At Divergent Options we know writing is hard.  We strive to make it easy.  We want our writers to have the best experience possible when they write for us.  Below are a few sentences from some of our writers describing their experience with Divergent Options.  We hope these testimonials encourage others to write for us in the future.

It was a privilege to work with the team at Divergent Options. Phil provided brilliant edits while also allowing full expressive autonomy. I’ve never worked with a group of people with a quicker turnaround time. I really appreciate the format of Divergent Options. Whenever I read a piece on the site, it pushes me to really think critically. Phil makes sure the site is free of exaggeration, wordiness, and disorganization. I look forward to reading the products of the next call for papers.

As a mentor once told me, “less is more.”  Phil and his team at Divergent Options have found the right balance between brevity and depth, providing a venue for bottom line up front writing on important national security and international relations issues.  Constraining submissions to 1000 words or less challenged me as a writer to provide sufficient depth on both of my options.  I also appreciate that Divergent Options accepts articles written from multiple viewpoints, and offers options with anticipated risks/ gains without advocating for any of them.   The ability to empathize how various actors view the same international relations issues, while proposing rational options for decision makers vice emotionally charged invectives is critical in the contemporary international relations environment.  I look forward to writing for Divergent Options in the future!  

Hi Phil,

I think this feedback form alone is a great example of how you are different in your approach with writers from other publications ;)
Honestly, Divergent Options is one of the best publications I’ve ever worked with both in the defense and in the mainstream media sectors, including NPR, Ozy, and Marie Claire. In the beginning, the template threw me for a loop and I was a tad annoyed at how it disrupted some of the flow of the essay, but after seeing the target audience, it made a lot more sense. 
Personally, writing is my strong suit and I’ve been consciously trying to improve it. I had given up on it before learning about DO at a DEF event and decided to give it a try. I’m glad that I did- it has revived my passion and drive to pursue it.

My experience writing for Divergent Options was seamless, to the say the least. I was given full freedom to express my ideas and thoughts and while Phil made edits, they were suggestive and were not cumbersome or overbearing. Coming from an organization where we spend roughly 20% of the time writing and 80% of time editing (not that there’s anything wrong with that), publishing my piece for Divergent Options was easy and refreshingly unique. 

P.S. Phil didn’t edit this testimonial! 

Divergent Options is the perfect complement to the National Security writing scene, offering a format that best captures the reality of how senior leaders digest information. Writing concise, well thought-out options in 1,000 words or less can be a daunting task, but Phil is a phenomenal editor and guided me all along the process. He was professional and courteous, focusing on refining my piece for clarity where needed. Whether you are just venturing into finding a voice for your ideas or are a seasoned writer, Divergent Options offers you an outlet to convey your key points and get read.

Divergent Options gave me a platform to voice my opinions despite my unorthodox approach towards observing, analyzing, and writing. In today’s world, a fast approach towards problem solving dominates; fast food, fast fashion, and unfortunately fast takes on complex geopolitical, socioeconomic, and national security issues. The template of Divergent Options articles, albeit falling under this brand of fast takes, challenges me to provide the perfect balance between thorough backgrounds, detailed present situations, and concise future developments for conflicts that have long been oversimplified to sit well with political agendas and pushed narratives. Overall, working with Divergent Options is enjoyable, and gives me an opportunity to speak my true mind and heart, rather than parrot pre-canned arguments or mainstream views.

I’m glad to be given the opportunity to contribute to Divergent Options. For me, the experience of learning how to write in a way that policymakers understand has been of great importance. That means translating political and humanitarian concerns into terms of national interests. As a reader and contributor, your website offers both fresh ideas that I incorporate into my assignments in my graduate program in Paris.

Many thanks and be ready for new submission in March! 

I’m relatively new to publishing; I just finished my most recent foray into graduate study and Divergent Options offered a good first venue for getting my thoughts out in the ether.  I’ve written for NCO Journal and for Foreign Policy, Military Review, and the Air and Space Power Journal; I was surprised by how long other media take to publish an author’s work after submission.  

I submitted my second piece to the site this week, and was very pleasantly surprised by the quick turnaround.  Divergent Options’ format demands concise, clear writing; Phil is an excellent coach and mentor when it comes to paring out unnecessary, flowery writing that has no place in this format.  I believe my work with DO will help me develop as both a writer and as a non-commissioned officer.I look forward to working with Divergent Options in the future.

It was a great experience and an honor writing for Divergent Options. They provide a venue that is highly informative and simulating for both writers and readers. For a writer, the 1,000 words or less concept is both challenging and constructive. Phil was a wonderful editor and guide through this process. The unbiased, short, and to the point format is also highly needed in our fast-paced, decision making world. I would definitely write for Divergent Options again!