Thank you for your interest in Boston Review. Please read the submission guidelines below before submitting!
Thank you for your interest in writing for Boston Review! We welcome submissions of essays and book reviews of through this form.
Please note that we are a general interest magazine of ideas, politics, and culture with an international audience; we are not a local Boston news organization. We primarily publish long-form essays, substantial book reviews, political, cultural, and social analysis, and occasional reporting and commentary on current affairs. We do not publish op-eds or essays written in an op-ed style, and we do not accept unsolicited personal essays. Most essays we publish are longer than 3,000 words.
We have a very small editorial staff. We try to review the large number of submissions we receive within a month of the submission date, but delays can occasionally lead to much longer response times. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
1. We consider drafts between 2,000 and 6,000 words subject to these limitations:
- We do not accept unsolicited memoirs or personal essays.
- We do not accept op-eds or pieces written in an op-ed style.
2. If you are submitting a pitch instead of a draft, please describe your vision for the essay in significant detail, on the order of one single-spaced page. Please provide enough substance to demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter, showcase your ability to write in an engaging style for a general audience, sketch the argument you intend to make, and convey the stakes of the issue for a broad readership.
3. We usually publish reviews only within six months of the publication or release date of the work under review. It is best to submit reviews as close as possible to the release date of the work under review, ideally in advance. By timing reviews in this way, we hope they have a chance to influence the terms of public debate and reach a very broad audience. But we make exceptions to this rule depending on the strength of a review and the amount and quality of coverage a work has already gotten.
4. If you have published work elsewhere, please include links to examples of your other writing.
5. Submissions perform much better when they show familiarity with work Boston Review has published. Please read a few of our essays before you submit to get a sense of the style and substance we are looking for.
Application deadline: April 1
Boston Review’s summer editorial fellowship program is designed to prepare the next generation of editors by offering intensive training in editing and producing long-form magazine writing for a general audience.
The program differs from our spring and fall internships in two ways. First, it offers a wider range of hands-on training, touching on all aspects of editorial work: fact checking, proofreading, production, and engagement as well as acquisitions, pitch and draft evaluation, and developmental, line, and copy editing. Second, the program requires a full-time hybrid commitment, with three days a week in our office in Cambridge, MA and two days a week of remote work. The remote component of the fellowship is designed to offer time and independence to read, do research, and develop expertise in a particular area of editorial focus while continuing to refine the core skills the program focuses on building.
The program runs from June 1 to around August 31, with some flexibility around exact start and end dates. Fellows are paid $30 per hour. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, especially those not well-represented in journalism and the publishing industry.
Fellows work closely with Boston Review’s small editorial staff to gain hands-on experience with the nuts and bolts of all aspects of editorial work.
They will participate in workshops and trainings, proofread and fact check essays for print and web publication, help evaluate pitches and drafts, contribute to editorial discussions and planning, offer verbal and written editorial feedback, learn how to communicate with authors and manage relationships through several stages of revision, and assist with web and newsletter production, art research, and website and calendar maintenance.
They will also devote time outside the office to reading and research in an area of interest, with an eye to developing expert familiarity with a particular editorial beat.
The program is best suited for current undergraduate or graduate students, those who have recently completed their studies, and others seeking to transition into an editorial career at a magazine or newspaper. Unfortunately, we are not able to consider applicants from outside the United States.
Prior editorial experience is less important than a passionate interest in long-form, general-interest writing and a commitment to learning the editorial craft that goes on behind the scenes. We seek fellows who are curious about ideas and open to feedback, excited about engaging and evaluating alternative views, eager to take on challenging editorial tasks, and comfortable with discussions of complex, often controversial issues in a fast-paced, detail-oriented, deadline-driven environment. Applicants should be familiar with long-form magazine writing of the sort that Boston Review publishes (primarily ideas-driven feature essays, political and social analysis, and literary or cultural criticism—as opposed to op-eds, personal essays, and reportage). Please note that the program does not provide training or mentorship in fellows’ own writing projects.
Interns and fellows are extremely valued members of our team, and over twenty years they have gone on to significant positions in the publishing world, including at the New York Times, NBC News, the New Republic, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Jacobin, Hammer and Hope, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Boston Review itself.
Boston Review is an award-winning web and print magazine of ideas, politics, and culture. Independent and nonprofit, animated by hope and committed to equality, we believe in the power of collective reasoning and imagination to create a more just world.
We are a small team with a big impact, reaching millions of readers each year. We publish writers, scholars, and activists on the most pressing political, intellectual, and cultural debates of our time. We take a special interest in matters of grave injustice—from war, human rights, and mass incarceration to poverty, inequality, and threats to democracy. Our long archive includes work by Noam Chomsky, Susan Sontag, Arundhati Roy, Martha Nussbaum, John Rawls, bell hooks, Cornel West, Vivian Gornick, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Sadiq Al-Azm, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, in addition to many Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award finalists, and MacArthur Fellows.
We take pride in introducing new voices to the public sphere and maintaining the tradition of rigorous editing long associated with the world of small magazines. As distinguished historian Robin D. G. Kelley has said, "Writing for Boston Review is a joy because I know that I will always be edited with rigor and care—a miracle in an age when editing has all but disappeared." By taking ideas seriously and making everything we publish free to read online, we aim to promote the exercise of public reason, enrich the terms of political and cultural debate, and help to build a more just world.
How to Apply
Please submit the following materials in a single PDF file:
- A cover letter of no more than one single-spaced page. This is by far the most important element of your application. Please give us some sense of the ideas and issues that are most important to you—your editorial “beat”—and how the fellowship would help to advance your career goals.
- A résumé or c.v. detailing your educational and professional background, no more than two pages.
- The names, phone numbers, and email addresses of two references. Please specify their relationships to you. We prefer that at least one reference be a past or current employer.
- Responses to the following two questions:
- In no more than 500 words, discuss an essay of at least 3,000 words that was published in a general interest magazine comparable to Boston Review and that either caused you to change your mind on an issue or prompted you to think about an issue in a new way. Be sure to explain how your thinking changed.
- In no more than 700 words, describe the best possible objection you can imagine to a view you are deeply committed to, and then defend your position by responding to the objection.