Submission Guidelines

Writers’ Guidelines

Earth Island Journal is a non-profit magazine published with support from our readers and Earth Island Institute. We publish quarterly in print and daily online. Our stories, told from around the world, anticipate threats to the environment, and seek out innovative solutions to the world’s environmental challenges.

We cover a wide spectrum of environmental issues, including climate change, climate and environmental justice, wildlife and land conservation, innovations in science and technology, public policy and environmental protection, energy, agriculture, and animal rights. We are particularly interested in stories that explore the intersections between the environment and other social and human rights issues. We publish reported features, essays, analysis, interviews, reviews, and news. We do not publish poetry or fiction.

Our work is representative and inclusive of the people and other-than-human communities who are impacted by environmental harm. We seek to center the perspectives and voices of individuals and communities that are defending and restoring the Earth. On-the-ground reports from outside North America are especially welcomed.

Our readers are environmentally savvy and engaged. Many are leaders in the environmental movement. Our stories seek to strengthen the understanding of issues and solutions within a community of activists and advocates for the environment. We are seeking deeply reported stories that have broad national or international implications.

Prospective writers are encouraged to read the latest issues of the magazine, to get a sense of where we’re heading, and to be familiar with our archives, to understand what we’ve already covered. We do not consider technical or academic reports. We will not consider pitches (or any other copy) generated by artificial intelligence.

We pay $0.25/word for print features up to 4,000 words, though 2,800 words is most common. We pay $200 for stories published online.

For photographs, we pay writers who submit their own imagery along with print features $65 per photo. We are not able to pay for images that run with our online-exclusive articles.

We prefer that writers and photographers query us before submitting a story. Please describe why you believe the story is newsworthy and specific to the readers of Earth Island Journal, including angles you will investigate and people you will interview. A pitch should give the editors an idea of how the finished story will read. Please include two or three relevant published writing samples. Queries with the word “pitch” in the subject line will receive priority. Due to the high volume of pitches we receive, we cannot guarantee a reply to every query. If you have not heard back from us within a month of your pitch, it likely was not a good fit.

We cannot guarantee to run unsolicited submissions, and we are unable to return submissions sent by regular mail.


Written work: The Journal has content sharing agreements with several other publications. We also share our stories under creative commons, as our core mission is to educate the public about environmental issues. Writer retains the copyright to all manuscripts written under this agreement. Upon publication, the writer grants Earth Island Journal a perpetual, non-exclusive right to reproduce and distribute their article, including the right to sublicense the article to educational companies and to share it with other publications via creative commons.

Where a piece is rejected, or where the assignment is terminated prior to publication of the article, all rights revert to the writer, who may submit the story elsewhere for publication.

Photography and illustrations: Photographers and illustrators retain the copyright to all images purchased by Earth Island Journal, but grant the Journal the non-exclusive right to distribute the image in materials promoting the associated article. If the imagery has been commissioned by Earth Island Journal, the publication retains the right to use the images for additional purposes.

All queries, for both print and online articles, should be sent to: