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 2020 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 We do not publish stories that contain outside issues or that do not demonstrate recovery through the OA program.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 44727 Rio Rancho, New Mexico • 87174-4727 USA

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

Click here to submit your story online

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.

January 2020 (Deadline: 9/15/19) — Click for More Info

  • How OA Changed My Life
  • My OA Birthday
How OA Changed My Life Describe life before and after being in OA and share your threefold recovery.
My OA Birthday OA’s 60th birthday will be celebrated January 18–19, 2020. Share about your OA birthday—what it took to reach this milestone and its significance for you.

February 2020 (Deadline: 10/15/19) — Click for More Info

  • Unity Day
  • Many Symptoms of Our Disease
  • Facing Criticism in Recovery
Unity Day Unity Day is Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. local time. How has unity with diversity, Tradition One, or a Unity Day event boosted your recovery?
Many Symptoms of Our Disease OA offers recovery from anorexia, bulimia, overexercising, and other problem behaviors beyond compulsive overeating. If you’ve identified with behaviors such as these or have switched from one form of the disease to another, what are the challenges and solutions you’ve found in OA? What has worked, what’s been difficult, and where have you found support?
Facing Criticism in Recovery Members want to know: What helped you stay in the solution when you were judged for belonging to OA? Or for weighing and measuring your food? How have you handled criticism from other members for oversharing at a meeting, the way you gave service, or another issue?

March 2020 (Deadline: 11/15/19) — Click for More Info

  • Making an Action Plan
  • Abstinence and Recovery
Making an Action Plan What are the details of your action plan, and how did it evolve? How do you stick to your action plan? What role does it play in your recovery? What lessons have you learned from your action plan? Action plan photos welcome!
Abstinence and Recovery OA defines abstinence as “the act of refraining from compulsive eating and compulsive food behaviors while working towards or maintaining a healthy body weight.” Recovery is “removal of the need to engage in compulsive eating behaviors,” and “spiritual, emotional, and physical recovery is achieved through working and living the Overeaters Anonymous Twelve Step program.” Share your experience, strength, and hope about gaining abstinence and recovery in OA.

April 2020 (Deadline: 12/15/19) — Click for More Info

  • Breaking and Mending Relationships
  • Service Beyond the Comfort Zone
Breaking and Mending Relationships How has your recovery impacted your relationships? How have you explained OA to loved ones and sought support? What about “dating, divorce, and drama” in your OA journey? Or the effect of a relapse? How have you applied the Principles and Traditions in your relationships?
Service Beyond the Comfort Zone How has service played a part in your recovery? How has it helped you grow out of your comfort zone? How have you grown by taking a challenging service position or attending meetings and events outside your home area? How has rotation of service played a role in your recovery and the health of your local OA?

May/June 2020 (Deadline: 1/15/20) — Click for More Info

  • Great Ways to Carry the Message
  • Using a Plan of Eating
Great Ways to Carry the Message Share your success! How did you educate a referring professional? Or attract a compulsive eater? How did you work a public information campaign? What OA resources did you use? How did it benefit your own recovery? How have you practiced Tradition Eleven online, in your own life, and in your community?
Using a Plan of Eating Start to finish, how did you develop your plan of eating? Who helped you and why was getting help important? How have changes in your health and lifestyle factored in? What has helped you stick to your plan, and what do you do when compulsive thoughts and urges arise?
Generally Speaking Write on any topic you find meaningful.
24/7 Program Share about mixing local and virtual OA resources, such as meetings, sponsors, telephone, literature, conscious contact, or podcasts, to ensure program is there for you anytime you need it.

August 2020 (Deadline: 4/15/20) — Click for More Info

  • Stepping Up to Sponsorships
  • Our Tradition of Anonymity
  • Outside Addictions and OA Recovery
Stepping Up to Sponsorships Sponsorship Day will be celebrated August 15–16, 2020. What led you to first become a sponsor? Lessons learned? How has sponsorship boosted your recovery?
Our Tradition of Anonymity Maintaining anonymity is the responsibility of both members and groups. What measures have you or your group taken to preserve anonymity or handle a break in anonymity? How has anonymity benefited your recovery and OA as a whole?
Outside Addictions and OA Recovery Has your OA recovery included overcoming cross addictions or addictions among family? How did you sort your problems to find clarity about compulsive food behaviors? How has working the Steps in OA helped? Why is OA important even if you belong to another program? How have you kept OA a priority?

September 2020 (Deadline: 5/15/20) — Click for More Info

  • Literature in Recovery
  • The Story of My Amends
  • Step Work as an Atheist or Agnostic
Literature in Recovery How have you used OA-approved literature in your recovery? What impact has Where Do I Start? had for you or your group? How has literature helped you give service or carry the message?
The Story of My Amends What needed to happen before you could consider making amends? How did your amends play out? What was it like to make direct amends versus living amends, and why is each important?
Step Work as an Atheist or Agnostic How have you worked the Steps as an atheist or agnostic? How did you handle “the God thing”? What is your HP, and how do you maintain conscious contact? Where have you found the support you need from within the Fellowship?

October 2020 (Deadline: 6/15/20) — Click for More Info

  • Slogans and Other Words of Wisdom
  • Feeling, Dealing, and Healing
Slogans and Other Words of Wisdom How have slogans and other words of wisdom, whether from OA literature or members, helped keep you in recovery? What words stay with you? What words are so good you pass them on to others?
Feeling, Dealing, and Healing How have you processed strong emotions after finding abstinence? How did you work the Steps to overcome denial or find forgiveness? How has taking a daily inventory helped change your thoughts and habits? What other lessons have you learned in your emotional recovery?

November/December (Deadline: 7/15/20) — Click for More Info

  • International Day Experiencing Abstinence and Twelfth Step Within Day
  • My Recovery Miracle
  • 55 Years of Lifeline: A Retrospective
International Day Experiencing Abstinence and Twelfth Step Within Day Help us celebrate IDEA this November 21–22 and Twelfth Step Within Day on December 12 by sharing your story about how abstinence or Twelfth Step Within service has made a difference for you.
My Recovery Miracle We often say, “Don’t leave before the miracle happens!” Share the story of your recovery miracle. How long did it take? Was it a recovery milestone? HP stepping in? A gift of desperation? What turning point brought you to seek help or took your recovery to the next level? What has your miracle meant to you?
55 Years of Lifeline: A Retrospective Let’s bid Lifeline farewell in our final issue. How has Lifeline supported your recovery? Together we can commemorate Lifeline’s contributions to our Fellowship!

DEPARTMENTS (No Deadline)

  • NEW! Focus on the Footwork: Share how you work your program of recovery.
  • Bits and Bites: Add to our collection of short inspirational quotes and recovery wisdom.
  • 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 click here. For a PDF of the Lifeline Writers Guidelines click here.

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