Submit an essay...

What type of essays are accepted?

Most of the essays on Big Issue Ground come from people who have either submitted their own essays or been asked by me whether they'd like to have theirs included. Big Issue Ground is made up of essays by all sorts of people, on all sorts of topics. Many are already up on other websites - don't let that put you off from submitting your own piece. Being on Big Issue Ground is still worthwhile, because it lets the site's literally hundreds of thousands of visitors see your work... which is presumably why you put it up on the web in the first place. Also, I can always provide a link back to your own site if you have one, thus getting you a lot more web traffic, and a higher Google PageRank (which will improve your site's performance on search engines). Plus, you keep full copyright of what you write.

But bear in mind, I can't accept just any essay, due to the volume of submissions and the need to be quite selective to maintain the site's quality. Essays must be reasonably well written - for tips, see the Style Guide below. Topics must fit broadly under either 'Atheism, Religion and Religious Issues', 'Politics', 'Philosophy', ' 'Popular History (of general interest)' or 'Popular Science and Predictions and Prospects for the Future'. You can see the areas currently covered in the menus at the top of this page, but I can always create new subsections under the 5 overarching topics.

By far the best essays are those which contain a clear, self-contained and well-reasoned argument for a specific conclusion. If you submit this type of article, please make sure you have justified your premises, and not assumed that your readers will automatically share all your beliefs (for example, that the Bible is the word of God) without having to be convinced of them. This is the internet, so they probably won't!

Other acceptable submissions include book reviews and pieces which summarise a debate or theory without offering any particular argument of their own. What almost certainly won't be accepted are rants, raves, ads or ad hominem criticisms of other articles. A guideline for wordcount is between 800 and 4,000 words, though these would probably be too short and too long respectively. But remember that these are only guidelines, and if your essay is brilliant - and appropriate - I'll certainly consider it. So, if you think your piece could meet these criteria... submit ahead.

How to submit

Please use this form, entering a title and brief (10-25 words) description. I will then decide whether your essay sounds appropriate for Big Issue Ground, and reply to you, asking for an attachment. Thank you in advance!

Your name:
Your e-mail:
Title of your essay:
Suggested sub-category (if any):
Brief description (10-25 words):
Any keywords for search engines:
Any comments (eg. your background or website):


Style Guide

Spell checkers almost take care of spelling by themselves. Sadly the same cannot be said of grammar checkers, and almost anyone with any sense turns them off. So I have provided this (brief, and non-exhaustive) set of tips for anyone writing an essay for Big Issue Ground:

Legal information

Pages where copyright or authorship is not specifically acknowledged are copyright © 2002 Thomas Ash, all rights reserved, unless they are documents on which copyrights have expired because of age, etc, or which were never subject to copyright. All other pages are copyright their respective authors, all rights reserved. I (Thomas Ash) do not necessarily endorse any of the opinions expressed on this site, except for my own. No information from this site may be reproduced, sorted in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the copyright holder. I reserve the right to edit any pieces submitted to me in any way I think is appropriate (this will mainly be for reasons related to spelling, grammar and clarity), but promise to alter or take down a piece within a reasonably short time if the author requests. I do not take any responsibility for any harm which may result from using this website (whatever that could be...), and nor do I vouch for the authenticity of essays (although I have of couse tried to check other people's work).

Further legal information is available in 'Legal Stuff.'