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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.

We do not accept simultaneous submissions or previously published material—including material published online.

Manuscripts should be submitted to

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 Our web articles, published every weekday, usually run 800 to 1000 words. 

Manuscripts should be sent in Microsoft Word to

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

Guidelines for Poetry Submissions

Poetry submissions should be addressed to our poetry editor, Micah Mattix, and emailed to, with the phrase “Poetry Submission” in the subject line. We accept simultaneous submissions on the condition that poets withdraw once a poem has been placed elsewhere. Poets should wait six months between submissions.

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