Hakai Magazine

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Submission Guidelines

Hakai Magazine explores science and society in coastal ecosystems. Our editorially independent web publication examines the ties between the ocean, land, and human societies through long- and short-form journalism, illustration, photography, and video.

Pitching Hakai Magazine

Before you pitch, please review our website and these guidelines.

Pitches can come from a variety of perspectives—archaeology, ecology, biology, geology, oceanography, anthropology, environment, business, technology, policy, engineering, history, and more—but they must pertain to marine coastal environments in some way.

We invite you to submit brief query letters detailing potential stories that focus on coastal ecosystems, cultures, and communities around the world. Indicate the story’s angle and some of its important elements. Include your credentials and three links to your published work.

No phone queries, please. If, after two weeks, you have yet to receive a reply, contact us by email to make sure we received the pitch.

Fees vary depending on the length and complexity of a story and on the experience of the storyteller. Payment in Canadian dollars is made upon acceptance of the final draft. We have a modest travel budget, and all expenses must be approved in advance.

The Magazine

News & Views

Send pitches to news@hakaimagazine.com.

This section is the place for 300- to 800-word stories and commentary. We’re looking for news and informed analysis of current events. Use your knowledge and connections to tell our readers about the latest research and what’s coming up next. We’re also interested in myth busting, local news with broader implications, and following up on stories that made a splash, but then sank beneath the waves. For straight news stories about new scientific research, pay is CAN $0.85/word. For analyses, profiles, follow-ups, and other more involved stories, the rate is CAN $1.10/word.

Quick Reads

Send pitches to editor@hakaimagazine.com.

Not quite news, not quite a feature, “quick reads” are a great place to get your start at Hakai Magazine.

In our Solutions column, we are looking for proven examples of grassroots projects that have made a difference in coastal and marine environments. (As our tagline reads, we’re looking for “practical solutions for the ocean’s ailments.”) Clearly explain the problem, the solution, and back up the success with some numbers and tips for others who may want to replicate the process. Solutions are about 1,200 to 1,500 words. Before you pitch, take a good look at past Solutions stories. Flat fee: CAN $1,800.

Do you have a favorite food with ties to the ocean or coast? Your 1,200- to 1,500-word story might find a place in our occasional food column of short, quirky, nostalgic, thoughtful, and thought-provoking pieces on food from the everyday (fish sticks) to the almost lost (Tlingit potatoes) to the future (sea beans). CAN $1.10/word.

In Coastal Jobs, we write about the many ways that people work on or near the ocean. These are short, “as told to” stories, that give the reader insight into jobs with ties to the sea. Make sure to review the jobs we’ve already covered before pitching. Flat fee: CAN $500.

Features

Send pitches to editor@hakaimagazine.com.

Hakai Magazine features come in a variety of forms—narratives, investigative pieces, essays, and profiles.

Feature articles range from about 1,000 to 5,000 words. Journalists pitching features should have strong reporting and prose skills as well as experience writing for magazines. We are interested in great stories and strong voices. We tilt toward science and environmental stories, but we’re also interested in people and communities and how they interact with coastal ecosystems. We’re looking for stories that have breadth, depth of research, and quality of prose. CAN $1.30/word and up.

Videos & Visuals

Send video pitches to video@hakaimagazine.com. Send pitches for all other visual pieces to art@hakaimagazine.com.

Videos: we’re looking for short, original videos (ideally five to 10 minutes). We like our videos to be narrative in nature with strong story arcs and engaging characters, rather than news pieces. Please include a proposed budget for the video (including equipment rentals, travel, salaries, music licensing, and all other associated costs) and links to previous work.

Photo essays: tell us about the story you’re proposing to tell, who the characters are, and how you plan to communicate this story visually. Include examples of other photo essays you have shot. If you are proposing an essay from existing photos, please tell us when they were taken, if they were part of a previous assignment, and if and where they were published. Please also include a selection to demonstrate how they will tell the story.

For our One Great Shot column, which highlights a single outstanding photo accompanied by 100–200 words of text, submit your photo and a short description for consideration. Flat fee: CAN $350.

Nonfiction comics: comic features need to have the same depth of story and research as written pieces. Please refer to the guidelines for our Features section and tell us how the story lends itself to being told visually.

Infographics: great infographics display data in a way that allows for exploration while calling attention to important insights. Please include details about where you will source your data and how you will make it accessible to the average reader.

Last revision: March 2, 2022