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Authors Guidelines

Would You Like to Submit an Article?

We accept articles from individuals with hearing loss, educators and professionals in the hearing health care fields. For more information read below.


Hearing Life magazine
Author's Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to help our authors and potential authors prepare manuscripts that meet our editorial requirements, styles and publication standards, and express the interests of our wide-ranging readership. The guidelines are also to make the writing and preparation process easier for you.

Our goal, like yours, is to create and present, in magazine format, articles and other informational materials that are useful, interesting and accurate.

At first glance, this packet might look imposing. However, the guidelines are easy to follow and enhance the quality and the publication potential of articles submitted to Hearing Life magazine.

Readers have come to depend on Hearing Life magazine for helpful and timely articles on the entire spectrum of hearing loss. Our valued readership is maintained through effective writership. We value you as an author and invite you to submit articles for consideration. It's important to submit articles electronically. Please see guidelines for specifics.

HL Editor

7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
301.657.2248 Voice

Who Reads Hearing Life magazine?

  • Consumers with hearing loss.
  • Parents of children with hearing loss.
  • Family members and friends who do not have hearing loss who want to learn more about hearing loss and how it impacts on families and relationships.
  • Professionals in the hearing health care field who refer their clients to HLAA and who use the magazine as a resource.
  • Educators and counselors.

Readers look to Hearing Life magazine to provide them with the latest information on products, services, research, and technology in the hearing health care field. They also look for personal stories of people with hearing loss to find encouragement, and give them the feeling that they are not alone in living with a hearing loss. They look for practical and useful information. Hearing Life magazine readers view the magazine as a "lifeline" to help them help themselves and live well with hearing loss.

In addition, professional members of the hearing health care community are another valuable sector of our readership, and do not hesitate to comment on, add their expertise to, and use Hearing Life magazine as a valuable resource for information and patient referral.

What Do We Print?

We print articles and information pieces that discuss anything related to hearing loss. Our goal is to educate readers in all aspects of hearing loss, so that they, in turn, can make choices about how they will live their lives with hearing loss. Feature editorial in each issue covers technology, hearing aids, cochlear implants, legislation, HLAA issues (including but not limited to, Board of Trustees topics, state organizations and HLAA Chapters, fundraising), medical, psychosocial topics and personal stories Our broad publication range is evident in these examples of articles and topics:

Look at some previous issues of Hearing Life magazine.

  • Career Success and Hearing Loss
  • Cochlear Implants and Music Enjoyment
  • Technologies for Workplace Success
  • Consumers Guide to Purchasing a Hearing Aid
  • Smartphone Apps for People with Hearing Loss
  • The Fitting: Hearing Aid Selection and Evaluation
  • Hospitalized with a Hearing Loss
  • Hearing Assistive Technology
  • Communications Access and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Hearing-Aid-Compatible Cell Phones
  • Best Practices in Hearing Enhancement
  • Denial and Hearing Loss
  • Taking the Mystery Out of Cochlear Implants
  • The Forgotten Family When Your Loved One Has a Hearing Loss
  • Getting Help with a Job: Exploring Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Suggestions for the College-Bound Student With Hearing Loss
  • Low-Tech Assistive Listening Devices You Can Use
  • When You Have Both Hearing and Vision Loss
  • When Closed Captioning Goes Wrong: Some Things You Can Do
  • Why Use Assistive Listening Devices?
  • What Employers Want to Know About Assistive Technology
  • Tips to Go to...the Movies, the Hospital, a Restaurant
  • Veterans and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
  • Legislation and Advocacy for People with Hearing Loss
  • Emergency Preparedness and Hearing Loss
  • Bluetooth, Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
  • Tinnitus
  • Checklist for Students with Hearing Loss

The best article in the world is of little value if no one reads it except the author. By the same token, the best story ideas can die if the author's writing style is not clear, appealing, interesting and concise. If you would like to discuss an idea you might have for a possible article, feel free to contact the editor-in-chief.

