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 2016 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 We do not publish stories that contain outside issues or that do not demonstrate recovery through the OA program.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:

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.

The Most Important Person in the Room Are you a newcomer? Share your experience, strength, and hope about finding OA. What has it felt like to come to a meeting, take a Step, or use a Tool? If you are a longtime OA member, how do you work your program to welcome the newcomer? How has working with newcomers boosted your recovery? What is your message for newcomers?
The OA Guarantee “Once we compulsive eaters truly take the Third Step, we cannot fail to recover” (OA Twelve and Twelve, p. 27). Are you still waiting to take the Third Step? Have you taken the Third Step but still face challenges? Did you take the Third Step only to discover you had to work the Step again? How has taking the Third Step given you faith in your recovery? Share how this guarantee of the OA program played a role in your recovery
Finding Support, Giving Support Have you had success finding a sponsor or being a sponsor? Share what has worked and what you’ve learned. Are you an OA buddy to someone or is someone your buddy? How do you give support to or get support from your group? What does a good support network look like?
Great Ways to Use Virtual Services Phone meetings, online chat meetings, email loops, videoconferencing, podcasts, and now social media—how do these options strengthen your recovery either as a complement to face-to-face meetings or independently? How do virtual options fit into your program?
Write on any topic that is meaningful to you
Let's Share a Laugh What’s your funniest OA story? Was there a time in recovery when you had to laugh at yourself? Was there a time when you chose to laugh instead of cry? What role does laughter play in your recovery?
Pets and Recovery How can a pet be a compulsive eater’s best friend in abstinence and recovery? How does your pet help you work the Steps, Traditions, or Tools or keep you from isolating? Pet photos welcome!
Why I Keep Coming Back What do you find in OA that you can't find anywhere else? What thoughts and feelings keep you coming back? Has the decision to come back ever saved you from relapse or a slip or even saved your life? Is coming back habitual or do you have to commit every time? How do you
The Spiritual Principles of OA The Principles give us a place to start and a way to move forward. Search “spiritual principles” on to find the list of Principles and share about how they have helped you work your program.
Loving Our Literature Share how that one passage, pamphlet, or piece of literature first touched your heart. What words do you return to for inspiration? How have you used the literature Tool? What OA literature has helped you most?
Lifeline: An OA Service What role does Lifeline play in your recovery? How has giving service by writing for Lifeline helped? Was someone else's Lifeline story exactly what you
Celebrating Abstinence Share your experience about becoming abstinent and tips for maintaining abstinence. How did you discover your personal abstinence? How does the plan of eating Tool help you keep abstinent? What must you do to maintain abstinence? How do you make it a priority? What are the benefits of abstinence?
Many Ways to Work the Program Let's celebrate OA unity by sharing about our diverse program. For example, OA offers about forty types of special topic and special focus meetings, such as “men,” “young people,” and “Lifeline”; and any OA member can attend any of these meetings. If your regular meeting has a special focus or special topic, or if you have tried one of these meetings, share what you learned and how it has helped your recovery.
International Day Experiencing Abstinence and Twelfth Step Within Day IDEA is November 18 and encourages us to begin or a rm our abstinence. Twelfth Step Within Day is celebrated on December 12 to remind us to give Twelfth Step service to the still-suffering compulsive eater in our Fellowship. Share your experience, strength, and hope about these important OA event days.
Abandoning Ourselves to Our HP In recovery, have you experienced moments of willingness, surrender, and abandonment of yourself to your higher power? How did you take the First Step? How did you nd strength in surrender? Was there a difference between surrender and compliance? How did your willingness to go to any lengths move your recovery forward?
Stepping through the Holidays How have you lived the Twelve Steps during times of celebration? What does it mean to take Steps Nine, Ten, Eleven, or Twelve in the holiday season, and is your Tenth Step different? How can working the Steps help during the holidays?>

DEPARTMENTS (No Deadline) Stepping Out, Living Traditions, Service With a Smile, Taking the Spiritual Path (MORE)

  •    Stepping Out: Stories focused on the month’s featured Step.
  •    Generally Speaking: Shares on any topic meaningful to OA members.
  •    Service with a Smile: Stories focused on the Tool of service.
  •    How OA Changed My Life: Shares on changes before and after recovery.
  •    Living Traditions: Stories focused on the month’s featured Tradition.
  •    Main Attraction: Stories about public information and attraction.
  •    Taking the Spiritual Path: Perspectives about a higher power.
  •    Ask-It Basket: Member questions about OA.
  •    Newcomers Corner: Newcomers’ experiences and concerns.
  •    Share It: Letters to the editor of Lifeline.
  •    OA Around the World: Stories of the history of OA in your country or area.

OTHER MATERIALS (No Deadline) Artwork, photos (MORE)

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 Writing Guidelines and Monthly topics, 2016, 2017 click here.