We develop insightful anthropology stories for anthropologists and anyone with an interest in anthropology. Our aim is to champion engaging, incisive anthropology writing and multimodal content from across the discipline. Our anthropologist contributors work in all manner of settings, including business, nonprofits, academic institutions, and government. Vivid description, captivating tales, and adventurous forms of writing are at the heart of what we do. Think short-form magazine-style stories with scientific bite—low on jargon, high on storytelling.
Anthropology News invites short essays and stories from anthropologists through calls for pitches and direct invitations. Currently we do not accept unsolicited pitches or approaches from freelancers. If you are an anthropologist and would like to submit a pitch in response to one of our calls for pitches, have a look at some past issues of the magazine or other content on our website and familiarize yourself with what we publish. If Anthropology News looks like a good fit, email [email protected] with a short bio and an outline of your story in about 300 words—make sure your key points or argument shine through. Remember that Anthropology News is a magazine not a scholarly journal—our style and content reflect this. A link to a sample of writing for a nonspecialist audience would be helpful but is not necessary. Send an example of your photographs or graphic ethnography work if pitching a photo essay or graphic essay. We read, consider, and reply to every pitch.
Essays and stories are ~2,000 words.
Photo essays comprise six to eight high-resolution images and an introductory essay of ~750 words.
Ten Things… features are a crisp, concise list of 10 ideas, observations, or opinions on a specific topic.
How to… features provide a light-hearted series of tips and advice often on a practical topic.
We run an engaged editing process. If you write for us, you can expect to write three to five drafts of your essay. If you are comfortable with being edited and responding to requests and queries, then great, pitch your essay/story idea! The whole process generally takes about three months from submitting a good first draft through to publication.
A good pitch clearly and concisely outlines the story’s argument; boldly tells us something of why the story is surprising, insightful, exciting, or worth reading; and demonstrates your expertise and enthusiasm for the subject you want to write about.
Each year we invite the AAA’s 38 specialized sections to join us in developing stories for the Anthropology News website. AAA members can also pitch essays/stories to the section contributing editors (hard-working volunteers appointed by their section) for any section of which they are a current member.
Anthropology News publishes AAA news and items of historical record, columns from the executive director and AAA president, executive board motions, and features highlighting AAA members in the news and new fellows and awards.
Anthropology News is the Association’s major vehicle for information about the deaths of our colleagues. Please notify the editor as soon as you learn of a death or to offer your service in writing a tribute for a colleague or friend. In Memoriam notices are ~500 words. We publish all notices on the website and publish the timeliest pieces in the print magazine.
Punctuation, spelling, style guides
Anthropology News follows the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) 17th Edition for issues of punctuation and grammar for the most part. We consult the Elements of Indigenous Style for guidelines on Indigenous style. We follow the Merriam-Webster dictionary for spelling.
Use US spelling and punctuation, including the serial or Oxford comma and double quotation marks.
Authors should capitalize names of peoples when they are used as adjectives or nouns (e.g., Black, Indigenous). Use the personal pronouns used by those about and with whom you are writing.
Use italics (not quote marks) to add emphasis but use sparingly. Italicize non-English words and place the closest English interpretation or translation after it in parenthesis.
Incorporating discussion of ideas, people, sources
Like most magazines, Anthropology News does not use footnotes or endnotes. All substantive discussion should appear in the body of the story. Similarly, we do not use parenthetical citations, but embed links to works, whether a scholarly journal article, a mainstream news piece, or a YouTube video. Authors should meaningfully engage with sources and ideas in their narrative and embed a link to the specific work.
We run a complete list of references for stories that appear in the print magazine. Anthropology News uses the CMOS author-date format, and a list of references should be organized alphabetically at the end of the manuscript.
To help ensure our content is accessible, images should include alt text (alternative text), image descriptions, captions, and a credit line. Authors should consult the AAA’s Guidelines for Creating Image Descriptions for information about these different elements and examples.
An example of concise and clear image descriptions in a photo essay.
An example of an image description for artwork.