As of October 2021, HowStuffWorks.com is looking for a few good freelance writers to explain the world around us, pitch stories and break them down simply for all of us wading thru the headlines. Ideal candidates can turn stories quickly, have a wide network of sources whom they incorporate in stories, aren’t afraid to give their hot take on the newest tech or research development, or get their hands dirty updating some of our older but high-performing articles.
Freelancer Qualifications and Recruitment Process
HowStuffWorks writers are excited about both learning and writing and have a knack for getting to the heart of what fascinates us most. Above all, we work with writers, both generalists and specialists, who have great writing and impeccable research skills. Ideally, applicants should already have experience as staff or freelance writers at reputable publications and be used to accepting feedback and direction from an editor.
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contribute entirely original, previously unpublished work (we have a zero-tolerance policy on plagiarism)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 We also do not publish guest posts or any other material that is sent to us unasked.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.
Please follow these instructions exactly:
Email your résumé and writing samples to freelance at howstuffworks dot com.
Title the email “Freelance Writer: [Areas of Expertise]” (as in “Freelance Writer: Chemistry”). We won’t see emails that aren’t titled this way if they end up in the spam filter.
In the body of the email, include a cover letter that explains your qualifications and why you want to write for HowStuffWorks. Think of this cover letter as one of your writing samples: It should both show us and tell us why you want this gig and why you’d be a good fit for it.
Include a résumé and two relevant samples — you can include them in the body of the email, as attachments or as links to webpages.
Send nonfiction samples that demonstrate why you’ll be a good fit for HowStuffWorks. Please do not send fiction, poetry, screenplays or scripts.
If sending attachments, use .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rtf or .txt format.
If you are particularly interested in writing about tech or being a dedicated update writer, please flag that for us. (Note: A dedicated update writer is good at fact-checking, link checking and making the article timely; this could mean adding new sections to the article or deleting sections. Occasionally this may mean entirely rewriting the article.)
Because of the number of interested freelancers who contact us, submissions that don’t follow the above guidelines will be discarded.
And, once more, we do not accept unsolicited articles or publish guest posts.
We look forward to hearing from you! We will follow up with you directly if we think there’s a great writer-editor match just waiting to happen.
Founded in 1998, HowStuffWorks is an award-winning website that is home to thousands of articles that explain how the world really works. The site receives 25 million pageviews per month. HowStuffWorks.com is a division of InfoSpace LLC/System1.
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