All work published in Public Seminar is edited and subject to fact-checking: please include links to any source that has informed your work.
While Public Seminar does review full submissions, if you are writing specifically for us we recommend that you send us a pitch first. Submissions and pitches should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A member of the editorial team will review all pitches and submissions and contact an author within a week. If your pitch or submission is accepted, you will be assigned an editor, who will work closely with you in preparing the draft for publication.
Pitching: 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 review (1000–2000 words). Critical discussion of a book, movie, television show, website, exhibition—anything that a PS reader would care about and that lies roughly within your field of expertise.
- An interview (1000–2000 words). Text may also be accompanied by video or audio clips.
- A book excerpt (1000–2000 words). Selections from new releases or timely reissues. An excerpt might also be accompanied by an interview with the author or editor.
- A news report (800–1000 words). Commentaries on breaking events are especially welcome: the author needs to be prepared to turn edits around quickly.
- A syllabus. We invite teachers and scholars to publish syllabi that may be of general interest to readers, or that respond to current events. These should be accompanied by a short paragraph that puts the syllabus in context.
- A letter (250–1000 words). The equivalent of a blog post, and in most cases ought to be timely. Be prepared to turn around revisions quickly.
- An audio/visual work. Public Seminar publishes photo essays, podcasts, and video recordings of events.
Your pitch should be short (a paragraph at most) and should include:
- A first sentence that sums up the article;
- Three to six sentences that explain the context and the significance of the story;
- Potential length.
If you have not written for us before, you should also include:
- A brief summary of your experience (two to three sentences). In other words, why are you the person to write the story?
Submitting Your Draft
The following conditions apply to both solicited and unsolicited submissions.
- Please include your name, your email address, the title/affiliation with which you wish to be identified; and a provisional title for your essay in the top left-hand corner.
- Authors must submit a short (one-sentence) bio, a headshot and, if applicable, a Twitter handle to be published with their submission.
- Essays and reviews should be 800–2000 words and written for a general audience. We do occasionally consider a longer piece. Submissions must be in Microsoft Word. We do not normally print footnote citations: if you believe your work requires them, please explain why.
- Public Seminar is not an image-heavy platform. Please check with us before submitting an essay that depends on numerous images or on videos. We only publish images to which we have legal rights.
- Normally, we do not accept an essay that is also under consideration elsewhere. Please let us know if this is a simultaneous submission.
- Public Seminar does reprint essays published elsewhere, as well as excerpts from recently published and forthcoming books. Publication is contingent on authors demonstrating that they can assign rights or Public Seminar obtaining those rights independently.
- The publication of submissions is contingent on the timely completion of revisions by the author.
- Your editor will work with you on setting deadlines.
- Authors may suggest a title or subtitle, but Public Seminar reserves the right to choose any titles and images.
- All essays published in Public Seminar become the property of Public Seminar, subject to a Creative Commons license. We only remove essays for cause, such as the discovery that an essay is inaccurate, plagiarized, or defamatory. We do not remove essays because the author no longer supports the views they have published on our platform.
- Public Seminar regrets that it cannot pay its authors at this time.