Long Now is accepting pitches of essays, reported features, interviews, book reviews, shorter articles, fiction and poetry for Ideas, our living archive of long-term thinking. Below you'll find information on the kinds of stories we're looking for, how much we pay, and how to pitch us.
About Long Now
"Now" is never just a moment. The Long Now is the recognition that the precise moment you're in grows out of the past and is a seed for the future. The longer your sense of Now, the more past and future it includes.
- Brian Eno, Long Now Co-Founder
The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking and responsibility. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.
We hope to help each other be good ancestors. We hope to preserve possibilities for the future.
Long Now Stories
Long Now stories take the long view to expand our collective sense of the present moment. Some stories investigate change over deep time, contextualizing a given subject within its past and speculating on possible futures. Others profile the people, projects, and ideas that embrace long-term thinking to address humanity's most significant challenges. Still others offer prescriptive approaches for how to make long-term thinking automatic and common, instead of difficult and rare.
Broadly speaking, we're seeking stories that explore the long now of the following subjects and disciplines: climate change and the environment; the preservation of knowledge; the rise and fall of civilizations; the longevity of institutions; biotechnology and artificial intelligence; the history of science and technology; architecture, design and urbanism; the nature of time; space travel; globalization; migration; economics; governance; maintenance; and infrastructure (both physical and intellectual).
Stories to Pitch and Past Examples
Below you’ll find some links to recent stories to give you a sense of our tone, topical range, and what we’re looking for. We’re hoping to expand that topical range — and the kinds of stories we publish — considerably. That’s another way of saying that just because you might not see the kind of story you’d like to pitch represented below does not mean we wouldn’t be interested in publishing it.
Reported, argument-driven, or photo essays (800 - 1,800 words).
- Mythmaking for Burning Ground
- How Humans Grew Acorn Brains
- Living in Mangrove Time
- What If The Best Times Are Still To Come?
- News from Now-here
- End-of-the-World Novels Are ‘Memento Mori’ for Civilization
- A Film 600 Years in the Making
Long-form reported narrative features (1,200 - 2,500 words).
- Peering into the Invisible Present
- Breaking a Vicious Circle of Climate Change in Zimbabwe
- Deep Time Underground
- Conceiving the Future of Reproductive Technology
- How to Imagine Climate Futures
- How Long is Now?
Interviews with the thinkers, artists, and makers whose projects and ideas foster long-term thinking and responsibility (1,200 - 2,000 words).
- Envisioning Our Shared Storm with Andrew Dana Hudson
- Cataloging the Many Lives of Stewart Brand
- How Long-term Thinking Can Help Earth Now
- This is How the Universe Ends
Short-form Science Journalism, News, and History
Articles breaking down the latest long-term thinking news (scientific papers, studies, projects, trends), profiling fascinating and forgotten examples of long-term thinking from the past, or exploring how today’s technological interventions are being applied to the past to make us reconsider what we thought we knew (500 - 1,200 words).
- E.coli in the Long View
- Dracula in Real Time
- How to Tell Time Using Stonehenge
- The History of Hybrid Species from Kungas to Killer Bees
- What a Mysterious Set of Golden Tubes Tells Us About Bronze Age Beer
- Dune, Foundation, and the Allure of Science Fiction that Thinks Long-term
We occasionally syndicate previously published academic papers on Long Now-related topics.
Science Fiction Stories
Payment varies depending on the kind of story, the reporting involved, and the time commitment. Payment starts at $600 for features and ranges between $300 - $600 for essays, interviews, book reviews, science journalism, and news articles. We pay $100 for science fiction stories and $25 per poem (with a maximum of four poems per submission).
How to Pitch
For non-fiction pitches: send an email to email@example.com with “Pitch” in the subject line followed by a proposed headline. In the email, describe what you're hoping to write about and how it's relevant to Long Now's topical and temporal focus. If you're pitching an essay, give us a sense of the argument you're making. If you're pitching a feature, give us a sense of the narrative structure, with whom you plan to speak, et cetera. If your pitch is time-sensitive, let us know. You're welcome to provide relevant bylines and a brief bio.
For fiction and poetry, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line noting whether your submission is fiction or poetry. Attach a draft of your submission to the email. Feel free to contextualize the work with a sentence or two in the body of the email.
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