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Writer's Guidelines

Although the majority of OnEarth content comes from staff writers and freelancers with whom we have long-standing relationships, the print magazine and will consider narrative features, groundbreaking news stories, and thoughtful opinion pieces about important environmental issues.

We're interested in stories and essays that are compelling and distinctive, with a fresh angle or surprising perspective that readers won't see elsewhere. Our publication covers the full range of the contemporary environmental landscape, including science, public health, technology, culture, business, food, and politics.

We generally don't cover local issues unless they have national or international significance. At the same time, anything that has already been covered extensively in the national media will probably not work for us, unless you have some new angle or insightful analysis.

Here are some more specifics about what we're looking for in each format:

For the Quarterly

OnEarth magazine accepts queries for articles, essays, and book reviews. These pieces should be appropriate for an educated, general readership. We prefer original, not simultaneous, submissions. We do not consider fiction or technical or academic reports and no longer publish poetry.

Articles purchased by OnEarth are acquired with first North American publication rights, plus the nonexclusive right to reprint the article in whole or in part, in print or electronically. All subsequent printings must mention that the article first appeared in OnEarth.

For queries, please do not send full-length manuscripts. Authors should submit a pitch of no more than 500 words in length, with links to three published clips. Queries should outline:

  • The focus and length of a proposed article.
  • Its timeliness.
  • Factors that make the story interesting and/or important.
  • Relevance to national and international environmental issues, if any.
  • A plan of the research and writing (sources, sites, etc.)
  • The estimated time required to complete the story.

Please submit queries to the magazine staff through our contact form or via email.


Our award-winning website publishes new material every weekday. Although we’re open to ideas in all formats, including pitches for infographics, reviews, video stories, multimedia, Q&As, profiles, or photo essays, we most often publish three types of content online:

Blog posts (generally 500-800 words) that comment on breaking news or a timely environmental topic. These should be fast, fun, and fascinating. Representative examples include:

Reported columns or essays (about 1,200 words) that bring a surprising perspective, distinct voice, or unique point of view to an environmental issue or policy debate. Examples include:

Enterprise stories or features (generally 1,200-3,500 words). We’re particularly interested in narrative stories that uncover environmental risks, tackle thorny policy problems, offer surprising solutions, or expose wrongdoing and hold powerful people or institutions accountable. Examples include:

Please submit queries to our online editors through our contact form or via email. Unfortunately, we do not always have time to respond personally to every unsolicited pitch, though we do try. If you haven't heard from us after a couple of weeks, feel free to follow up. If you don't get a response after a second inquiry, then we are probably not interested, but thank you for thinking of us.