There are two main ways to get involved in The Current: (1) Submitting a piece or (2) Joining the Staff

1. Submission Guidelines for Writing — download

A. The Basics

The Current accepts submissions relating to politics, culture, and Jewish affairs from all Columbia undergraduates. You may submit an already-written piece, you may approach us with an idea, or, if you know you want to write but don’t have a specific topic in mind, you can let us know and we can help provide you with a suggestion. We publish twice a semester, but accept and review submissions throughout the year.

We place high value on intellectual rigor and honesty. The pieces most likely to be considered for publishing are those that raise intriguing questions, include copious and careful research, and original reporting such as interviews.

Each article is assigned an editor from our board and subjected to a rigorous editing process. Editors will work with writers to ensure that every facet of each article attains the highest possible level, from wider themes to grammar. Writers should expect to turn in a number of drafts and to work on and meet deadlines set by the editor.

All submissions and idea suggestions may be sent to columbia.current@gmail.com.

B. Types of Material

The Current incorporates a variety of writing genres and styles that fall into six categories of articles. For examples of each, please see past issues.

1. Creative Material

  • Boroughing: The lead articles of every issue, boroughings are shorter, often lighter tales of adventure within (you guessed it) the five boroughs. They are meant to highlight the more eccentric, idiosyncratic places of New York, and connect Columbia students with the unique cultural vibrancy of our neighborhood. Boroughings typically run at 1000 words. You may either submit an idea for a boroughing piece, or come to us in search of a venue to visit and “borough.”

  • End of the World: The End of the World caps off each issue of The Current, and is meant to satire while retaining the depth and insight that every article in The Current should contain. The End of the World runs at 1000 words.
  • 2. Arts and Literary

  • Book Reviews: The Current publishes two book reviews each issue. Depending on content, approach, and scope, these reviews may vary in length from 2000-3000 words. Reviews of fiction and non-fiction are accepted.

  • Art/Music Reviews: The Current publishes two art reviews each issue. These may also run from 2000-3000 words. In the past, writers have reviewed art galleries in New York City, movies, music, and other artistic material.
  • 3. Essays

    Our most heterogeneous content, essays offer writers the opportunity to investigate a wide range of political, cultural, and religious topics in 3000-3500 words. Like all other pieces, the highest quality essays are thoroughly researched and include interviews and evidence to support ideas.

    4. Interviews

    Each issue of The Current features an interview with a notable figure, or someone who is accomplishing or has accomplished something out of the ordinary. Suggestions for interview topics are highly encouraged.

    5. Letters to the Editor

    Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers both within and beyond the Columbia community, and may be submitted in response to any work published in The Current. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and should be submitted to letters.current@gmail.com.

    C. Policy on Class Papers

    We believe that as undergraduates we should offer our perspectives as students and citizens, not as academics. We therefore generally refrain from accepting a high amount of class papers for publishing, and prefer material written specifically for The Current’s style. That said, we do sometimes publish class papers after reviewing and adapting them for qualities such as readability.

    2. Join the Editorial Staff

    While all official editorial positions on the board are now full, we are always looking for contributing editors to assist us in every aspect of the editing process. Please contact the editor-in-chief, Jordan Hirsch (jch2134@columbia.edu), for more information on how to get involved.


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