Skip to main content

Call for submissions

Call for submissions

Harvard Public Health’s mission is to publish impact journalism that explores ideas and approaches for tackling public health challenges. We maintain a rigorous focus on what works, what doesn’t, and why. How to pitch us stories.

Our audience. We write for people who have the power to make change: Public health leaders, policy makers, and advocates.

Our journalism. We publish features, analysis, investigations, and opinion. We welcome pitches from freelance journalists and opinion writers, including academics. We are editorially independent and nonpartisan.

Expectations. We follow journalistic practices, standards, and ethics, most notably as outlined by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Our stories go through multiple rounds of editing. We fact-check pieces in accordance with the KSJ Fact-Checking Project’s guidelines, with significant features receiving the deeper “magazine model” treatment and our shorter items receiving the “newspaper model,” as outlined in the State of Fact-Checking in Science Journalism.

Disclosures and conflicts. We expect journalists and commentary writers working with us to disclose upfront all potential conflicts of interest related to their subject, financial or otherwise. Writers must disclose gifts greater than $25, coverage of expenses, certain speaking fees, and other favors that could compromise their integrity. Fee waivers at conferences and events may be accepted if routinely granted to members of the media.

Our relationship with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Though editorially independent, we are owned and published by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The magazine benefits from the University’s resources, including access to prominent faculty, researchers, and visitors. The Harvard Public Health advisory board, a non-fiduciary body established to advise on editorial and business strategy, includes members with ties to Harvard. Despite these relationships, Harvard Public Health is not expected to give special favor to people or research associated with the Harvard Chan School. Our digital product contains all our independent content. We also publish a selection of our independent journalism in print three times a year. The print product includes a section on Harvard Chan news that is produced by the School’s communications team and written with differing editorial standards, including allowing sources to review articles before publication.

How to pitch

Features. We seek stories about ideas and actions meant to improve public health, not treatment for individuals. Those stories could be scene-driven narratives, investigative reports, trend analyses, Q&As, riffs on emerging ideas, and more. Pitches should give a sense of who will be featured and why, how you will get access to those individuals, what supporting interviews will be conducted, what research will be cited, why the story matters now, and why you are the best person to write it. Our stories generally run between 750 and 3,000 words; pitches should typically not exceed 300 words.

Opinion pieces. We seek well-argued pieces that put forward the author’s clear point of view. Our opinion essays typically run 600 to 900 words and should focus on new ideas and approaches that could change health outcomes. We aim to spark dialogue and discussion – think dinner party, not lecture hall. Accordingly, strive for a conversational tone. We welcome writers from all backgrounds, but they must honor journalistic ethics. A good pitch will show, in one to two paragraphs, the argument for the idea, how it will create impact, whether any scientific evidence supports the argument, and why you are positioned to write about it with authority.

Submit your pitches using the form below.

Submissions form

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.