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Unsolicited Submission Guidelines

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​Air Force Magazine is written by a professional staff and a small ​number of regular freelance contributors. Issue plans and assignments are often made more than a year in advance, and we demand a very high level of journalistic quality and integrity.

We accept a very small number of unsolicited articles annually. Out of about 55 articles we publish in a year, typically only one or two will be unsolicited. Articles must be of interest to a diverse audience that is interested in the Air Force and national security but that is assumed not to be an expert on the subject of your particular article. 

We will consider previously-unpublished articles regarding the current or historic US Air Force which offer information not readily or previously available elsewhere, and which is of interest to a broad portion of our readership. We do not tolerate plagiarism or the rewriting of another's original work. 

Articles relating to present-day missions and issues are in the highest demand; we receive far more pitches for historical articles than we could ever publish. 

Authors need not be previously published; however, facile writing is a must, and the author must accept whatever edits are applied in the production process. Moreover, we may require documentation for any assertions made in the article, especially for facts we can't verify independently.

We strongly discourage the mailing of manuscripts and especially photographs, particularly if the photos are originals which cannot be replaced. We cannot be responsible for unsolicited items mailed to us, and make no promise that such material will be returned.

The best way to tell if an article will fit Air Force Magazine's style is to read the magazine. It is available online at www.airforcemag.com and is sold at many DOD commissaries and Barnes & Noble outlets nationwide.

Special Note on Memoirs and Oral Histories: The vast majority of the pitches we receive are for largely first-person articles about an individual, or an individual's unit, or that individual unit's wartime history. We must decline these stories, not because they are without merit, but because they are of limited interest to our broad readership. Further, their content often cannot be independently verified, or they would require a prohibitive amount of research and fact-checking by our small staff. Moreover, it would be simply unfair to carry some such stories but not others. We regret that we cannot offer a forum for these memoirs.

Special Note on Obituaries: Air Force Magazine has a longstanding and specific policy governing the who and how-long of obituaries. We welcome alerts from readers who wish to inform us of the ​passing of a significant Air Force figure, but we do not publish any such material that is submitted. Obituaries will always be written by staff.  

Before sending any pitches, please review the following list of material that we will NOT consider for publication.   

We do NOT publish:

  • Articles not directly having to do with the Air Force, national defense, Air Force history, or aerospace technology
  • Opinion pieces of any kind. If you wish to comment on an article that has appeared in the Magazine, please send us a short (preferably 300 words or less) Letter to the Editor. ​
  • Thinly-disguised advertising, such as articles about the virtues of a particular product, or profiles of business executives
  • General-interest articles, such as on fitness, personal finance, cooking, etc., EVEN IF there is an Air Force connection
  • Poetry, Fiction, Humor, Art
  • Human interest stories, such as military working dog adoptions
  • Articles intended to raise money for a cause or charity, regardless of the intended beneficiary
  • Instructional or "how to" articles
  • Articles about general or commercial aviation 
  • Speculation, "alternative history," or "conspiracy theory" stories, or stories about UFOs
  • Scholarly papers or theses, UNLESS they are about an especially timely topic AND have been reworked for a Magazine audience.

We request that a prospective author submit a short summary, by email, of an article being offered for use by the Magazine. If we're interested, we will contact the author to explore the full scope of the proposed article, and, if we decide to pursue it, length, deadlines, rights, and payment.

If you have read the above and believe you can offer an article of interest to us, please contact Editorial Director John Tirpak at jtirpak@afa.org.  We will try to respond promptly.

Current as of June 2018.