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Popular Science covers new and emerging technology in the areas of science, automobiles, the environment, recreation, electronics, the home, photography, aviation and space, and computers and software. Our mission is to provide service to our readers by reporting on how these technologies work and what difference they will make in our readers’ lives. Our readers are well-educated professionals who are vitally interested in the technologies we cover.
We seek stories that are up-to-the-minute in information and accuracy. We expect the writer to interview all sources who are essential to the story, as well as experts who can provide analysis and perspective. If a hands-on approach is called for, the writer should visit critical sites to see the technology first-hand–including trying it out when appropriate.
We publish stories ranging from hands-on product reviews to investigative feature stories, on everything from black holes to black-budget airplanes. We expect submissions to be, above all else, well written: that is, distinguished by good story-telling, human interest, anecdotes, analogies, and humor, among other traits of good writing. Stories should be free of jargon, vague statements, and unconfirmed facts and figures.
We seek publishable stories written to an agreed-upon length, with text for agreed-upon components such as sidebars or how-to boxes. The writer is responsible for the factual content of the story and is expected to have made a systematic checking of facts. We require that the writer file with his story contact numbers for all important sources and subjects in the story.
We expect our authors to deliver a complete package. The Popular Science Art department requires illustrations, photographs, and diagrams/sketches pertaining to stories submitted. These may be in the form of copies, but we prefer camera-ready artwork. We accept the following formats: four-color or black and white photography, illustration and digital files (tiff or eps). We track and log all artwork and, if indicated on the original, we will return artwork. We also require more than one piece of reference material. This allows for more accurate and original artistic interpretations.
A story should come with a headline for each story element and captions for photos. The complete package will include background material and documentation used by the author.
Freelance contributions to Popular Science range from feature-length stories to shorter Headlines pieces and shorter-yet stories to accompany What’s New products.
We respond promptly to queries, which should be a single page or less and include an SASE. The writer should submit a tight summary of the proposed article and provide some indication of the plan of execution. Samples of the writer’s past work and clips concerning the emerging story are helpful.
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