General Style

The Hearing Life magazine editorial staff is trained to edit articles to fit our editorial guidelines without changing the author's impact or meaning. We edit everything for space and other considerations.

Generally speaking, these guidelines should be followed:

  • Develop a short and interesting title for the story. Avoid long and dry headlines. Search for headlines that will make the reader want to read the story.
  • Follow the headline with a short, descriptive blurb to entice the reader to continue to read the rest of the article. Three to five sentences can serve as a brief synopsis.
  • Use the first paragraph of the story to draw the reader into the article. Avoid beginning the article with dry statistics or broad generalizations. Instead, pick something unique about the material that will pique the reader's interest. Tell the readers something they can identify with.
  • Use subheads to break up the article and keep the reader interested.
  • Articles should not be too technical in nature. Although our readers are educated, they are primarily a lay audience. If unfamiliar scientific or technical terms must be used, be sure to define them. If there are many such terms in the article and they are absolutely necessary, then prepare a glossary as a help to the reader.
  • Articles should be educational in nature to provide useful information that people with hearing loss can benefit from. In this regard, personal narratives are also particularly welcomed, because their format permits writers to use their own meaningful experience to send a helpful message to the readers.
  • Humor, too, is a valuable educational tool and requires the same stringent publication guidelines-- deft handling, conciseness, originality, and, needless to say, in good taste.
  • Information that you wish to include in an article that is not an inseparable part of the main subject should be detached and formed into a sidebar (call-out boxes) to highlight the article. Sidebars can cover information which, if added to the main story, would distract the reader from the central point of the story. Sidebars also add interest. Using a sidebar to break-up the article into a visually more appealing format, makes it easier for the reader to approach and absorb the information.

    The use of the sidebar piece also gives the editor added flexibility in the layout. Space limitations can be corrected with sidebars. Rather than being faced with an "all-or-nothing" proposition, the sidebars gives the editor the ability to shorten manuscripts by eliminating the extra material, if necessary.

  • Use visual aids (illustrations, graphs, line drawings, photos) where appropriate, to accompany the article. These add reader interest and help get your material read. Readers often read these first. Provide captions for all of the above, keeping in mind that the captions will pique the readers' interest. (See these guidelines for more on artwork considerations.)
  • Check and recheck your facts. It is extremely important that any questions about the completeness or accuracy of a manuscript be worked out before the article reaches the editor. Make sure web links are accurate. If they are too long for print, consider shortening them into a TinyUrl ( or bitly (
  • Important terminology to use for people with hearing loss. The umbrella term for all people who have hearing loss is "people with hearing loss." The subcategories are "deaf people" and "hard of hearing people." Please use these terms in their proper context.

    Do not say, "The hearing impaired, the deaf, or the hard of hearing." Use "people with hearing loss, deaf people, and hard of hearing people," or "people who are deaf or hard of hearing." People is the optimum word. Similarly, use "people with disabilities," or "people who are disabled." Don't categorize the individual by his or her disability.

    Read “Understanding the Terms – Culturally and Audiologically” by Barbara Kelley to learn more about writing about people with hearing loss.

  • Promotional material is not accepted in article format. We do not print articles that promote any product or service. Articles can contain mention of products and services but the information must be put forth in a fair, unbiased and educational way. Companies and manufacturers are invited to advertise. Information on rates and space is available here.
  • Hearing Life magazine does not include a products information section, as do some of the professional journals.

When Will We Contact You?

Upon receipt of your manuscript, you will receive an email stating that we have it and the editorial staff will review it. A follow-up message to that could be immediate or take several months depending on the manuscript load and editorial review time.

If, by the determination of the editor, major changes are desired in your manuscript, you will be consulted and the proposed changes will be detailed. This review and revision process should not be considered criticism of your work. The goal of this procedure is to generate an article that is factual, understandable, and a credit to Hearing Life magazine and to the author. A poorly prepared article will reflect poorly on both the magazine and you.

