SAPIENS is a digital magazine about the human world. It’s about how we communicate with each other, why we behave kindly and badly, where and when we evolved in the past, and how we live and continue to evolve today. It’s about the relationship between our laws and ethics, the cities we build, and the environment we depend on. It’s about why sex, sports, and violence consume and intrigue us, what life was like in centuries past, where we might be headed in centuries to come, and much more.
In January 2016, we launched SAPIENS with a mission to bring anthropology—the study of being human—to the public, to make a difference in how people see themselves and the people around them. Our objective is to deepen your understanding of the human experience by exploring exciting, novel, thought-provoking, and unconventional ideas.
Through news coverage, features, commentaries, reviews, photo essays, and much more, we work closely with anthropologists and journalists to craft intriguing and innovative ways of sharing the discipline with a worldwide audience. To expand our reach, we syndicate articles at The Atlantic, DiscoverMagazine.com, ScientificAmerican.com, and other publications. We are fully funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and published in partnership with the University of Chicago Press, while maintaining unconditional editorial independence.
SAPIENS aims to transform how the public understands anthropology. Every piece of content is grounded in anthropological research, theories, or thinking. We present stories and perspectives that are authoritative, accessible, and relevant—but still lively and entertaining.
We hope you will return often to SAPIENS, where we strive to regularly deliver fresh, delightful insights into everything human.
Amplifying anthropological knowledge to build a more just and sustainable world.
Delivering trusted, compelling, and relevant anthropology stories to public audiences.
SAPIENS’ vision is to amplify anthropological knowledge to build a more just and sustainable world. Our mission is to deliver trusted, compelling, and relevant anthropology stories to public audiences. We invite you to join us.
We are looking for anthropologists to deepen our readers’ understanding of the human experience through ideas that are grounded in or related to anthropological research, theories, and thinking. Help us demonstrate the value of anthropological knowledge in the wider world.
We want to help you tell your story.
You bring fresh ideas, in-depth research experience, and a unique perspective shaped by anthropological theories. We offer you a platform for your ideas and an editorial team that has hard-earned experience with how to engage a general-interest audience and promote quality writing and multimedia in today’s crowded media landscape. Whether you’re a first-time author or seasoned writer, our guidelines below will help you get started.
We Publish for the Public
SAPIENS only publishes writing aimed to reach a general-interest audience. Think what you might see in the editorial pages of The New York Times or a scientist-written essay in Scientific American.
We Publish Anthropologists
To fulfill our mission of bringing anthropology to the public, we only consider scholars who are (1) currently enrolled in an anthropology degree program, (2) have a degree in anthropology, and/or (3) have an appointment in an anthropology department. We are especially invested in working with anthropologists who bring forward historically marginalized perspectives.
We Publish Original Work
All our pieces are new and original, with no portion previously published in any form—unless the piece is explicitly an excerpt, republication, or adaptation, as agreed upon with the SAPIENS editors.
We Offer an Honorarium
To thank you for your contribution, we provide a US$250 honorarium for each published work.
We Have a Collaborative Editorial Process
Since SAPIENS aims to publish high-quality articles, the editorial process is often intense and involved, typically extending over 2–3 months. But our team is kind and approachable, with your success in deepening writing skills and reaching a broad public audience as our top priorities.
We use a “pitch” process, where potential writers submit a summary of their idea for a piece within a particular category (essay, op-ed, et cetera). The editorial team reviews your pitch, typically within a week. If your pitch is accepted, we typically ask for the first draft within four weeks (faster, if your piece has a news hook). Your development editor will then work with you on finalizing your piece. When you receive your first edits, we ask for the next draft within two weeks. After the draft is finalized, it is reviewed by additional editors and will be copy edited and fact-checked. You will approve final edits, including the title chosen by the editors. You’ll receive an email upon publication, and we ask that you help promote the piece in your networks. You may complete the paperwork for the honorarium at that time.
Essay (1,000–2,000 words): Our essays are analytical, interpretive, or reflective compositions, ideally woven with literary flair. The essay deals with its subject in a nontechnical, focused way and often is expressive of the author’s outlook, personality, and voice. These pieces typically frame the subject within the author’s own experiences conducting research, but they can also be more expansive or more personal.
Op-Ed (600–1,000 words): Do you have an incisive and urgent opinion to share? Maybe you want to make arguments about “political correctness,” to see more social scientists in government positions, or to raise awareness about the welfare of vulnerable populations.
Poetry (max 3 poems per submission): We welcome previously unpublished literary anthropological poems that bring readers into a deeper engagement with the world in all of its depth and diversity. Explore an ethnographic moment, bring a fresh perspective to human struggle, or excavate autoethnographic insights. Any style is welcome. No simultaneous submissions accepted.
And more! We also occasionally publish Debates (400–600 words), a lively exchange of views among anthropologists; Photo Essays (6–12 images), sets of images that convey a story or draw our readers into an important and memorable place in time; Reviews (400–1,500 words), incisive, analytical reviews about recent books or films (published or released within the last three months) that are of interest to general audiences; Snapshots (400–1,200 words), first-person accounts that offer readers a quick glimpse into researchers’ everyday lives; and Videos, films that provide an audiovisual anthropological story.
Note our Style Guide.
SAPIENS uses a “pitch” process, where interested authors submit a brief synopsis of their story idea. A pitch helps our busy editors quickly evaluate ideas for potential pieces. When evaluating pitches, our editors will consider:
If you have never pitched a magazine or newspaper before, please read our guidance on how to pitch. If you still need advice or have questions, please reach out to the editorial team: editor•sapiens.org. We are here to help!
For the pitch, we ask for:
When ready, click on the link below. Please note, poems should be submitted in full.
Submit your poem(s)!
When ready, click on “proceed” below. You’ll create a Submittable account; it’s super easy, and we won’t share your information with anyone.
Proceed to pitch!
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New York, NY, 10017 USA
For general inquiries, feedback, and corrections, please contact Dr. Chip Colwell, editor-in-chief, editor•sapiens.org