Share Your Story

Writing Guidelines

Write directly to the topic you have chosen. You may write on any topic important to you, or you may write about a specific topic that will be covered in an upcoming issue. See below for 2018 Lifeline topics and writing prompts. (MORE)

Focus on the experience, strength, and hope you have found in OA. References to other Twelve Step programs and outside support are considered outside issues. Briefly describe your physical, emotional, and spiritual condition when you entered OA. Be specific, including your weight at that time.

Relate in detail how the Steps, Step Principles, Traditions, Tools, and/or Twelve Concepts of OA Service helped in your recovery.

Describe your OA experience. Tell the length of your abstinence and, if applicable, the weight loss or weight gain you have maintained.

Lifeline publishes poems and humorous pieces that carry an OA message of experience, strength, and hope or that speak directly to the OA program. Submissions must be the original work of the sender and may be edited. Lifeline loves photographs taken by members! No faces please. Photographs cannot be returned.

Limit your story to 500 words if possible. When submitting handwritten stories, please write legibly. Manuscripts and letters sent to Lifeline are assumed intended for publication, are subject to editing, and become the property of OA, Inc. Submissions are not returned. All submissions must contain the author’s full name and address. You may request anonymity with publication. Your state, province, or country may remain anonymous if you so indicate.

Submission does not guarantee publication. We do not publish stories that contain outside issues or that do not demonstrate recovery through the OA program. Lifeline does not send contributors an acknowledgement when their stories are received. If your story is chosen for publication, we will notify you of its publication date and offer a complimentary copy of that Lifeline issue.

Mail, email or fax your story to:

Lifeline • PO Box 44020 Rio Rancho, New Mexico • 87174-4020 USA

Fax: 505-891-4320 • Email: info@oa.org

Lifeline Topics and Writing Prompts

Deadlines for monthly featured topics are three and a half months prior to the first day of the month of publication. Please indicate the topic and month for which you are submitting the article based on the deadlines in parentheses. Typed letters by email, mail, or fax are preferred. Letters must contain the author’s name and address, even if the author wishes to remain anonymous in print. Lifeline promotes “unity with diversity” regarding the race, nationality, gender, age, physical challenges, and sexuality of its writers.

February (Deadline: 10/15/17) Click for More Info

  • Unity Day
  • Lessons from Our Group Conscience
  • My Suggestion for OA
Unity Day Unity Day is February 24, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. PST. Share your experience of OA unity, a Unity Day celebration, or Tradition One.
Lessons from Our Group Conscience How has participating in a group conscience impacted your recovery? What makes a group conscience meeting successful? How have you worked to develop “substantial unanimity” as described in the Twelfth Concept of OA Service?
My Suggestion for OA What does OA need? What do you hope for its future? What would you change? What literature needs to be written? What policy should we adopt or drop? Should an old OA idea be made new again? Let’s make conversation but not controversy.

March (Deadline: 11/15/17) Click for More Info

  • I am a Newcomer
  • Welcome Home
  • Understanding Abstinence
I am a Newcomer Spread the word! We want to hear from newcomers! Sharing what you have found in OA is a service to the Fellowship.
Welcome Home Tell us the story of your first meeting— how you came to OA and what you found.
Understanding Abstinence Abstinence can be confusing to the newcomer. How did you come to understand your abstinence? What has abstinence in OA given you?

April (Deadline: 12/15/17) Click for More Info

  • #OArecovery
  • Coming in Young
  • Spotlight on Our Seventh Tradition
#OArecovery How do you use social media to support your recovery or carry the message? How have you kept to Tradition Eleven, OA’s Statement on Public Media Policy, and the Tool of anonymity when using social media? What is your message about social media, abstinence, and our primary purpose?
Coming in Young OA members under 30, we need your story! How is your experience in recovery similar to or different from older OA members? How have you found ways to give service? What’s it like to be a young sponsor? What challenges to abstinence and recovery have you overcome? What have you gained by being in OA? How did you first hear the message, and how do you carry it to other young compulsive eaters? Include your age in your story.
Spotlight on Our Seventh Tradition How do you practice the Seventh Tradition, and how has it influenced your recovery?

