Writer's Guidelines

Please note: The World Future Society is not currently accepting submissions for THE FUTURIST. Please check back in early spring for further information.

THE FUTURIST is constantly looking for articles to publish, both by established authorities and new authors. Articles must pass the following tests:

1. SUBJECT MATTER: The article should have something new and significant to say about the future, not merely repeat what has already been said before. For example, an article noting that increasing air pollution may damage human health is something everyone has already heard. Writers for THE FUTURIST should remember that the publication focuses on the future, especially the period five to 50 years ahead.

THE FUTURIST does not publish fiction or poetry. An exception is occasionally made for scenarios presenting fictionalized people in future situations. These scenarios are kept brief.

THE FUTURIST covers a wide range of subject areas--virtually everything that will affect our future or will be affected by the changes the future will bring. Past articles have focused on topics ranging from technology, planning, resources, and economics, to religion, the arts, values, and health. Articles we avoid include: (A) overly technical articles that would be of little interest to the general reader; (B) opinion pieces on current government issues; (C) articles by authors with only a casual knowledge of the subject being discussed.

2. AUTHOR'S KNOWLEDGE OF THE SUBJECT: Authors should provide some biographical material, which should indicate their qualifications to write about a particular subject.

3. QUALITY OF WRITING: Make points clearly and in a way that holds the reader's interest. A reader should not have to struggle to guess an author's meaning or wade through lots of unnecessary words in the process. Use concrete examples and anecdotes to illustrate the points made; nothing is duller than a page of generalities unrelieved by specific examples. Keep sentences short, mostly under 25 words. Avoid the jargon of a particular trade or profession; when technical terms are necessary, be sure to explain them.

THE FUTURIST's copyeditors use the University of Chicago Press's A Manual of Style and Merriam Webster's unabridged dictionary as guidelines on spelling and style.

Authors can get a feel for THE FUTURIST's style by reviewing recent issues, available in many large libraries, bookstores, and newsstands. Sample copies may be purchased from the Society.


SUBMISSIONS: The editors prefer to read completed manuscripts but will consider queries that include a strong thesis, detailed outline, and summary of the author's expertise on the proposed topic.

Manuscripts should be e-mailed as attached Word or Rich Text documents (PDFs are strongly discouraged). Please include "Article Submission" or "Query" in the subject line and include a brief "about the author" note with your submission. Do NOT submit manuscripts by fax. Simultaneous queries or submissions are acceptable; please make note of this in your cover letter.

LENGTH OF ARTICLES: Articles in THE FUTURIST generally run 1,000 to 4,000 words, but both longer and shorter articles are acceptable.

Opinion pieces about the future may be submitted to "Future View," THE FUTURIST's guest editorial column; these normally should be no longer than 800 words.

PHOTOGRAPHS AND DRAWINGS: THE FUTURIST is very interested in photographs, drawings, or other materials that might be used to illustrate articles. High-resolution digital images are preferred; color slides or glossy prints (either color or black and white) are acceptable. Any images submitted MUST either be in the public domain or accompanied by the copyright owner's permission for publication. THE FUTURIST is NOT responsible for damage to materials during the mailing process. All such materials must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope or mailing tube with sufficient postage to be returned.

RESPONSE TIME: The editors will make every attempt to respond to all queries and manuscript submissions as soon as possible, but please allow at least three weeks for queries and three months for manuscripts.

In certain cases, the editors of THE FUTURIST may show manuscripts to the editors of other World Future Society publications, including WORLD FUTURE REVIEW, the annual conference volume, and the Futurist Blog on the Society's Web site. This may further delay response, but will increase the author's opportunities for publication. (NOTE: WORLD FUTURE REVIEW editorial guidelines are posted here.)

WITHDRAWAL OF MANUSCRIPT FROM PLANNED PUBLICATION: Authors may withdraw a manuscript from the publication process provided written notice is given at least seven weeks before the date of publication. At the same time, the editors reserve the right to withdraw from publication any previously accepted material.

COMPENSATION: Authors of articles are provided either (A) 10 free copies of the issue in which their work appears (and the right to purchase additional copies at the lowest multiple rate), or (B) one year’s complimentary membership in the World Future Society. In addition, authors will be sent a PDF of their published article for their personal use. THE FUTURIST does not offer financial compensation for articles printed in THE FUTURIST or for reprints of these articles, whether in print or digital format.

RIGHTS: It is a condition of publication that copyright is transferred to the World Future Society (WFS).

WFS will handle all reprint requests with the primary goal being wide dissemination of the ideas. Most of these requests are small and generate little or no revenue (e.g., a professor wanting to make 30 copies for a class). Any royalties received are used to manage reprint requests and advance the goals of the World Future Society. Authors would be consulted about any major reprint opportunity. And, of course, authors may handle directly any requests they receive for consulting, speaking, and other projects.

Authors may distribute copies of the article as published (photocopies, PDFs, or similar) without limitation, but they may not license others to do. Upon request, WFS will provide a PDF copy of the final article without charge as soon as practical after publication.