Writing for Mosaic

Commissioning is well underway for Mosaic. We’ve got 35 pieces underway so far, more on which soon. When we launch early next year, we’ll be publishing one a week, most of which will be written by freelance writers.

If you’re a writer and have an idea for a story, we’d love to hear it.

What are we looking for?

Our remit is fairly broad – we cover any aspect of biology, medicine, public health, history or ethics that in some way touches on human or animal health, or the human condition.

The most important thing for Mosaic is the story. We’re not after reviews or essays. What we want is a strong compelling narrative that will engage our readers. The very best pitches we’ve seen have this right at the forefront, often grabbing us in the first 1-2 lines. (Not one of ours, but we liked this pitch for a New York Times article, posted on The Open Notebook – link to the pitch letter PDF at the bottom).

A Mosaic story needs to be on a good topic, area or issue that will resonate with a general readership. A scientific or research angle is important too.

‘Why now?’ is another question we ask when considering pitches. We’re not looking for news or investigative journalism, but there has to be a sense of why our readers would want to read about this topic at this moment in time. Of the pieces we’ve commissioned so far, many draw on new discoveries or new approaches that are transforming a particular field and then explore and explain the science and social/cultural context around it. Others are on timeless topics that have always fascinated, such as ageing or consciousness.

For more on what Mosaic is about, read our previous blog posts.

Our commissions

Most Mosaic features are around 3000 words, commissioned at a flat fee plus expenses.

We also pay a small supplement for ‘extras’ – short pieces that accompany but are not essential to the main text. These might be tangents that didn’t make it into the main feature but are interesting side-stories in themselves, such as the writer’s experiences when they travelled to report on the story, reflections on piecing together and planning the story, full-length interviews, additional images from on-the-ground, and so on.

Sending us pitches

If you’ve got a story that might be suitable for Mosaic, we invite you to pitch (one page is ideal) or feel free to contact us for a chat beforehand. Email:  [email protected]

Giles Newton
Editor, Mosaic