Popular Mechanics is an award-winning publication with an audience that reaches millions across video, print, and online. We publish the latest science and technology news, authoritative how-to guides, and expert product reviews. We aim to provide readers with both knowledge and actionable advice.
We’re always open to working with new writers, freelancers, and voices. We are always looking for contributors with story ideas that fit Pop Mech’s voice and formats. We are also committed to hiring BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized identities.
All of our story rates vary and are dependent on story length, required research/reporting, turnaround time, and more.
Before you pitch, here are some general tips that may help:
- Be clear on what the story actually is and why it is important, specifically, or best for Popular Mechanics.
- Please keep pitches short. Generally, a compelling headline in the email subject line and a few hundred words on the topic are usually enough for us to consider the idea. Pitches for feature-length (2,000-plus words) story ideas can be longer. (Read more below.)
- Read recent Popular Mechanics content related to the idea you are pitching. Specifically, focus on articles we’ve published within the last year, which will show our current editorial approach. The more familiar you are with the voice, the subjects we cover, and formats we use, the easier it is for everyone involved.
- Make sure we haven’t already covered the topic. If we have covered it, but there’s more, how can you contribute?
- Personal essays are welcome, but we very rarely publish them, even if they focus on a subject that Popular Mechanics covers.
Please only send pitches; there’s no need to send full drafts of stories or op-eds.
Barring any tech or email issues, we will do our best to evaluate all submissions promptly and will contact you if we’re interested in pursuing your pitch. If you don’t hear from us within a few days on a relevant news story or within a month for evergreen/feature stories, it’s safe to assume we won’t be able to use your pitch. Because of the number of pitches we receive and because similar ideas may be submitted, we cannot give details for why a pitch was declined. Rest assured, if we are interested in your pitch, we will get back to you.
All pitches and materials are considered for publication on the understanding that they are original and that any similar or related material submitted or in publication elsewhere is disclosed to Popular Mechanics upon submission. All accepted submissions may be edited or altered for length and clarity. The copyright of all published editorial materials is retained by Hearst Magazines, Inc.
In any pitch to Popular Mechanics, please consider including the following:
- A sample headline to grab a reader’s attention
- Sources you have access to, and any other research or pre-reporting you've done
- Why this story is relevant, and why it’s a good fit for our audience
- Ideas for photos and illustrations
- Any conflicts of interest, if applicable
- Your clips or portfolio
Below are several sections of our magazine and website to pitch to, and an email is provided so your pitch ends up in the appropriate inbox.
Interested in working at Hearst Magazines? Find the latest job openings here.
Whether we're explaining the last technology or demonstrating how to install a light switch, Popular Mechanics explains the world in an easy-to-understand, jargon-free way while also offering readers the depth of information they need to succeed. We love for writers to highlight what’s specific, cool, unique, and fun about new trends that are relevant to our audience in an authentic way that serves our readers.
While our team is regularly monitoring what’s going on in all things tech, space, science, military, and more, we’re always interested in something that might be slightly off our radar. If you have a news tip or story pitch, we’d love to hear from you.
Here are few winning examples of recent news and service pieces from freelancers:
- What If 'Floor Is Lava' Used Actual Lava?
- The EmDrive Just Won't Die
- Can Sugar Destroy a Car's Engine?
Send News-Culture Stories To: POPnews@hearst.com
Popular Mechanics publishes print and digital features that bring science to a large, broad audience, including literary longform, travel/adventure narratives, profiles, personal essays, service/gear packages, and investigations.
When thinking about what to pitch, consider that often the most compelling story isn’t on the surface, but something more universal through the lens of somebody deeply invested in science, building, or creating. Feature length is generally 2,000 to 6,000 words.
They accept submissions in the following categories:
Areas of coverage include how to maintenance/repair, science/tech/aerospace, electronics/gear, outdoors, travel, automotive, and health. The most successful pitches let us know you have a good handle on what the story is about and how you see it unfolding. Some points to consider:
- What is the main idea you are going to explore? Why now? What universal theme does it connect with?
- How do you see the narrative arc unfolding? How will you structure the piece?
- What will provide the narrative tension?
- Who are the characters in this story? Who will you talk to?
- What kind of scenes do you anticipate capturing that will help tell this story?
- Give us a sense of your writing style by crafting a scene or lede for your story.Include links to previous work.
A few examples of recent pieces:
- Secrets from a Champion Tabletop Negotiator
- How To Get Started in Canning and Pickling
- “Mad Mike” Hughes Rejected Science and Chased Fame
Send Feature Stories To: POPfeatures@hearst.com
In any pitch to Popular Mechanics, please consider the visual component:
- If possible, include existing images and/or reference images
- If you’re a writer with a photographer in mind to help tell your story, please include their contact info and any appropriate links to their work/portfolio
- If you are a photographer or artist with a pitch, contact the Photo Director, Amy Wolff (firstname.lastname@example.org) or POPphoto@hearst.com
- Previously published work may be accepted as long as there are no conflicts of interest
If you are a publicist with an awesome running product or you’re looking to advertise with Popular Mechanics, please email HDMadvertising@hearst.com and learn more here.