Guidelines for Contributors

General Specifications

  • EHN welcomes short essays on a wide range of environment-related topics in any language. A piece can cover a topic related to research and/or personal experience, and address any time period or topic. Contributors might also consider submitting a piece to one of our ongoing series.
  • Submit a piece as a .doc or .docx file, a Google Doc file, or in a video format. For written submissions, contributors will receive editorial feedback using “Track Changes” in Word or “Suggested Edits” in Google Docs. For video submissions, contributors should consult the editorial team beforehand to verify whether the content fits EHN’s criteria.
  • Pieces usually run between 750-1250 words, so they keep quite short— though this is just a guideline. If contributors want to share a longer piece, please consult the editorial team. For a video, the length may vary.
  • For pieces in spoken or signed languages other than English, contributors may choose to include an abstract in English or a full translation.


  • In any language, use terminology that respects and honors different religions, abilities, backgrounds, and identities. As a general rule, use the terms that different communities, and groups and individuals therein, prefer when referring to themselves. 
  • When referring to or addressing specific individuals, use forms of address and pronouns that are consistent with their gender identity.
  • Avoid unnecessarily ableist or gendered language, or expressions that reinforce stereotypes. 
  • Be consistent in the way people are referred to: if one person is addressed by their name, last name, courtesy title, or profession, the others should be as well.
  • If there are certain key concepts important to a contributor’s work that do not have a direct English equivalent, keep the term in its original language where possible. A word or phrase in a language other than English does not need to be italicized in a written piece. If a translation is included, put it in brackets immediately following the original term.

Specifications for Written Submissions

Formatting / Punctuation / Etc.

  • Any citation style followed consistently and correctly is allowed, but EHN follows the footnote citation guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style by default.
  • Footnotes should appear at the end of sentences, never in the middle. Additionally, footnotes should be consolidated in order to reduce their total number throughout the piece.
  • Use the serial comma (representation, engagement, and community). 
  • Use one space rather than two after all punctuation.
  • Use em dashes to set off text (while these leaders—most of whom were from Europe—wasted no time) and en dashes in number and date ranges (33-87).
  • Use double quotation marks for quotes and single marks for quotes within quotes.
  • When making two names possessive, use an apostrophe with only the second.
  • Names ending in -s should use a single apostrophe to be made possessive (James’ paper).
  • Ellipses should appear with no spaces and in brackets […].


  • Contributors should provide a cover image. Additional in-text images are not required, but can be included. 
  • The cover image should have a size of at least 1200 by 675 pixels.
  • For each image, provide a source and an alt-text/image description. This is different from a caption. It’s a detailed explanation that describes the essential information in an image. In other words, you literally write out what you see. See e.g. here and here.

Specifications for Video Submissions

Formatting / Etc.

  • EHN prefers an embedded code for the video. This avoids file size and storage limits. Contributors should upload a video to YouTube, Vimeo, or another video hosting platform. Make sure a post is unlisted, meaning only those with the link can view and comment on the video. If contributors want to submit a video another way (e.g. in a .mov or .mp4 file), consult the editorial team. 
  • Include end credits in the video or provide a bibliography.


  • Record in landscape/horizontal mode instead of portrait/vertical mode.
  • Make sure you face into a diffuse light source. Avoid any lighting behind you if at all possible. 
  • Aim to be easily visible without too many distractions behind you. 
  • Communicate (e.g. speak, sign, etc.) clearly and at a conversational pace. For reference, 100-200 words per minute offers a good benchmark.
  • Know where the camera is located on your phone/device and look into it.
  • Stabilize your phone/device on something instead of holding it in your hand.