We first launched Ancient World Magazine in November of 2017. Our goal was to bring well-researched articles to the general public, without a paywall, providing informative content in an equitable manner. A year later, we decided to turn to Patreon to give people who wanted to support the project financially a way to do so. Two years later, we have – at the time of writing this article – 29 patrons generously giving us a grand total of $128 a month.
The plan was always for Ancient World Magazine to pay contributors for their hard work, but until now that was simply not possible. What we earned from the Patreon so far went to cover the costs of hosting the website – including sister website, Bad Ancient – and the podcast. This didn’t leave enough to offer proper remuneration to contributors without sponsors or more patrons. All work done for the magazine was strictly voluntary: writing articles, doing podcasts, making videos, and so on.
Thanks to the support of our patrons, we now seem to have a steady enough influx of money that we can finally make good on our intention to pay people for their work. Well, some people at least. Starting 1 January 2021, we will pay one contributor each month €100 for an article, regardless of length.
Further details can be found on this page, but the key points can be summarized as follows. We prefer prospective writers to have an academic background in archaeology, ancient history, or a related field that is applicable to the subject matter of the proposed article. It doesn’t matter what stage of their career an author is at, ranging from undergraduate student to world-renowned scholar. If the editorial board finds the quality of the proposal to be good, we will ask for a draft of the article. If this in turn is of high quality, it will be published in Ancient World Magazine.
Since we won’t be able to pay everyone, prospective writers have to specify whether or not they want to be paid for their article. Since our budget is at present still limited, we won’t be able to pay more than one person each month, and we will use a system of preference, ranging from (under)graduate students (highest priority) to tenured faculty (lowest priority). In this system, students and early career scholars are prioritized over those who already earn more.
We believe that this is an equitable system through which we are able to help support student research while encouraging colleagues more established in their careers to write for a general audience. We believe that our patrons will support this strategic use of the funds with which they have entrusted us. Again, details about our reimbursement strategy can be found on this page.
By way of thanks for the support that our patrons have shown, we also plan to schedule our podcast more regularly than has thus far been the case. Every odd-numbered month, like January and March, we intend to release a regular episode of Ancient World Magazine, hosted by Josho, Matt, and/or Josh. Every even-numbered month, we intend to release an episode of Bad Ancient, hosted by Dr Owen Rees and Dr Manu Dal Borgo.
If you like what we do here on Ancient World Magazine or on our sister website, Bad Ancient (which is mostly managed by Owen), please consider becoming one of our patrons. By supporting us on Patreon, you will be helping to give a voice to student researchers, allowing us to continue reaching a larger and larger audience, and giving scholars of the ancient world a public facing open-access platform. More support means that we can add more voices to our magazine and the public discussion on the ancient world.