Inkstick is written explicitly by and for you: a broad, inter-generational, and diverse group of real people impacted by global security. Our work reaches beyond the policy bubble to deliver relatable human stories alongside hard-hitting news and analysis. In doing so, it aims to elevate a multiplicity of voices and perspectives — especially those that have been historically silenced or spoken over — and explore the intersection of global security and more proximate human needs with empathy first and foremost.
We publish contributions 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. But we do expect you to cite your sources with a link.
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 commentary 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. We also like fiction. Here’s an example of that. In other words, 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. We expect journalists to work ethically and rigorously, conscious of ethical codes of the profession, intentional listening, and harm reduction. Freelance reporters, please inquire about current rates.
A note: We have an engaged and sometimes intense editing process — so be ready to workshop with us if we accept your pitch. We expect all facts to be cited and backed up by credible sources. We won’t stand for plagiarism or self-plagiarism. Quotes should have transcripts or exchanges made available if requested, and interviews must be conducted with prior consent. We’re not interested in “gotcha” journalism or undercover tactics. We’re interested in making our complex world more human and humane.
Finally, we allow republication only under very limited circumstances, with written agreement.
Send your pitch or piece to Sahar Khan or Allyn Gaestel and we’ll be in touch.