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Pitch a Magazine Story

Have a story idea for Distillations? Send us a pitch.

Distillations articles reveal science’s impact on our world past and present. We are actively seeking writers with a background in historical research or magazine feature writing who have a knack for unearthing little-told history and finding historical angles to contemporary topics. We encourage contributors from traditionally underrepresented communities to submit.

Stories should have a strong narrative arc and relay the history of science in ways that surprise and inform our audience of scientists, academics, students, and the general public.

We are primarily interested in features, essays, and historical profiles, but we occasionally accept interviews and regular contributors for columns. If you’re interested in writing a column, please outline the overall approach the column will take and provide short summaries of the first three installments. We do not publish fiction or poetry.

Your pitch should give a sense of your writing, while answering the following questions:

What is the overall story?

Who are the main characters? What history and science will be covered? What themes will it touch on? What questions will the story attempt to answer? Describe the tone.

Why should we care?

What are the stakes? What conflicts or tensions will drive the story? How will it be relevant to readers? How will it be different from other pieces on the topic?

How will you put the story together?

Is this a feature or an essay? What sources will you use to tell this story? Propose a length and the amount of time needed to deliver a draft.

Who are you?

What’s your background? Why are you qualified to tell this story? Please provide samples of published work.


Standard rates

  • $1.25/word for features
  • $750 flat fee for argued essays, columns, and profiles
  • $400 for interviews

Payment is delivered within a week of publication. Due to volume, we may not be able to respond to all pitches. Let us know if you are pitching to multiple outlets or if the pitch is time sensitive.

Pitches should be sent to editor@sciencehistory.org.

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