Thanks for your interest in contributing to Colorlines. Although the vast majority of our content is produced by staff writers and contracted contributors, we’re always open to pitches from other reporters, videographers, artists and thinkers for our news and analysis features. We know it’s nerve-wracking to fire off great ideas into the seeming black hole of editors’ in-boxes, so we’ve got a few tips to ease the process at Colorlines.
First, the logistics. Please send your editorial queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, and adhere to the following guidelines:
- The subject line of your email should say, “[Editorial Pitch]: Your Proposed Topic.”
- Please note in the subject line if your pitch or submission is time-sensitive.
- If you are sending us a drafted submission, attach it as a Word document as opposed to pasting it into the body of the email.
- Any photos submitted must be horizontal, 640 x 420. While we appreciate high resolution photos, images must remain quality when adjusted to size.
- We please ask that you not embed any links into your draft. Instead, copy and paste URLs and place them in the body of your draft, like this: [www.colorlines.com]
- Finally, don’t forget to tell us a little about yourself with a two- to three-sentence bio.
We discourage sending completed manuscripts, as we always have thoughts on how to shape a feature to meet our needs. If we accept your piece for publication, your original headline and deck may be subject to change at the editor’s discretion. Please also note that we rarely use previously published submissions. We do not publish poetry, fiction or academic papers.
For photo essay submissions, we please ask that you provide an introductory note that explains the idea behind your work. Also, please include captions for your images, no more than 150 words for each photograph. For reference, you may find previously published photo essays on our website.
Now, here’s how to get our attention with your email.
Know what we do. Potential contributors should familiarize themselves with our overall coverage. We provide daily news and analysis through a racial justice lens, targeted at a broad audience of news consumers. Brilliant ideas from academia need to be made compelling for readers who aren’t in graduate studies programs.
Keep it timely. We are most interested in reporting or analysis that advances a discussion leading the news in a given week. We welcome ideas on everything from pop culture to economic justice. But whatever the topic, it’s gotta be timely. Note that this also means we often require a fast turnaround on assignments.
Show, don’t tell. In all cases, we are far more interested in pitches driven by original reporting and/or story-telling than by commentary.
Sell it. Describe what you’d like to write or produce in a few paragraphs. Sell us on why your idea is unique, how it advances the discussion you’re engaging and how you’ll substantiate the point. Keep in mind that your e-mail is our best indication of the voice and style you would use in the assigned feature. If you have previously published work, please include links to that as well.
Finally, we are unfortunately unable to respond personally to all the pitches we receive. If we’re able to use your idea, an editor will be in touch. If you haven’t heard back within a week, you can assume we’re unable to use it. Thanks again for your interest, and we eagerly await your great ideas!