Writers must be able to:
- understand complex subjects and break them down for a general audience
- contribute entirely original, previously unpublished work (we have a zero-tolerance policy on plagiarism)
- meet their agreed-upon deadlines
- adapt to the HowStuffWorks voice (we provide style guides and plenty of direction)
- at the same time as all of the above, have fun with it and write pieces that are genuinely fun to read
- know or be a quick study of AP style
When submissions are open, please send samples only of previous writing, preferably written for and published by a reputable, edited publication. If you're sending Word docs or PDFs, please note where and when the published pieces originally appeared, if it's not apparent. If your background is in journalism and you're interested in writing long-form, classic "How ___ Works" articles in particular, we'll be much better able to get a sense of whether we might work well together if you submit feature articles rather than straight news reporting as your samples.
Also, HowStuffWorks does not accept unsolicited articles. We also do not publish guest posts or any other material that is sent to us unasked. (Since we've stated that so clearly, we also don't answer queries regarding unsolicited articles or guest posts.) Along those lines, please do not write a new HowStuffWorks article as part of your submission. Many writers do this to try to stand out, but sending us unsolicited work creates a number of legal headaches for us. We delete such submissions unread.
If our editors think we might work well together, we'll assign you something to write -- only then should you write something in the HowStuffWorks style and voice and send it to us. If we accept the article we've assigned you to write, we'll pay you for it. All work is work for hire, and all authors must sign a freelance agreement before they begin writing any work for us. And, lastly, for a number of tax, legal and copyright reasons, we are looking for writers who are based in and legally able to work in the United States.