Guidelines for Article Submissions

First Things is happy to accept unsolicited manuscripts. Writers should familiarize themselves with the magazine before sending their submission, and include with it a cover letter giving their thesis, an explanation of why it’s an important thesis to argue in this magazine, reference to any similar articles the magazine has published recently, and a short biography. The word limits (which should be adhered to strictly) are:

Opinions: 1,000 to 2,000 words
Feature Articles: 2,500 to 4,000 words
Book Reviews: 1,250 to 1,500 words

Manuscripts should be sent in Microsoft Word.

Please do not include footnotes or endnotes, as they will not be published, either in the magazine or online. We do not accept simultaneous submissions or previously published material - including material published online.

Manuscripts should be submitted to ft@firstthings.com.

The editors will generally decide on your submission within four to six weeks. If you do not receive a decision within four weeks, please send a follow-up query.

Queries are also welcome. The query should include the elements of the cover letter described above as well as a description of how the argument will be made and links to and/or files of already published articles if available.

Guidelines for Web Submissions

First Things accepts submissions of web articles and will also consider queries. Please send them to ft@firstthings.com. Our web articles, published every weekday, usually run 800 to 1000 words. Shorter items, especially from established writers, may be considered for publication on our house blog “First Thoughts.”

Guidelines for Letters-to-the-Editor Submissions

Letters to the editor appear two issues after the issue in which the article being responded to appears. This requires a very tight deadline, with letters due in the first week of the month of the issue. (Letters responding to articles in the January issue, for example, must be received in early January.) The deadline varies slightly from issue to issue, but readers will be safe using the first Monday of the month as the deadline.

Letters under four hundred words are preferred and they may be edited for length and clarity. Please send them to  ft@firstthings.com.

Guidelines for Poetry Submissions

We do not accept poetry via email. Please mail printed submissions to:

Paul Lake
Poetry Editor
First Things

35 E. 21st St.
6th floor
New York, NY 10010

To receive a reply to poetry submissions, a self-addressed stamped envelope or an email address must be provided along with the submission.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions of manuscripts or poetry. An honorarium is paid upon publication.