Submission Guidelines


Submit to the Upcoming Issue:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314) 
By Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Our upcoming edition of Questions (# 21) invites submissions on the open theme “Pandora’s Box:  what is hope?”   The theme of hope is something we all are grappling with after a challenging and heart-breaking year of losses: school, friends, travel. The simple events of seeing family, friends, and our larger communities has become complex and fraught. So, we invite you to reflect on the theme of hope in its many guises: from Pandora’s box to Emily Dickinson’s poem (Hope is a thing with feathers) and how philosophers since the Greeks have approached the way hope operates in our lives. But under what conditions might hope be a bad thing? For example, Camus and Nietzsche saw hope as an enemy of living well. They argued hope (religion, belief in an after life) was a barrier to fully living and being fully joyful in this life, as one waits for a something that may never happen.

For this 2021 issue, we invite children and young people to submit original philosophical writing or art on our theme. Consider some of the prompts below:


  • What philosophical message does mythic explanations of hope offer us?
  • For what do you hope and why?
  • Is hope an idea, a feeling, a virtue? Something else?
  • How is hope a temporally expansive concept?
  • Emily Dickinson famously wrote that “hope is a thing with feathers.” What does that idea convey about the role of hope in our lives?
  • Explore what Aristotle, Augustine, Spinoza, or any philosopher has offered to help us grasp the meaning of hope.
  • Psychology offers theories of hope; how might they differ from a philosophical exploration?
  • Is hope necessary for human flourishing?
  • Can art express hope? How?
  • Under what conditions might hope be a bad thing, unreasonable and foolish?
  • Could hope still be a virtue, a good experience, even if unreasonable?

You are welcome to frame your submission in terms of your own experience.  Submissions on other philosophical topics will be considered based on space so if you have an idea that you would like to develop, please do so.

For those unfamiliar with past issues, Questions features short articles, discussions, drawings, critiques, poetry, and other writings by philosophy students of all ages. The journal is published annually by the Philosophy Documentation Center. It is our goal to engage children in advanced philosophical thinking through related and common works of art.   All our issues are comprised of unsolicited submissions from educators and students, as well as the prize winning essays from PLATO contests.  As part of our anonymous review selection, we consider all submissions for correctness, accuracy and quality of thought for the writer’s age.


Questions is looking for a variety of content written by a various age groups in order to document different phases of philosophical inquiry.  Questions accepts the following forms of content:

  • Short Articles
  • Discussions
  • Drawings
  • Critiques
  • Poetry
  • Lesson Plans
  • Children’s Classroom Experiences/ Reactions to Philosophy
  • Book reviews
  • Other Thought Provoking Ideas


  1. While we are always accepting submissions, the deadline for each issue is April 30th.
  2. Send all submissions  through the PLATO website for Questions.
  3. Written submissions should be sent in Word or Rich Text File formats (.doc/.docx or .rtf).
  4. Please cite and format scholarly articles according to the guidelines in the Chicago Manual of Style; use endnotes rather than footnotes.
  5. Send images, whether photographs, drawings, paintings, etc., as uncompressed image files with at least a 300 dpi resolution.
  6. If you are a publisher and would like to send us a book to review, please mail the book to the address on our Contact Us page.

Images—whether photographs, drawings, paintings—should be sent as JPEGS (with at least 300 dpi resolution). Written submissions should be sent in Word or Rich Text File formats (as doc, docx, or .rtf). Scholarly articles should confirm to the Chicago Manual of Style for textual and citation manners; please use endnotes rather than footnotes.

Be sure to include contact information with your submissions. A copyright release is needed for publication. All submissions should  be submitted through the PLATO page.