Public philosophy writing
There is a public enthusiasm for interesting, accessible philosophical writing, and opportunities for philosophers to contribute. Many newspapers and magazines work by commission only, but here are some magazines and blogs that accept pitches or applications:
- Philosophy Now: the UK’s newsstand philosophy magazine. Submissions between 1000-3500 words, book reviews less than 1500 words. All areas and topics and a variety of formats. Audience is “general educated public” without any philosophical training, so clear, no jargon, self-contained, etc. Submissions by email, as Word document, to the Editors.
- Open for Debate: Short pieces (between 700 and 1500 words, typically on an area within social epistemology broadly construed, including topics in political philosophy, philosophy of science, social philosophy and philosophy of technology. Authors must include references. While a blog, the articles often contain some jargon and specialist language, which sets it apart from other public-facing venues. So, authors can be more flexible in the style and content. Submissions and enquiries by email.
- What to Do About Now: a blog oriented towards political philosophy and political theory and philosophical takes current affairs. Articles range from the feminist credentials of OnlyFans to Effective Altruism. Articles range from 600 words up to 1500 words (not including bibliographies). Blog posts include works cited. The style is familiar and causal but some jargon is allowed.
- Daily Philosophy: offers a wide variety of public philosophy (book reviews, philosophical fiction, essays, interviews). Submissions should be educational, enlightening and related to philosophy, its history, main thinkers, appreciation of life and its problems, classic problems in philosophy and ethics, neglected figures and traditions. Articles are typically no longer than 3,000 words. Submissions and enquiries to the Editor.
- Aeon: a range of online articles, generally between 2,500 – 5000 words long. The articles it publishes are perennial, hence they can be read at any time and are not linked to specific events. Potential authors make pitches to Aeon and they provide detailed information about their editing process and what they look for in successful essays. They also pay a modest honorarium.
- Psyche: a digital magazine, related to Aeon, focusing on philosophy, psychology, and the arts. They accept first-person articles and state a specific interest in ‘publishing diverse voices’, especially those of authors with experience of mental health issues or neurodiversity. ‘Ideas’ are shorter (1000-1800 word) articles. ‘Guides’ are longer (3000-4000 word) guides offering practical guidance. They also pay a modest honorarium.
- The Raven: written for intellectually curios readers with and without academic training in philosophy. Submissions should be accessible and in stimulating prose; they can deal with public affairs; contributors should avoid relying on the reader’s background knowledge, use reader-friendly vocabulary. Long form essays should be between 3,000 – 10,000 words, which make original philosophical contribution; Short essays: 800 -2,000 words; Reviews: 2,500-5,000 words; and Recommended readings: 800-2,000 words, in which writers recommend less well-known books, articles, or works by philosophers.
- The Conversation: analysis and perspectives from multiple disciplines. Categories of special relevance to philosophy include ‘Arts + Culture’, ‘Education’, and ‘Politics + Society’. Authors pitch stories, ideally ones tied to current events, recent publications, or major news. Editors work with authors to ensure clarity and readability.
- The Philosopher: the online and print journal of the Philosophical Society of England, publishes two issues a year, accepting articles on a wide range of philosophical topics. They pay a modest amount for those on insecure or precarious employment and freelancers. All pitches to the Editor.
- The Philosophers’ Magazine: publishes articles, usually 1000-3000 words, mainly from professional philosophers, on a range of topics.
- Philosophy World Democracy: publishes essays, reviews, and other kinds of contributions and is multi-lingual with a continental philosophy slant. Welcomes a range of topics. Submissions via email.
Public philosophy events
There are several dedicated UK public philosophy events, as well as festivals that often include contributions by philosophers:
- HowTheLightGetsIn: Invitation only but participation is open to the public via tickets. The organisation typically holds between 2-3 events each year, usually in May/June and September/October. The event in May/June is held at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival.
- Royal Institute of Philosophy’s London Lecture Series: these events are invitation only and focus on a specific theme. Beginning in the Autumn of each year, the series consists of weekly talks from October – June. In the past, they have been held at Foyle’s book shop in Charing Cross and are open to the public. Entry is free.
- Being Human: the UK’s national festival of the humanities, supported by the AHRC and the BA. Participation is usually organised by each participating institution.
- Oxford Literary Festival: the festival takes place over the course of a week in March each year. It is invitation only but accessible to all from the public. Standard tickets for speaker-events are £12.50 and £7 for those with a student ID. Tickets can be bought online and in-person at the box-office. Inquiries should be directed at @oxfordliteraryfestival.org. The festival offers free 15 minute talks, based on the A Very Short Introduction series.