Writer's Guidelines

With a tradition of publishing young authors, insightful analysis, and new ideas, The Washington Monthly is thoroughly receptive to unsolicited work. We read over-the-transom manuscripts carefully and respond to quality when we find it. we do, however, receive many more manuscripts than we use. For every unsolicited article we accept, we reject more than 50. We encourage you to contribute.

What catches our eye? Good, solid reporting, for one thing. If a subject has been overlooked by the conventional mainstream media, we are interested in finding out if they missed something important. We also look for pieces which add new dimensions to public debate, and articles that use original , intelligent analysis to change our readers' thinking. We also publish "insider" articles-anything from revelations to of wrongdoing to tidbits about the foibles of bureaucracy. In addition to these of course, we are interested in just plain good writing about government and politics, regardless of whether it fits into a specific category.

Writing for The Washington Monthly can be rough going. Of necessity, our terms are draconian:

*We edit heavily, trying to the greatest extent possible to consult with the authors on editing, but not granting an author final artistic control. There is a lot of give-and-take between authors and editors on how to revise stories, an exchange which invariably leads to an improved final product. But the process is strenuous and sometimes long. Once your article is accepted, your work is just beginning.

*We pay poorly: 10 cents per word. These are starvation wages, we know. They apply to everyone at The Washington Monthly, which is sadly under-financed. Just keep repeating to yourself, "But think of the prestige..."

*There are no kill fees. All commissioned stories are done on speculation. It is a condition we unhappily have to impose on all our writers.

Many thanks for your inquiries. We hope these guidelines won't keep you from sending in a manuscript you feel confident about.


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