May/June (Deadline: 1/15/18) Click for More Info

  • Recovery and Relationships
  • Sexuality and Intimacy in Recovery
Recovery and Relationships How has recovery affected relationships with family, friends, or your spouse or partner? Did relationships end or improve? Were there struggles along the way? What practical changes in your relationships helped you keep your abstinence and maintain your recovery? How has practicing the Traditions helped?
Sexuality and Intimacy in Recovery How has physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery affected your sexuality and the role of intimacy in your life? Has recovery helped you overcome sexual abuse or find a new harmony with your sexual identity? What gifts has program given you in this area of your life?

July (Deadline: 3/15/18) Click for More Info

  • Generally Speaking
  • Celebrating OA's Freedoms
Generally Speaking Write on any topic you find meaningful.
Celebrating OA's Freedoms “The word freedom appears so many times in all of our literature, I began to think about the freedoms from my disease I gained by working each of the Steps . . . ” (Voices of Recovery, p. 205). What freedoms have you gained in OA?

August (Deadline: 4/15/18) Click for More Info

  • Sponsorship Day
  • Service: Inside and Out
  • My Professional Community
Sponsorship Day Sponsorship Day is the third Saturday this month (August 18). Share your appreciation for your sponsor or for the opportunity to give service as a sponsor
Service: Inside and Out How do you give service to the Fellowship? To the still-suffering compulsive overeater? How do you carry the message outside OA? Which came first for you, service or abstinence?
My Professional Community How has your doctor, dietitian, or other provider supported your recovery? How has OA helped you succeed with your provider’s treatment plan? Read the Forewords and Appendices of Overeaters Anonymous, Third Edition, which are written by professionals who “get it.” What do their messages about our disease mean to you?

September (Deadline: 5/15/18) Click for More Info

  • Working the Program While Working Through Obstacles
Working the Program While Working Through Obstacles Your OA fellows have so many questions! How did you focus on abstinence when the weight wasn’t coming off? When compulsive eating urges arise, what do you do instead? How did you find self-esteem? How have you gotten unstuck and moved your recovery forward? How have you kept your program fresh? How did you overcome burnout or rebellion? How did you give up judging other OA members who still suffer and become truly compassionate? Give service to your fellows by responding to these questions with your experience, strength, and hope, or write about how you overcame a low point or other obstacle.

October (Deadline: 6/15/18) Click for More Info

  • How I Found My Higher Power
  • When OA is Your HP
  • Prayer, Meditation, and Improving Conscious Contact
How I Found My Higher Power How did you come to believe? How did you find the God of your understanding?
When OA is Your HP Is OA, your sponsor, your group, or another aspect of program your Higher Power? If so, how have you worked the Steps and applied our literature? Share how your HP has served your recovery.
Prayer, Meditation, and Improving Conscious Contact What is your method for practicing Step Eleven and what are the results? Explain how prayer and meditation have worked for you and what has been the key to seeing results. Have your prayers been answered in unexpected ways? Do you have a special place to pray or meditate? Send us a photo!

November/December (Deadline: 7/15/18) Click for More Info

  • International Day Experiencing Abstinence and Twelfth Step Within Day
  • Staying Abstinent Through the Holidays
  • Gratitude and Blessings: Giving Thanks
International Day Experiencing Abstinence and Twelfth Step Within Day IDEA is November 17 and Twelfth Step Within Day is December 12. Write about attending a celebration of either day or reflect on what either day means to you.
Staying Abstinent Through the Holidays How have you stayed abstinent through the holidays? What tip, strategy, prayer, or Tool has helped you the most?
Gratitude and Blessings: Giving Thanks A little gratitude goes a long way in recovery. Share what you are most grateful and thankful for in your recovery.

DEPARTMENTS (No Deadline)

  •    Bits and Bites: Add to our collection of short inspirational quotes and recovery wisdom.
  •    What Works for Me: How do you work your program, and what difference has it made?
  •    Step Study, Living Traditions, Service and Recovery, and The Spiritual Path: Share about the month’s Step    or Tradition or send a story about service or connecting with your HP
  •    Newcomers Corner: Newcomers, share your OA experiences and concerns.
  •    Share It (Letters to the Editor): Was a Lifeline issue or story special for you? Tell us!

OTHER MATERIALS (No Deadline)

Lifeline accepts artwork and photos (no faces, please) for publication. Credit lines and rights to submitted work apply equally to articles, artwork, and photos. The WSO does not return submitted materials. Lifeline may edit articles and crop photos.

For a PDF of Lifeline monthly topics and the Lifeline Writers Guidelines click here.