Feature writers: I pay. You write. (What I want for 2017).
Right now I am focusing on building up a robust list of gifted reporters and writers for the months (and years) ahead. It is early days, but right now I welcome great features pitches on those topics.
If it’s your beat, drop me a line with examples of your very best work and what you’d like to do for us.
Interests for early 2017:
- Masculinity. I want both spectacular essay writing and traditional feature writing on this topic.
- Militias and white nationalist movements (in the south especially. I have someone covering it up north). Also: white identity (read this!).
- Religion and politics: The Trump Years as seen by evangelical and other religiously conservative communities.
- Portraits. Of people and groups involved in protests and counter-protesting. Both sides of the fence. Features on activist work.
- The war on drugs (Jeff Sessions really hates marijuana. You can imagine the hundreds of possible ramifications).
- Sustained story-telling and essays exploring, in clever, non-patronizing ways, the so-called rural v urban divide. In the same vein, I am interested in the future of work (automation, for eg). You gotta make it not boring though.
- The 1% under Trump. The 99% under Trump. Stories about social mobility (going both ways, up or down).
- Weird/remarkable/intriguing groups of people, characters, individuals (word to the wise: this is my favorite type of feature). For eg.
Now (and this is important if you want to pitch): I want good STORIES first and foremost. I want characters, twist and turns, suspense, color, beautiful writing. I can’t stress this enough. This is features writing, not straight-reporting.
I am especially keen to hear from people able to tell stories in different ways (conversations, graphic + illustration work, comics, etc).
I am also especially interested in commissioning freelancers who report from communities outside of NY/SF/LA.
You’re more than welcome to pitch me on anything else if you have an amazing story, but those are the topics I’d like to cover in more depth and could use more (wo)manpower behind.
A few of the things I’ve really enjoyed editing recently for guidance:
- Anything Sarah Smarsh writes
- Jason Wilson’s work on the Patriot movement
- Anything Kathleen Hale writes. For example, this is a good story and a great character and superb writing.
- Reported feature essays like this one — about the white man’s pathology
- This awesome feature about clowns (yes…but notice how well written it is)
- Anything Chris Arnade does
- Amazing stories like this one about a cartel queen (again — character driven)
- This essay on how memes took over the so called alt-right (clever, prescient)
- Essays about belonging (in this case, to the Appalachia) like this one
- I loved this feature about a murder
- This photographic essay on being at Standing Rock
- This essay about racism by Glynn Washington