Pitching to Public Seminar: A Few Guidelines

Public Seminar favors articles written for a general audience. If you have not yet published with us, please spend some time going through the site so that you can familiarize yourself with the kind of work we publish and what part of the site your prospective article might be best suited to. Your article might be:

  • An essay. 1000-2000 words: an in depth examination of an event, an issue, or a text. Examples might be the equivalent of an op-ed, a revised talk given at a conference, a portion of a work in progress, or a response.
  • A letter. 250-1000 words: this would be the equivalent of a blog post, and in most cases ought to be timely. Be prepared to turn around revisions quickly.
  • A review. A book, movie, television show, website, exhibit — anything that a PS reader would care about and that lies roughly within your field of expertise. Longer reviews might also be featured as an essay.
  • Audio/visual or artistic. Public Seminar publishes photo essays, podcasts (with show notes), and video recordings of events.
  • Book excerpts. Usually around 2000 words in length, an excerpt from a newly published book might also be accompanied by an interview with the author, or a response to the book from a second author.
  • Interviews. These may be presented in A/V or essay form — or both.
  • News. Commentaries on breaking events are especially welcome: the author needs to be prepared to turn edits around quickly so that the commentary is published while there is still an audience for the event.
  • Syllabi. We invite teachers and scholars to publish syllabi that may be of general interest to readers, or that respond to breaking events. Usually published in our OOPS section, these should be accompanied by a short paragraph that puts the syllabus in context.

Your pitch should be short (a paragraph at most) and should include:

  • A first sentence that sums up the article;
  • 3-6 sentences that explain the context and the significance of the story;
  • What section of Public Seminar you think your essay should be in;
  • Potential length.

If you have not written for us before, you should also include:

  • 2-3 sentence summary about you and your experience: in other words, why are you the person to write the story?