Taijiquan Journal

Contributor's Guidelines

Taijiquan Journal is a quarterly magazine for taijiquan practitioners of all levels of experience. Our readers are inquisitive people who want to expand their understanding of the art and practice of taijiquan.
Taijiquan Journal seeks well-crafted articles, photography, and art that will educate, inspire, challenge, and entertain. We are interested in high-quality original material on the following topics: taijiquan history, philosophy, practice, study, how-to, teaching, interviews, essays, reviews, humor, and personal experience. A limited amount of fiction and poetry will be considered. Sample topics: "Demystifying Push-Hands," "The Confucian Influence on Taijiquan," "Recent Scientific Research on Taijiquan," "No Mom, We're Not a Cult," "What Happens When Teacher and Student Conflict?"

Articles must be engaging, accurate, and useful, with clear themes and focus. Articles must be thoroughly researched and, with few exceptions, must relate directly to taijiquan, qigong, Chinese medicine, and Chinese philosophy. Vague generalizations, mythologizing, and jargon should all be avoided. Material that is self-promotional, argumentative, or unsubstantiated will not be accepted.
How-to articles should be written in a manner that makes the techniques accessible to practitioners of all levels and styles. Research articles should be written for an educated lay audience. Accuracy is crucial. Notes and bibliography should be kept to a minimum, but where given, must be complete. Reviews and interviews are assigned by the editor. If you wish to be considered for these you must submit clips of prior work. Translations: If a translation is the focus of an article, a copy of the original Chinese and a citation for its origins must accompany the submission. Reprints: We occasionally use reprints of material otherwise unavailable; query first.
Style: We follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
Transliteration: All Chinese words should be written in Mandarin pinyin romanization, except for names where there is common usage of another system (e.g. Jou Tsung Hwa, Cheng Man-ch'ing).
Tips for writers: Freelancers not involved with taijiquan should take care to familiarize themselves with the field. Conversely, experienced taijiquan practitoners not trained in writing should take care to develop their magazine writing skills. We want stimulating, focused writing that goes beyond the superficial and predictable. See Writing for Taijiquan Journal below.
Length: Articles may be from 700 to 5000 words. The average article is between 1500-2500 words. Columns and essays from 500-750 words. We welcome shorts for our Taijiquan World section, up to 300 words.


If an article is accepted, we will contact you about electronic submission by disk or email. If you do not have computer access, typewritten material is acceptable and should be sent as a fresh, clean, double-spaced copy. Material sent electronically should follow these guidelines:

  • Send text only. Do not enclose any graphics within the text file.
  • Use one font, in one size. Do not make headlines any different. Do not use any formatting other than italics. Do not use any automatic formatting or styling (e.g. in Word), headers, etc. When in doubt, send as an RTF file. We need to have the raw material and it takes us time to strip off the formatting.
  • If you use notes, please format them as endnotes.
  • For revisions sent on email, please keep label on subject line as "tj article." Please do not change whatever headings (issue, date, title, etc.) on the version we have sent back to you.
  • Please check with us before sending any files larger than 1.5 megabytes.

    We seek the same high quality and creativity in photos and art as in we do for writing. We do not usually use photos of author with article. Black and white photography (electronic files, CDs, negatives, or prints from 4" x 6" up to 8" x 10") and line art is preferred, but color is acceptable. Photos must be accompanied by model release forms, and all persons and places must be identified. Material should be submitted in a stiff mailer for protection, and must be accompanied by return postage if return is desired.

  • Photos and art remain the property of the photographer or artist. Any photos or art done by a third party (for example, photos or art submitted accompanying an article) must have copyright clearances enclosed.
  • We cannot be responsible for material submitted without return envelopes and postage.
  • Do not send photo or art files to the editor via email unless requested.
  • Do not send us your only copy of anything!

    Submissions are accepted on an ongoing basis. Deadline for a specific issue is usually three or months months prior to publication.

    Compensation for features and essays is $25-$100, photos and art between $5-$100, plus two copies of issue in which material appears. We pay upon publication. We are unable to give compensation for news and other shorts.

    Taijiquan Journal purchases first serial rights to material.

