Writer's Guidelines

General Writer's Guidelines

Please read our Writer's Guidelines to answer questions such as: what should I include in my query, what is your lead-time, what do you pay, etc?

Q. Do I have to be a professional freelance writer to submit a query?
A. Not if you are submitting a first-person narrative of an experience in aviation or space (flight or science) for the Above & Beyond column. But if you are reporting a story about a subject in aerospace, we recommend that you have a few published articles that we could review along with your proposal.

Q. How should I send proposals for features or departments?
A. Proposals may be e-mailed to or sent through regular mail.

Q. Do you prefer to receive proposals or already completed manuscripts?
A. We are happy to consider manuscripts, but most assignments are made based on a letter of proposal. The two exceptions are short, humorous pieces and first-person narratives; those must be submitted as manuscripts.

Q. What if one of your editors has asked me to send clips or additional materials by mail or email?
A. Send the materials to the editor as he/she has directed. Be sure to include a note indicating that you are sending the material "as requested."

Q. How do I check on the status of a previous submission?
A. If you sent a proposal by email or postal mail and have not received a response, send an email including your name, phone number, method of submission (email or postal mail) and the subject of your query to

Q. What makes a successful proposal?
We are likely to make an assignment if the proposal demonstrates how the story will cast new light on the subject. The most successful proposals are themselves lively and interesting; they promise plenty of quotes from colorful characters and take an approach to a subject that simultaneously educates and entertains.