Inkstick reaches beyond the policy bubble to deliver relatable human stories alongside hard-hitting news and analysis. In doing so, it aims to explore the intersection of national security and more proximate human needs. We publish contributions from across the political and ideological spectrum in the formats detailed below:

Commentary: Brief, conversational analysis. ~1000 words. Don’t shy away from the facts. Our readers aren’t dim or uninformed, they just don’t want to read your droning wonkery. Humor, pop culture references, and snark are encouraged. Cursing is allowed. Flagrant use of acronyms and policy jargon need not apply. Find another way to say JCPOA. No footnotes, please and thank you.

Essays: Tell us a story — you know, an article with (at least some) elements of character, setting, plot, conflict, or theme that help the reader to better understand a broader issue. Think, the New Yorker, not The New York Times. Op-ed style pieces should be submitted as articles and adhere to article guidelines and limits. For essays, length isn’t an issue. Pictures are nice, but not required. Proximity is key — in other words, your piece should be personal or relatable. And by relatable, we mean relatable to an actual, everyday human — not a specific example of a human, like your history or politics professor. Here’s a great example. Here’s one with pictures. Don’t hesitate to have a little fun. These pieces, we’ve generally found, are the most rewarding to write, and to read. And we love to see them pop up in our inbox.

Reporting: Inkstick pays only for original, reported articles. Freelance reporters, please inquire about current rates.

Interviews: Inkstick is interested in conducting interviews with diverse foreign policy innovators and folks with good stories to tell. Someone we should know? Drop us a line. We’ll take a picture of their pretty face.

Send your pitch or piece to Sahar Khan or Allyn Gaestel and we’ll be in touch.