Pitch Guide

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Asimov Press
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Founded in 2023, Asimov Press is a publishing venture that aims to make sense of this era of biological inquiry and innovation. We publish four Issues of our online magazine each year, which feature long-form articles, Q&As, photo essays, and historical notes.

Biotechnology is the most impactful development of the 21st century. Our ability to alter life, the climate, ourselves, and entire ecosystems will have profound impacts on the future. These impacts could be catastrophic, such as engineered bioweapons, or they could be extraordinary, such as life-saving medicines.

We welcome pitches from writers who can make sense of biology’s impacts on climate, energy, security, agriculture, materials, and medicine. Our authors are typically researchers or policy experts with extensive knowledge in their field or journalists with a deep background in the biotechnology beat. Our audience splits the difference between technical and popular; many readers work in sectors adjacent to the biosciences, including policy, economics, and software engineering.

On occasion, we reach out to writers with specific assignments. If you’d like to be added to our database of freelance journalists, please send a message to editors@asimov.com with your name and topics of interest.

An Asimov Press article…

…confronts the complexity and profundity of biotechnology head-on. It is evidence-based, with evocative writing. It strives to be deep and quantitative, but also interesting, insightful, and, sometimes, funny. It makes sense of the myriad applications of biotechnology, clarifies complex ideas, and contextualizes new ones. It will be read and revisited long after it was written. We don’t publish news or short-lived opinions.

Every piece should meet the following standards:

Interest: An Asimov Press piece is, above all, interesting. This is subjective, of course, but it means we’re after pieces with a clear thesis or argument, rather than merely descriptive topics. It contains tension, stakes, and a sense of propulsion.

Clarity: An Asimov Press piece should be clear and accessible. Steven Pinker reminds us, “The better you know something, the less you remember about how hard it was to learn. The curse of knowledge is the single best explanation I know of why good people write bad prose.” We want to avoid the curse of knowledge and publish pieces that are capable of simplifying complicated ideas while remaining rigorous and well-reasoned. Like all good writing, an Asimov Press piece shows rather than tells.

Steelmanned: Our pieces strive to be mechanistic, clearly explaining how things work at a molecular level. They do not rely on hype or hyperbole and are charitable to alternative approaches that achieve the same ends. In other words, they clearly answer the question: “Is biotechnology really the best way to solve this problem?”

Fact-checking: Asimov Press fact checks every article. Writers should provide references, sources, data, or charts to support claims.

More information about our mission and standards can be found on the about page.

The Pitch

Your pitch should contain enough information that the commissioning editors have a sense of where the story will go and what evidence you have to support your claims. It should clearly convey the problem, approaches to solve it, and the role played by biotechnology. A good pitch answers: What will readers take away from the piece? Why is this important and timely? Why are you in a unique position to tell this story?

We want evidence-backed stories driven by a sense of urgency and wonder.

We don’t want desultory explorations of a topic, pieces that respond to discrete papers or news, or PR for your company.

Please send pitches to editors@asimov.com. Include “PITCH” in the email’s subject line, and include the full pitch within the body of the e-mail. Pay rates depend on the length and complexity of each piece.

Article Formats


An essay should explain a new way of thinking or doing. These pieces are centered around a single thesis statement, and are thus shorter than Deep Dives. We strive to publish “timeless” essays that will inspire readers, and open up their eyes to a new facet of biotechnology. We’re enamored by classic essays, such as Richard Feynman’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom and Richard Hamming’s You and Your Research.  Additional modern examples, focused on biology, include: Is the cell really a machine?, Is cultivated meat for real?, and Biology is more theoretical than physics. We pay $1,200 for Essays.

Deep Dives

Data-driven explorations of a story, technology, place, or person. Note that a topic is not a story. Deep dives have a specific angle or thesis. They outline the central characters, clearly describe key challenges, and articulate how biotechnology — or other means — are being used to solve them. These articles shed light on how hard-won progress can be, and in so doing, help us better appreciate how far humanity has come. We’re particularly fond of long-form articles such as: Why We Didn’t Get a Malaria Vaccine Sooner, Peak Oil Fantasy, and Salt, Sugar, Water, Zinc: How Scientists Learned to Treat the 20th Century’s Biggest Killer of Children. We pay $2,000 for Deep Dives.

Speculative Fiction

We seek works of fiction that imagine positive, and plausible, biological futures. We’re after pieces in which science, rather than characters or plot, is the focus and explanations of technologies are detailed and mechanistic. What might the world look like if a certain kind of biotechnology existed? What is the cost of not developing this technology? We’re excited by fiction that is evocative enough to encourage researchers to overcome a bottleneck or develop a new idea. We deeply admire stories such as Lena, Story of Your Life, and They May As Well Grow on Trees. If pitching a work of fiction, please send a full draft in your email. We pay $1,000 for short stories.

Notes & History

These are brief pieces on interesting, but not well-known, aspects or events in biotechnology. This could be about the first field trials of an engineered bacteria, or about the scientists who want to use a gene drive to exterminate rats, or about that time the U.S. Department of Agriculture dumped billions of x-ray sterilized screwworms over Texas. This category is purposely broad. It’s reserved for those moments where readers think, “No way! That actually happened?”


We seek to publish interviews with leading authorities that make sense of, or provide context for, unfolding events in biotechnology. Please pitch us with your interview idea, and we’ll work together to make it happen. We’re especially intrigued by interviews that humanize people, clearly articulate their ideas, and could help more people contribute to an open research problem. Excellent examples include Feeding the World Without Sunlight with Mike Hinge, What the Webb Space Telescope will Show Us Next with Jane Rigby, and the 80,000 Hours podcast with Kevin Esvelt.

Books and Book Chapters

We commission full length book projects, in addition to edited book chapters and essays adapted from books.

Photo Essays

Biotechnology is not only done in sterile, white-walled molecular biology laboratories. There are entire research facilities devoted to algae, for example, and mosquito-rearing factories working to eradicate malaria. What do these places look like inside? Photo essays should strive to demystify biotechnology, showcasing the equipment, people, and places on the front lines of biological solutions and security. We’re inspired by photo essays such as Seaflooding, The Anthropocene Project, and Lagos, Glimpsed from Seven Vantages.

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