    We welcome submissions from unpublished and published writers alike. Here are some tips on writing that may help you out:

  • Send us your best work. We cannot accept unfinished pieces. Proofread your work carefully for grammar and spelling. More importantly, make sure that what you write makes sense and really is communicating your ideas clearly! The more "perfected" your article is when you send it to us, the fewer edits will be needed, and will result in an article that is more your exact words.
  • Material should be written specifically for our magazine and for our audience. Each magazine has its own personality and you should take care to familiarize yourself with ours before submitting work to us. Read our previous issues to get an idea of our tone, style, slant, and approach, and to make sure that we have not already covered your intended topic. You can purchase single copies of Taijiquan Journal, or view selected articles on our website at www.taijiquanjournal.com. Sample copies of Taijiquan Journal are avilable for $9 US post-paid.
  • Timeline‹Be patient when submitting material. We receive many submissions, and like all magazines, have our own internal work schedule that governs how fast we can get back to you. The industry standard is 1-3 months to reply to queries or manuscripts.
  • Correspondence about submissions will be done via mail or email. We cannot discuss submissions on the telephone as we have a very heavy workload with many deadlines.
  • Editing‹We edit material very thoroughly. However, this does not mean that we will rewrite your article for you. It is the author¹s responsibility to turn in useable material. It is our responsibility to prep the author¹s work for publication. Please be prepared for questions, feedback, and reworking, and provide us with your telephone number, address, and email so that we can reach you about the article. Again, we want your material to be at its best.
    We are responsible for all final formatting decisions, including article title, illustrations, section headers, pull-quotes, and so on. In general, we supply artwork, if any, for an article. If there are specific illustrations you wish to offer, let us know; however, we reserve the right to accept or refuse based on the magazine¹s needs.
  • Bios‹We print a 25-word author bio with an article. We do not publish author contact information (i.e. phone, email, website) in the bio. Readers can get in touch with authors through us. We do not publish promotional articles, nor place ads for author¹s business on same page as article.


  • Writing is no different a discipline than taijiquan. It takes practice to do it well and it is a marriage of art and technique. Here are some tips we¹ve gathered through the years.
  • Find a topic to explore that you find interesting, and that you think can be made compelling for our readers. Articles must have a "hook," something that draws the reader in and compels him or her to buy the magazine and read the article. A hook can be a question, a statement, a story, a news item. or a teaser, and will lead the reader into the article.
  • Keep your article focused on the topic you¹ve selected. Every word, sentence, and paragraph has to fit together as part of the whole and relate to that topic. Some people outline their stories to help keep thoughts organized. Communicate directly, clearly, and succinctly.
  • Do whatever research is needed. Keep track of sources as you do your research and cite them, where appropriate, in the article. We want accuracy and also accessibility. Distinguish clearly between fact, fiction, and speculation in your writing.
  • Don¹t be afraid to trim and delete‹or, as some say, "The writer¹s best friend is the wastebasket." By trimming away the excess, you¹ll often be able to find the real story (you can save any good cut material in another file for later use in a different article).
  • Double-check your grammar, usage, and spelling. Do not rely on computer spell-check.
  • Every person has a different method and pace for working on writing. If you become stuck with your writing, put it aside for a day or two. Then come back to it with a fresh eye.
  • Read your work out loud to yourself or to others. Have a friend or colleague give you feedback. Native and non-native English speakers alike can benefit from this.
  • Attend writers¹ classes and workshops, or join a writers¹ group.
  • Writing, rewriting, and self-editing are different processes. Many people find it helpful to do these tasks at separate times.
  • Learn about the craft of writing. There are dozens of books available on writing in general, or specifically on writing for magazines. Here are a few:

    Lu Chi, The Art of Writing, Milkweed Editions.
    Writer¹s Digest staff, Handbook of Magazine Writing, Writer¹s Digest.
    Strunk & White, The Elements of Style, MacMillan.
    Mandell, Magazine Editors Talk to Writers, Wiley.

  • Read samples of good writing. The New Yorker andNew York Timesroutinely have some of the finest writing available in which even the most mundane topic is made into an interesting read.
  • Above all, keep reading and writing!

    Copyright © 2004 by Taijiquan Journal