The name Undark arises from a murky, century-old mingling of science and commerce — one that resulted in an industrial and consumer product that was both awe-inspiring and, as scientists would later prove, toxic and deadly. We appropriate the name as a signal to readers that our magazine will explore science and technology not just as "gee-whiz" phenomena, but as frequently wondrous, sometimes contentious, and occasionally troubling byproducts of human culture.
As such, the intersection of science and society — the place where science is articulated in our politics and our economics; or where it is made potent and real in our everyday lives — is a fundamental part of our mission at Undark. As journalists, we recognize that science can often be politically, economically and ethically fraught, even as it captures the imagination and showcases the astonishing scope of human endeavor. Undark will therefore aim to explore science in both light and shadow, and to bring that exploration to a broad, international audience.
Undark is not interested in "science communication" or related euphemisms, but in true journalistic coverage of the sciences.
Beginning in April, 2016, Undark Magazine will be publishing twelve pieces of long-form, narrative-driven journalism each year, accompanied by a regular and ongoing mix of shorter features, profiles, essays, op-eds, book excerpts, Q&A's, reviews, blog posts, photography, digital video, information graphics and data visualizations.
NOTE: All prospective first-time contributors should include a brief biography and a selection of journalistic work samples, via links or attachments.
Writers interested in pitching a long-form project should submit a two- to three-page proposal that outlines the narrative thrust and expected length of the piece; highlights key characters and subjects; and clearly articulates how the proposal meets the magazine's mission of shedding light on the often fractious intersection of science and society. Writers are encouraged to detail any travel that might be required as part of the project.
Submit long-form project proposals as a Long-form Project Pitch.
Short-form & other proposals
Writers wishing to submit ideas for shorter features, profiles, essays, Q&A's, and reviews should submit 200 to 300 words describing the proposed piece and how it fits into the magazine's editorial mission.
Submit short-form project proposals as a Short Feature Pitch.
Writers wishing to submit ideas for opinion pieces should submit a brief summary describing the issue of concern, its timeliness, the argument to be made, and a full disclosure of all relevant personal and professional affiliations.
Submit op-ed proposals as an Opinion Pitch.
Book excerpts & reviews
Authors, publishers or agents submitting books for review consideration should send galleys or hard copies to Undark Magazine, c/o Knight Science Journalism @MIT, E19-623, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139.
Authors, publishers or agents seeking to offer book excerpts for publication at Undarkshould submit a short proposal as a Book Query.
Writers wishing to contribute to Undark's blog, Cross Sections, should send a short query describing the topic and its timeliness.
Submit blog proposals as a Blog Pitch.
Photographers, videographers, filmmakers, graphic designers, data visualization experts, editorial illustrators and other visual journalists wishing to pitch projects, or to make themselves available for work assignments as they arise, can reach out to us at email@example.com.
Please include resumes and links or attachments to previous, relevant work.
Our pay rates vary by project, but we strive to be both fair and competitive.