10 Calls for Pitches ($1+ Per Word)


One of the biggest benefits of being a member of Writing Launch is getting access to our database of publishing opportunities.

We have a team member at Writing Launch dedicated to updating the database on a continual basis. She usually adds around 400 calls for pitches each month.

Below are some recent examples of calls for pitches that have been added to the database. These listings are all relatively recent – they’re from the past week. Notice that we’ve included payment rates for almost all of these listings. Many of them pay $1 per word.

Writing Launch is not currently open to new members. If you’re interested in joining us, you can sign up for the waiting list here.

–– Jacob Jans

Wired Science covers health, medicine, biotech, environment, climate, robotics, space, and energy. They are looking for stories to run in August and September. They want stories (800 to 1,200 words) that focus on “current science issues or research, with a variety of expert voices and anecdotal sources.” They seek “diversity in terms of writers, sources and story topics.” According to their pitch guidelines, rates for short “minifeatures” start at $3,000 and rates for other short, online-only content start at $250. Email your pitches to kara_platoni@wired.com. For details, refer to this Twitter thread and their pitch guidelines.

Variable West is a platform for West Coast art. They are accepting pitches for their new column, Love Letters which features “micro essays on artists we can’t stop thinking about.” “The artist must be living and working (or lived/worked, if the artist is dead) in California, Oregon, or Washington, but doesn’t need to have work up in an exhibition.” They encourage pitches from West Coast writers. They will pay $50 for 200 to 250 words. To learn more, refer to their founder/editor-in-chief’s Twitter thread and this page.

OkayAfrica is a media company that connects a global audience to Africa. Their South Africa staff writer is looking for “a journalist or writer, a photographer, young musician, an activist, a doctor or nurse, anyone really” in Zimbabwe with a story about what’s happening from their perspective. They will pay $200 USD per piece (about 800 words). Send pitches to rufaro@okayafrica.com. Details here and here.

Arium is a complete tabletop role-playing game. They are seeking freelance writers to compose stretch goals for them. They are seeking “folks who have a theme/genre they love and know how to plot.” “The theme/genre can be fantasy or noir or literary or horror or romance or rebellion or cyberpunk or diaspora or whatever you want really. They can be culture-specific, but only if the author has direct experience living in that culture.” Rate is $0.12 per word for 1,000 words. For details, refer to this Twitter thread.

Deadline: November 15th, 2020

Yoga Journal is looking for pitches about the yoga and wellness community. They are specifically looking for “stories about innovative leadership; inclusive approaches to teaching; yoga service organizations; new businesses, spaces, styles, and methods that help make wellness accessible; personal essays on transformation through yoga and new alternative and complementary healing modalities; and more.” They pay $125 to $400 for columns, $1 per word for features (1,500 to 4,000 words), and $200 to $250 for reported stories (400 to 800 words). For more information, refer to their Twitter thread and contributor guidelines.

The Real News Network is an independent, nonprofit news network that is focused on providing uncompromising and fact-based journalism. They are “looking for someone to write a piece on politics, race, and the WNBA.” They will pay $1 per word for about 1,000 words. Email your pitches to lisa@therealnews.com. To learn more, refer to this Tweet. To contact them, refer to this page.

The Order of the Good Death is “a group of funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality.” The Collective for Radical Death Studies is “an organization formed to decolonize death studies and radicalize death practice.” They are both looking for pitches for a series that will address racism and racial disparities in end of life teaching and practice. They want articles of about 800 to 1,000 words. Their rates will start at $250+. Email your pitches to deathsubmissions@gmail.com. To learn more, refer to this Tweet and this page.

Polygon is a gaming website. They cover games, guides, reviews, entertainment, and more. They are accepting pitches for games reporting, op-eds, and criticism. They are also accepting pitches for features and comics. According to payment reports, they pay an average of $0.22 per word. To learn more, refer to their editor-in-chief and co-founder’s Twitter thread. To learn how to pitch them, refer to this page.

Scalawag is a website and magazine dedicated to the American South. Their editor wants pitches about politics in the South. Their rates for short reported stories start at $400+ and non-reported stories start at $300. Send your pitches to kwebb@scalawagmagazine.org. For details, refer to their editor’s Twitter thread and this page.

