitting and answers to frequently asked questions.

What qualities are you looking for in STS content?

STS is a National Science Foundation funded project. We are looking for content that fits the following criteria:

  • addresses some aspect of the transition between high school and college for autistic students
  • has a STEM focus
  • is engaging, thoughtful, and appeals to the students, families, and educators who frequent STS

A good way to get a sense of what we publish is to engage with material on the site.

What formats of content are you interested in?

STS publishes blogs, vlogs, videos, articles, interviews, book reviews, infographics, photo essays—you name it. We publish nonfictional material that supports autistic students as they transition from high school to college, particularly in the STEM fields.

Blogs: should be between 400 and 1200 words, more conversational, and address one specific topic important to the STS community. If your content relies on sources, they should be linked to in the blog, when applicable, and listed at the end of the document. Citation is AP style.

Vlogs: should be between 2-3 minutes and address one specific topic important to the STS community.

Videos: can be longer than a vlog and incorporate visual elements such as PowerPoint slides. All images in videos must belong to the creator or be freely available through sources such as Wiki Commons. Creators of Wiki Commons images should still be credited whenever possible. Credits can come at the end of the video.

Articles: should be between 1500 and 3000 words, more formal, and may delve into related issues within the STS community. Citation is AP style.

Interviews: can be short- or long-form. Short-form interviews should be quick, easy, fun, and informative. No more than five questions. Long-form interviews should probe issues more fully and be conducted with a thought leader or expert in the autism community.

Book Reviews: please query first. We are interested in nuanced, engaging reviews of nonfiction, popular science, and academic literature that addresses components of the autistic experience that are important to the experiences of high school students transitioning to the college environment, particularly in the STEM fields.

Regardless of format, all content should align with the STS mission and the qualities briefly indicated above. STS is a community committed to representation of all autistic experience. No sexism, racism, homophobia. No hate.

I have a great poem, short story, cartoon, or drawing that I think would be a good fit. Can I submit?

We have plans to feature more art and literature on STS in the future; however, we are not currently accepting submissions of poems, stories, drawings, paintings, or other artwork.

What’s the difference between a photo essay and submitting a photo?

We are not accepting individual photos; however, if you have created a photo essay around tips for first-year autistic students in a lab setting, that may align with our publishing needs, and submitters of photo essays should follow the submission instructions below.

How do I submit?

To submit to STS, please follow these instructions. Submissions that do not adhere to the guidelines will not receive a reply and will be deleted.

  1. In the subject line, please put the genre and title of your piece. For example:

Blog – How to Work With a Difficult Lab Partner

  1. In the body of the email, please provide a brief cover letter and bio that lets us know how you learned of STS and a little bit about your background and experience.
  2. In addition to your bio or included in it, please provide a brief statement on autistic culture. How do you understand the term, and what does it mean to you? All submitters must also disclose any affiliations with groups or institutions that do autism work. For example, if you have volunteered for College Autism Network or have published with Wrong Planet, please disclose those relationships. These are mandatory components of a submission.
  3. Please upload your submission as an attachment.
  4. If you are submitting a query for a book review, please put “query” for the genre followed by the book’s title. For example:

Query – The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

In the body of the email, in addition to the bio, please provide a brief paragraph or two that outlines your review proposal, and if you have any links to relevant related reviews that you’ve published, please include them, too.

All submissions should be emailed to: info@stairwaytostem.org

When will I get a reply?

Response time may vary depending on the amount of submissions and the reviewer’s schedule. We aim to reply within 1 – 3 months, sometimes sooner. If you have not received a reply after 12 weeks, you are welcome to follow up. Please use the same email chain that you initiated with your submission for follow up requests.

I just edited my blog. Can I send a revision?

No. Do not send revisions. Send us your finished pieces of content. Our reviewers are not going to disqualify content because of a small spelling error or other small, non-content related mistakes. If a reviewer is considering acceptance contingent on revisions, those requests will be communicated. Material that is not accepted should not be resubmitted.

Will I get individualized comments on my content?

We are unable to provide extensive comments on content that is not accepted for website publication. However, at their discretion, reviewers may occasionally provide a brief note to the submitter.

I submitted a blog, but it was rejected. Should I submit again?

We encourage you to submit again, but please do not submit more than twice in a 12-month period. Additionally, reviewers will change periodically, so it may be that your viewpoint and content presentation will align with a different reviewer. If you are a student who does not have a lot of writing experience and you are very interested in submitting, STS also encourages you to take your submission to a writing center or trusted teacher before you submit. Sometimes an extra pair of eyes can really help you refine your material.

I have a different question. What should I do?

For all submission-related questions not answered here, please contact: info@stairwaytostem.org.

Thanks for your interest in submitting to STS, and we look forward to seeing your work.