If the article is accepted for publication, you will be notified. A publication date is rarely given at that time. We ask for your patience. Once an article is accepted, it can often take up to three years to be published, especially if the article is not time sensitive. With only six issues a year and limited space after regular columns and advertisements, the wait to be published can be lengthy. Please don’t let this discourage you from writing an article. We encourage you to contact the editor to see where your article is in the review process.

Use of Graphics and Captions

We welcome photos, charts, illustrations, etc. They make the article interesting and help break up long articles.


  • We accept color photos in high-resolution (300 dpi or higher) electronic JPG format. We welcome photos that are less formal and in the subject’s environment as long as the photo is clear and it is clear who the photo subject is. Photos take by an iPhone are accepted; however, send on the “large” setting.
  • Keep photos separate from the text, and number each one to match with its caption.
  • If the photographer should receive credit, make that clear on the same sheet as the captions.

Drawings and Schematics

  • We don't assume you are an artist. However, block diagrams, schematics and drawings if submitted, should be clean and legible. Our art department will give them the professional touch.
  • Keep the artwork separate from the text, and number each piece to match with its caption. If the artwork is referred to in the text, it should be identified as Figure 1, 2, etc.
  • If the graph or other drawing is reprinted from another source, give proper credit to the publication along with the date on the caption sheet.

Graphics must be submitted electronically.

  • All photos, drawings, graphs, etc. should include captions. The captions should be succinct and complete thoughts. The reader should not have to refer to the article to understand the meaning. Many people read only the captions and look at the photos. The captions should lure them into the article.
  • Type the captions in a Word doc. Do not attach individual captions to individual graphics. Please do not paste photos or graphics into an email.
  • Give credit to photos and graphics.


  • Manuscripts should be typed, double-spaced and only long enough to cover the topic adequately.
  • Text should also be submitted electronically to the editor. The preferred method is Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) as an attached file. At the very least, cut and paste the article into an email to the editor. If you do not computer capability, your article cannot be considered. Please do not send scans or faxes.
  • Please do not use any program like PageMaker; Publisher, but rather, type into a Word doc.
  • Do not attempt to format the article into columns, typeface or elaborate formats. You may use italics and boldface, but no other graphic commands including special fonts. Use a single tab space for indenting paragraphs. Use only a single space after periods. Don't be concerned with formatting and how the piece looks.
  • Length: The maximum length is hard to set because topics vary widely. However, any article in excess of 10 typed, double-spaced pages would be considered too long. A benchmark rule is: 2-1/2 typed, double-spaced pages equals one magazine page. Articles generally run two to five pages. An approximate word length is 600-1,500 words. Feature articles might run more than that. One page personal narratives may run 400-650 words.
  • Include a short biographical sketch of yourself (employment, credentials, along with your address and phone number. Also include the names and pertinent biographical information of contributing authors. If you would like your email published with the article, please give permission for that.

Checklist for Manuscripts

  • Manuscripts are to be typed, double-spaced, with sufficient margins on top and bottom.
  • Type articles in Word doc with no formatting. (See above).
  • Articles are submitted electronically in attached Word .doc or .docx with some exceptions.
  • Include a short and appealing suggested title and a two to four sentence descriptive blurb.
  • Use subheads within the article to break up text.
  • Provide biographical information on authors.
  • Photos, graphics, etc., are numbered with proper captions (typed in the Word doc) and submitted in high-resolution JPG electronic format.
  • Include your name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Send photos of all authors who wrote the article.

We Appreciate Your Interest

Authors receive five copies of Hearing Life magazine when their article appears along with the editors’ and readers’ appreciation. (Although we feel that authors deserve to be paid for their hard work, there is no monetary remuneration for articles published. We are happy to provide additional copies of the magazine if you need them.) HLAA holds the copyright unless authors state otherwise.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss a story idea, contact HL Editor at


Thank you for reading through these guidelines. Finally, you are strongly encouraged to send us your manuscript. We look forward to reviewing it for possible publication. If it weren’t for our authors who reach far into the various topics of hearing loss and its implications, Hearing Life magazine would not be valued magazine that it has evolved into over the past 35-plus years.

Updated: March 2016