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Guidelines for EL Writers

Educational Leadership® (EL®) is the award-winning flagship magazine of ASCD with a distinctive niche in the world of education publishing. Our readers are educators from all levels, preK–12, and from many different disciplines and job positions—teachers, coaches, principals, superintendents, professors, and other leaders in education.

Whereas other publications are primarily written by journalists or by researchers, Educational Leadership is primarily written by educators for educators. We are a community of passionate thinkers that come together around shared vision to help connect educators to the just the right content, at the right time, in the format they want. With a total circulation of more than 90,000—and a high pass-along rate—Educational Leadership has great reach and influence among educators and is an ideal way to amplify your voice. Each issue, we publish both solicited and unsolicited work from veteran educators and writers and new and emerging voices in the education field. Approximately 25 percent of our published articles come from unsolicited manuscripts.


ASCD is committed to diversity. The Educational Leadership staff encourages articles about diversity and meeting the needs of diverse students and submissions by individuals from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, class, or abilities.

What You Should Consider

Educational Leadership is known for its theme issues. The more appropriate an article is for a theme issue, the more likely it is that we will be able to publish it. We also accept articles on topics not related to a theme if the subject is compelling and timely. However, these articles have a much lower chance of acceptance. We particularly look for articles that inspire improved teaching and learning.

View all upcoming themes

What We Look For

Our articles are generally between 1,500–2,500 words in length and conversational, insightful, and helpful to K–12 educators. (Submissions that exceed 3,000 words have a lower chance of acceptance.) Articles should contain fresh information, be research-based, and give concrete guidance that school leaders and educators can use to improve their practice. Authentic
examples from classroom or school experiences are appreciated.

The best way to determine what kind of articles we publish is to read the magazine. You can also follow @ELmagazine on Twitter for highlights and links to our latest articles and issues.

Here are some of the qualities we look for in a submission:

  • Nuanced and clear descriptions of evidence-based solutions to current problems in education.

  • Engaging and informed analysis of key issues, trends, or new ideas in K–12 education.

  • Originality and authentic, informed perspective. Reasoned yet provocative debate on controversial subjects (evidence-based arguments that challenge, provoke, and inspire).

  • Authentic examples or experiences from work in schools.

  • Opinion, research, or practice pieces that interweave experiences and ideas. Program descriptions (school, district, or state) that bring school improvement initiatives to life. (Avoid overly process-oriented or prescriptive play-by-play.)

  • Practical instructional or school leadership examples that illustrate key points.

  • An emphasis on explaining and interpreting research results rather than on methodology.

  • Personal stories of research or school-improvement initiatives.

  • International perspectives.

  • An emphasis on whole child education and students with diverse needs.

We are not looking for term papers or reviews of literature, and we rarely publish conventional research reports.

We cannot review drafts and usually do not find query letters helpful; we prefer to read the manuscript.

We do not publish articles that have been previously published, in print or electronic form, including on personal sites or blogs.

If your article is accepted by another publication while still under review with us, we ask that you contact us or withdraw it from consideration as soon as possible.


We encourage creativity and innovative approaches to writing—but also good sourcing! Work submitted to Educational Leadership must be original to the author(s) and not previously published in any format. Any use of material from generative artificial intelligence tools must be disclosed; text that is based on AI-based research or excerpted from AI responses must be clearly and appropriately cited using APA style.

The EL editorial staff makes all decisions regarding publication. ASCD reserves the right to reject material, whether solicited or otherwise, if it lacks quality or timeliness. ASCD offers no remuneration for articles, though each contributor will receive five complimentary copies of the magazine in which their article appears.

How to Submit a Manuscript to EL

Please submit your completed manuscript to us via Submittable using the appropriate theme category. We can no longer accept submissions via email or snail mail.