Submission Guidelines

One of the reasons that we ask people to subscribe to The American Age, besides keeping the lights on and supporting The Open Education Project, is so that we can pay writers for their work.

Why? Because we’re writers, and we love writers. Academic, journalist, or creative, poet, playwright, or historian, even dry as the Antarctic philosopher, we value you all. If you agonize over words, you’re part of our tribe, whether we publish you or not. That said, we are a nonprofit whose activities are entirely supported by CultureHum Foundation—a small 501(c)(3) dedicated to broadening cultural opportunities. In other words, our financial resources are bootstrapped with love.

We know there are lots of publications on the web who don’t pay their contributors, and we know there are many who (currently) pay their contributors more than we do. So here’s the deal. We compensate writers based on our paid subscriber base, but will retroactively compensate at higher rates should our subscriber base grow.

If you’re interested in contributing and want to know what our current compensation structure is, you can find it here.

Thanks for reading!

Online Guidelines

Please read the following for guidelines about submitting to The American Age online.
Below you will find a short description of each of our sections. These, along with reading the sections, should be enough for you to make an educated guess as to where your submission might best fit.

We suggest pitching us your essay idea before submitting it. We do publish unsolicited manuscripts, but you have a much better chance of making it out of the slush pile if you query us ahead of time.

All pitches should include the following in the body of your email.

  • Name
  • Very brief bio (two or three sentences)
  • List of past publications (no more than three or four)
  • Pitch (a short explanation of the topic and angle)

All submissions should be a .docx, .doc, or .rtf file. Other file types will not be read.

Please email all pitches and submissions to: submissions@theamericanage.org

Essays

  • Word Count: We prefer a certain kind of heft, a little meat on the bone, more zaftig than slight. For the Essay sections something between 1,200 and 1,800 words is a good target. That doesn’t mean we won’t publish something shorter or longer, but that’s the suggested length.
  • Style: Accessible. Light on jargon and technical terms—gloss the concept where necessary. There’s nothing wrong with the concision that professional language grants, but it should not muddy your thinking. Polemical is fine, but make sure your facts are on point, and that pointed criticisms hit their mark.

Essay Categories:

Drunk in America – Transcendence doesn’t belong to the monks. Inner peace doesn’t belong to the yoginis. God doesn’t belong to the churches, mosques, or synagogues. The secular carnival of ideas and desires offers its own opportunities for ecstasy. Explore them here.

Feature – Unique perspectives on diverse topics—informed, honest, provocative, and unbounded.

History – Without an understanding of our deep history, we cannot fathom our complicated present. Human beings have been roaming the earth for tens of thousands of years. We have to keep our past in mind if there’s any hope for the future.

Human Sciences – Anthropology, sociology, biology, economics, psychology, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, there have never been more or better tools at our disposal to help us understand our own natures. Some of these arguments are complicated; some are dubious; nothing should be off-limits in the pursuit of knowledge.

Reviews – A pugnacious but respectful engagement with the movies, TV shows, books, plays, and art works that are shaping American public discourse.

 

Existential Party Music

  • Word Count: These submissions should be less than 100 words.
  • Style: You’ve got less than 100 words so. Whatever you can accomplish coherently within that framework is encouraged.

Music doesn’t always bring people together, but this list does. A compilation of music from every genre with one common theme: time is like wine if you stomp its fruit with all your might.

 

Human Sciences
Anthropology, sociology, biology, economics, psychology, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics, there have never been more or better tools at our disposal to help us understand our own natures. Some of these arguments are complicated; some are dubious; nothing should be off-limits in the pursuit of knowledge.
Feature
Unique perspectives on diverse topics—informed, honest, provocative, and unbounded.

 

Poetry
Before poetry was locked into stanzas, lines, and meters it simply meant something “made, created, or composed.” Very short stories, formal and in—poetry, proper and im—scenes, lyrics, letters, and dialogues—if it is attentive to language, truthful (even if embellished), and serious (even if humorous) we will consider it.

 

Poems and Stories

  • Word Count: For these sections a defined word length doesn’t make much sense, but it’s unlikely we’ll publish your epic poem or your novella. And it’s doubtful your experimental 1, 2, 1 haiku will make the cut either. Something around 1,000 words, give or take, is a safe bet for Children’s Stories.
  • Style: No genre, style, or rhetorical school is excluded. Rhetorically straight is fine, and so is the highly experimental. The work of making your work speak to a wider audience is the job of our seasonal editors, who curate our selections.
  • Open Submissions: Please note that open submissions for poetry run from August 1st through October 31st, and will also be considered for our annual print publication. Poems submitted outside of the submission window will not be read.

Poems and Stories Categories:

Children’s Stories – Children can help us recall the vulnerable curiosity that once animated our worlds. We invite parents, and non-parents alike to submit the conversations and encounters they’ve had with children that reminded them just how wild, confusing, sad, and exciting life can be.

Poetry – Before poetry was locked into stanzas, lines, and meters it simply meant something “made, created, or composed.” Very short stories, formal and in—poetry, proper and im—scenes, lyrics, letters, and dialogues—if it is attentive to language, truthful (even if embellished), and serious (even if humorous) we will consider it.

Drunk In America
Transcendence doesn’t belong to the monks. Inner peace doesn’t belong to the yoginis. God doesn’t belong to the churches, mosques, or synagogues. The secular carnival of ideas and desires offers its own opportunities for ecstasy. Explore them here.

 

History
Without an understanding of our deep history, we cannot fathom our complicated present. Human beings have been roaming the earth for tens of thousands of years. We have to keep our past in mind if there’s any hope for the future.

 

Reviews
A pugnacious but respectful engagement with the movies, TV shows, books, plays, and art works that are shaping American public discourse.
Fables
Fables are more than stories. They reject realism in favor of truth. These small scale mythologies stoke our aspirations even as they rouse our humility. The American Age publishes (very) short stories–less than 1,800 words–that highlight the extraordinary, suggest the transcendent, or look askance at the mundane.

Print Guidelines

Please read the following for guidelines about submitting to The American Age print.
Bi-Annual Journal

The American Age produces a biannual journal. Each issue is focused on a particular thematic concern. The journal is an academic-journalistic hybrid: the sophistication and care are scholarly (i.e. academic), but its diction and tone are directed at a college level reader (i.e. journalistic).

Compensation rates are the same as those for online content. The submission guidelines for the print journal are available here.

 

April 2019

Topic: Human Health Care

A call for submissions will be available November 2018

October 2019

Topic: Whiteness

A call for submissions will be available starting TBD

Annual Poetry Journal

First issue: Fall 2019

Sign up for our newsletter for more details and updates.

 

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Guidelines PDF

View here

Bi-Annual PDF

View here

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