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.

Writing for Divergent Options proved to be an engaging experience – by virtue of the compelling prompts offered and the opportunity to contribute to the national security conversation in a non-traditional way – and the smoothest I’ve ever had in submitting a piece for publication. Phil’s editorial recommendations were useful and provided quickly. He was encouraging and always willing to help when asked. I’d urge any readers who see a topic that catches their eye to get involved and submit something of their own.

Divergent Options’ formats are conducive in professional and policy writing serving as an important tool for translating concepts and ideas into potentially actionable publications.  Also, Divergent Options’ editing process is not only writer friendly but also a learning and teaching experience.  The Editors take the time to mentor writers to not only enhance their submission but their writing and analytical skills.

Writing for Divergent Options was an overall great experience. Phil was very responsive and courteous throughout the entire publication process. Writing an Options Paper allowed me to think creatively on my topic, and also forced me to think about why countries do the things that they and whether or not such an option — while available — may not be a wise one.

I love the opportunity to propose new solutions to vexing national security problems. As much as I respect long-serving experts and value their insights, I worry about groupthink and a common reluctance to deviate too much from conventional wisdom. I’m grateful to Divergent Options for offering a platform for the exploration of unorthodox, sometimes counterintuitive ideas.  I also love the chance to explore alternative chains of events for past situations. As long as you stay in the realm of the plausible, I believe it’s fair to game out what-if scenarios rather than assume that what really happened was inevitable. It’s great that Divergent Options provides space for that.

Divergent Options provides a unique frame for publishing thoughts in a condensed way and in a focused format. Additionally, Phil manages to run the quickest and most efficient editing process I’ve seen in my life. Great editor, interesting topics, demanding  formats, amazing platform.

Writing for Divergent Options is the smoothest editorial experience I’ve had by far. Phil’s responsiveness is superhuman and his edits for clarity are a bona fide value add. I would encourage any writer who is seeking to make their voice heard to contribute to Divergent Options.

One of the fastest editors I’ve worked with, Phil provided really useful comments and helpful edits on my submission. It was a real pleasure to work with this blog – highly recommend it to any writers with divergent thoughts to contribute.

As someone whose current job doesn’t allow for free flowing writing, using Divergent Options’ templates has allowed me to express my thoughts on national security questions within structured formats. This allows me to condense my thoughts on the issues and express them in less than 1000 words.

It was a pleasure to write for Divergent Options, one of the smoothest, most responsive, and enjoyable editorial processes I have experienced. I would recommend submitting to Divergent Options to anyone interested in security issues. 

I was humbled and surprised to be asked to write something for Divergent Options; what surprised me more is how easy and painless Phil and the team made it for me. As a new and amateur writer, I found that the succinct and clear format used by the site brought my thoughts together in a simple and coherent manner. The editing process was quick and professional, and their turnaround for responses was rapid. Highly recommended! 

Divergent Options has given me the ideal platform to hone my analytical writing on foreign policy topics and as a student in international relations, its concise writing style is welcome practice for the more concise and descriptive pieces one is more likely to produce on a job in the field. Phil and his editorial team are of excellent help when guiding your article to publication – they are reliable and quick in offering help. This site is a wonderful opportunity to really develop as a foreign policy observer and aspiring expert, so I am incredibly fortunate to have discovered Divergent Options and look forward to writing with it again in the future. 

Divergent Options (DO) is a badly needed platform and resource for writers who need to make sense of global conflict. The world is getting more complicated and history doesn’t have a habit of slacking off. This is why 1,000-word assessments matter. They capture the fine details of critical issues and inform readers better than staid academic writing and the balderdash spewing from “think tanks.”

More than just an echo chamber for American primacy, DO is brave enough to entertain unconventional ideas and possibilities that enrich everyone’s understanding of the various crises roiling our planet. I applaud Phil’s commitment to encouraging and shepherding writers and their ideas. Witnessing DO’s growth from a marginal independent venture to commanding an important niche in strategic content is a wonder to behold.

That…and DO’s merchandise looks cool.

Divergent Options is an excellent platform to exchange ideas on a wide variety of important national security issues.  I found the format of the options paper and assessment paper to be challenging, which was the main driver of attempting to write one.  After my submission of the first draft, the editorial team asked questions and made comments that focused me like laser on exactly what I wanted to convey.  I’m 100% satisfied with the experience and outcome of writing for Divergent Options.

Publishing with Divergent Options was a very pleasant experience. The quick turnaround and great communication by the staff made the whole process easy and efficient. I can honestly say that it was the smoothest publication experience that I have had for a long time. Highly recommended!

I spent more than 6 years as a White House national security staffer writing papers for senior U.S. policymakers.  I encourage anyone who aspires to serve as a national security professional to write for Divergent Options.   The format requires crisp thinking and concise writing skills that only improve with practice.  Being able to outline multiple US policy options while highlighting attendant benefits and risks in a single 1,000 word paper is an essential skill that will enable you to be an effective interagency player.  Moreover, I’ve found the editing process at Divergent Options a pleasure.  Phil is incredibly responsive and has a light editing touch that clarifies while accurately preserving the essence of the original argument.  Whether you are a novice or experienced writer, I encourage you to consider Divergent Options as one of your top publishing outlets for national security issues.

Divergent Options uses an easy to navigate and concise writing format that gets right to the point. Their 1000 word limit required me to condense hundreds of pages of research and writing I have done on the subject into a piece that had both accessibility and depth. I was very pleased with the results! One of the best parts of working with Divergent Options was how prompt they were throughout the whole process. Phil was a pleasure to work with is clearly very passionate about his work. I greatly appreciated his feedback on the piece I submitted and his willingness to discuss any edits so freely. He made it incredibly easy to submit and publish my work. I look forward working with Divergent Options 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!