EdTech Magazine explores “technology and education issues that IT leaders and educators face when they’re evaluating and implementing a solution for K-12 and Higher Ed.” They are looking for pitches about technology in higher education. They pay $0.50 to $1.00 per word for articles of 800 to 1,200 words. For details, refer to their associate editor’s Tweet. To learn more about them, refer to this page.

Evaluating Your Current Skill Set


While creative writing and freelancing writing are extremely different, there are skills you currently have as a creative writer that you’ll be able to apply to your freelance writing career. But before you transfer these skills, you need to evaluate your current skill set, since different types of creative writers have different skills.

This lesson is broken down into three sections that correspond to the three main types of creative writing: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I’ll show you how to assess your current skills and give you some examples to guide you.

At the end of this lesson, you’ll have a list of your current skills, which you’ll be putting to use in the next lesson. Let’s get started!

Fiction

Fiction writers tend to have a fairly large skill set. Conveniently, many of these skills can easily be modified to work for freelance writing.

Let’s take a look at some skills that are common among fiction writers.

Fiction writers tend to excel at descriptive writing: i.e., the ability to colorfully describe something at length and with context. Being able to describe with context is crucial here––as a freelance writer, you’ll rely on lots of context to create content. When you write anything from an article to a product description, you’ll build on a contextual foundation. Who is the audience? What value does the content offer? If you’re coming from fiction, parsing this context will be fairly easy for you.

Empathetic writing is another skill most fiction writers possess. To write successful copy or provide value through an article, you’ll have to put yourself in the reader’s shoes to understand what their needs are so that you can meet them. This is similar to looking through the eyes of one of your characters. The more you understand about your audience, the more value you’ll be able to deliver to them, and that’s where empathy is necessary.

Fiction writers also know how to create longform content. Longform content is huge right now, and in fact, it’s all that some businesses and publications put out. Shorter content is becoming less common because it’s usually less valuable, so knowing how to write long content with no filler is a big advantage that fiction writers have.

Take a moment to consider other skills you’ve picked up from fiction writing. Write them down somewhere handy so you can come back and reference them in the next lesson.

Nonfiction

Nonfiction writers may have the easiest time transitioning into a freelance writing career because those two skill sets have a large amount of overlap. Nonfiction writers are used to writing longform pieces about real-life situations and events, so they’re uniquely positioned to cross over into freelancing.

Nonfiction writers have many of the skills that fiction writers do, but they tend to be stronger at descriptive writing and weaker at empathetic writing. This is because nonfiction writers tend to detail accounts of people and places. (Empathetic writing is still used, but it’s not as common in nonfiction.)

If you write nonfiction, you’re also used to reporting. This can come in handy if you’re pursuing a more journalistic career and planning to contribute to publications. You might have even written for magazines in the past. If so, you’ll be able to take advantage of that as a freelancer.

Nonfiction often requires research, which is a key component of freelancing. Being able to quickly and efficiently conduct research on various topics (some of which you may know little to nothing about) will help you work with a variety of clients and projects.

Last but not least, when you write nonfiction, you’re writing about real people. In business, it’s all about the people. If you want to become a successful freelancer, you’ll have to cultivate relationships with clients and editors, and that means knowing how to build and sustain those sorts of relationships.

Poetry

Poets don’t have many skills in common with freelance writers, but that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you’re a poet! You just need to approach it a little differently. In short, the skills you possess now will need to be reframed, and that’s what next week is all about.

One skill that will help you is your ability to understand relationships. As a freelance writer, you’ll need to understand all kinds of relationships. For example, you’ll need to understand the relationship between a product and a customer. This makes up a large part of content creation, so by successfully reframing this skill, you’ll have a powerful tool on your hands.

Evaluating Your Skills

At this point, I’d like you to write down all of your skills that you’ve picked up from creative writing. There’s a high likelihood that I’ve skipped over some skills that you possess. If that’s the case, write them down so you can refer to them in future lessons.

Once you’ve compiled a list of all your skills, go through the list and ask yourself how each skill might be used in a freelance writing context. If you have an idea of what type of freelance writing you’ll be doing––i.e., writing for clients or publications––keep that in mind here.

And if you don’t know all that much about freelance writing, don’t worry; just go off of what you know and what you’ve learned so far in this course. As you progress through this course and the No B.S. Course afterward, your knowledge gaps will fill out, and you’ll get a better sense of how to use these skills.

In the next lesson, you’ll learn how to transfer your skills over, and in week 2, you’ll be reframing these skills.