Foreign Policy readers are well-informed, intelligent individuals with a wide range of interests. They are not necessarily specialists in international affairs (though many are). Our readers want to be provoked by smart, fresh takes on the world and rigorous analysis presented in clear, accessible prose.
The ideal FP article strikes a balance: It should spark debate among specialists but also engage and inform a general interest reader. Articles should be driven by data and original reportage.
Before you pitch us an idea, keep a few things in mind:
- Read the magazine and the website. It’s the best way to get a sense of what we like and the easiest way to avoid sending us something we’ve already covered.
- Avoid the obvious. We receive dozens of pieces with titles such as “NATO at the Crossroads” and “The Future of Trans-Atlantic Relations.” We publish almost none of them.
- Connect the dots. FP focuses on why what happens “there” matters “here” — and vice versa. So unless your piece on Nagorno-Karabakh is going to be relevant or worth reading by someone in, say, Antananarivo, it probably won’t work for us.
- Don’t send us anything that refers to “our” interests “abroad.” Unless, that is, you’re a president or some other government official. FP readers span the globe, so articles that assume a strictly domestic audience aren’t a good fit.
- Steer clear of wonky, technical language. FP believes in making big ideas accessible to the widest possible audience.
- Provide original research or reporting to support your ideas. And be prepared to document what you say. FP fact-checks everything we publish.
In FP’s Arguments section, authors are encouraged to take a provocative stand in approximately 1,000 words. Think of these as thoughtful mini-essays — topical but not ephemeral. You should be able to distill your most salient point into one sentence. Just about any issue is fair game.
FP welcomes pitches from freelancers around the world. We’re looking for smart, insightful on-the-ground reporting on politics, culture, and world events. Find us an angle into the big story that everyone else has missed. Make sure your work has a clear takeaway and explains to readers why it matters. We are not in the market for newspaper-style reporting or color that doesn’t make a clear, explicit point.
(Note: For instructions on how to securely and anonymously send tips and documents to select editors, click here.)