Pitch Guidelines

Want to write an article for Scientific African Magazine? Here are some guidelines.

Guidelines for Scientists

Are you an African scientist? Do you want to write for Scientific African Magazine?

Great! The first thing to do is to decide what you want to write about. We do publish stories about scientists’ work—they need to be engagingly written. But we are also happy to take articles about other things. Perhaps you want to write about a challenge you overcame in your work—something that could inspire other scientists facing the same challenge? Or maybe you want to share experiences from a recent field trip, or an eye-opening run-in with policymakers. Perhaps you are upset about an injustice? Anything goes, as long as it’s relevant to our readers—who aren’t all researchers, mind.

While we welcome fully written articles, a simple email outlining who you are and what you want to write about is a better start as we can then develop the piece together.

Email lnordling@sciafmag.com to get the ball rolling.

Guidelines for Journalists

Scientific African Magazine accepts pitches from professional journalists on a rolling basis. Stories can be short (500-700 words) or long (1000-1400 words). We pay competitive rates.

We welcome all types of journalism—news, features, profiles, investigations. The important thing is that stories must foreground African science—be it astronomy, agriculture, engineering or biotechnology. Stories can describe novel discoveries, ways in which science is impacting African societies, or the experience of doing science in Africa. The ideal pitch will make us think: “Wow, we have never heard or read about this before!” The most important thing is that you are pitching a captivating, unique, well-researched story.

Whatever you are pitching, your pitch needs to include: What the story is, why it ’s important, or interesting, or surprising, or shocking, and why we should cover it in Scientific African Magazine. If you haven’t written for us in the past, please include some links to your work and write a sentence or two about yourself.

Please send pitches to lnordling@sciafmag.com

Here are some basic guidelines
  • Short news stories can be about a single interesting science project or finding, but it must not have been reported anywhere before. Avoid pitching press releases unless you have a unique angle.
  • Features need to be broader than news, perhaps looking at trends over time, or comparing different countries. While features don’t need news pegs, they can strengthen a pitch.
  • We do take profiles of scientists—However, this is a really competitive slot so in your pitch, make sure to explain why this individual should be profiled. What makes their story extraordinary?

For more tips on how to successfully pitch a science story, see here, and here

Please note that Scientific African Magazine has a conflict of interest policy for its journalists. You must declare in your pitch if you have:

– Done any (paid or unpaid) work for any of the organisations or people involved in your story

– Received travel funding or per-diems from any of the organisations or people involved in your story.

For more more information e-mail lnordling@sciafmag.com