As you take your first steps into journalism, you may be searching for the best places to pitch freelance articles.
The good news is there are plenty of publications out there which welcome writers from all levels of experience.
Aspiring journalists can be tempted to pitch to the biggest names in the media industry. However, pitching to smaller publications can be a great way to build up your portfolio and get personalised feedback.
Here is our guide to the best places to pitch freelance articles to if you’re starting out in your journalism career.
We also asked our trainees for their favourite publications to pitch to!
Top tip: think about what expertise and perspective YOU can bring to a political piece. You have to show the editor that you are best person to write the article.
- Redaction Politics – this website was set up from scratch by News Associates alumni, and accepts pitches on foreign affairs.
The Redaction Politics editorial team said: “We try to give each of our writers as much as they give us, including one-to-one chats, post-article feedback and snippets of advice whenever appropriate.
“We encourage all our writers to focus on reporting exclusive angles on widely-covered matters, or to find ‘underreported’ issues that are important to them. Our journalism is digestible, reliable, original and will look great on your portfolio.”
- The Meridian – this magazine is a new international affairs publication which provides a space for students and young people to ‘write without borders’.
Aged between 16-25? Have a hot take on the US election (or anything else going on in the world?)👀🗣️— The Meridian Magazine (@themeridianmag) November 8, 2020
Don’t forget that we are always looking for new pitches!
Click here to send us your ideas:https://t.co/4BlmmEAtsl
- Prospect – a magazine which looks for new perspectives on politics, culture and economics.
School of Journalism first-year trainee Oliver Murphy said: “I pitched two articles to Prospect, both of which were commissioned fairly quickly.
“Throughout the process they offered an immense amount of guidance both in writing style, development of ideas, and were very much hands on from when they received my pitch to the date of publication.
“In all honesty, I found that my level of experience didn’t really play a part in terms of securing commissions – I never included in pitches that I had just started out. For me, it was very much a case of being able to convey a strong and unique story in a concise manner.”
- Politics.co.uk – a news and comment website which accepts pitches from anyone regardless of experience.
- The Article – a platform which publishes well-researched analysis.
- Manchester Mill – a local publication delivered to readers via email, which accepts pitches on well-researched political, social or cultural topics in Greater Manchester.
Freelance journalists in Greater Manchester and the NW: If you have interesting ideas for news features, please pitch us 🖋️🖋️ We have commissioned 10 contributors since September and are looking for more. We are fun to work with and always pay within a week. Get in touch.— The Mill (@ManchesterMill) November 17, 2020
Entertainment & lifestyle pieces
Top tip: make sure you research the tone of the place you are pitching to – are they light-hearted or serious, humorous or hard-hitting?
- HuffPost UK – from politics to lifestyle, many HuffPost sections accept pitches from freelance writers. Just make sure you read their pitching guidelines first!
- The Indiependent – this platform was set up by News Associates alumna Beth Kirkbride. You need to sign up to be a contributor, and applications are processed on a monthly basis.
Editor of The Indiependent, Beth, said: “Although there’s a lot of negative discourse about whether journalists should ever write for free, I think there’s value in it at the beginning of your career.
“I set up The Indiependent as a peer-to-peer entertainment & culture platform, where early-career-stage journalists can get valuable feedback on how to improve with each article from our team of friendly editors. It’s sort of like a communal portfolio site where everyone’s work is valuable, regardless of how much experience you have.”
School of Journalism second-year trainee Amelia Oprean said: “I’ve pitched to The Indiependent before. They were really welcoming and helped me out a lot as I was pretty inexperienced. They even emailed me a PowerPoint and other attachments to help me out.”
- Empoword Journalism – a woman-led project set up this year that looks to unite and empower journalists. Sign up to be a contributor and you can start pitching ideas on current affairs, entertainment and life during the covid-19 pandemic.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Empoword Journalism (@empowordjournalism)
Orla McAndrew, co-founder of Empoword Journalism, said: “Empoword Journalism has created a network of supportive journalists. Our aim is to collectively share our resources and skills that can then be applied in the workplace.
“Pitching is often the scariest part of starting a career and at Empoword we give people the opportunity to practice not only pitching but also working with an editor, which are great skills to carry forward to the workplace.”
- The Quietus – covers entertainment including books, films, art and more.
News Associates trainee Adam Solomons said: “Ella Kemp at The Quietus is a great editor who’ll always send solid feedback. I’ve had a bunch of stuff published with them and, crucially, they pay!”
- Salt Magazine – an independent arts and culture publication based in Manchester, telling visual stories about the city’s arts, music and photography scene.
Top tip: think about what topics would be relatable or interesting for the readers of the publication you are pitching to.
- Gal-dem – a media publication committed to telling the stories of women and non-binary people of colour. Articles can range from personal essays to opinion pieces on current affairs.
- Lacuna Voices – this platform publishes personal pieces on health, family and careers, as well as providing a space for men to share their stories.
- The Doe – shares anonymous stories to promote civil discourse, exploring new themes each month.
You aren’t going to agree with everything you read here, and that’s okay! If you’ve read something on The Doe and would like to offer a differing perspective on that story, hit the link and let us know. https://t.co/c9iyys97PN— The Doe (@wearethedoe) November 17, 2020
And that’s not all! Journo Resources have a great page where they link the guidelines for even more publications that accept freelance pitches.
Want to learn more about how to get into journalism? Read our top tips from our journalism masterclasses.