How to Write for Tenderly
We’re accepting pitches, but you should read this whole post before you write to us!
To help ensure that your ideas have the best chance of being accepted, please read over these guidelines and frequently asked questions before you submit to Tenderly. If you have any additional questions feel free to get in touch directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Tenderly?
Tenderly is a vegan lifestyle publication publishing new stories every day on Medium. Our editor-in-chief is Summer Anne Burton. Tenderly is dedicated to being a vital resource and source of inspiration for vegans, vegetarians, future vegans, and the vegan curious. Our content covers making and eating delicious food, saving the planet, the connected liberation of oppressed people and animals, global vegan culture and activism, and treating animals with kindness and care. We highlight a diverse vegan community, and our work is authentic, thoughtful, and open-minded. We are advertising-free and not connected to any particular company or organization. You can count on us to tell the truth and stay honest.
You can read more about our mission here.
So you want to write for Tenderly…
You can email pitches directly to email@example.com. Please include a proposed headline and a couple sentences to a paragraph describing your story. Feel free to include multiple ideas in one email, but know we’re likely to start with one story at a time. Please include previously published writing samples via individual links or a personal website. Don’t include attachments.
We strive to respond to every email, but that means when things are busy a reply can take awhile — give us two weeks before checking back in, please!
If you have never been published before or if you’d rather just write about whatever you want, we encourage you to sign up for a Medium account and create your own vegan content. Email your self-published posts or drafts to us and we’ll consider them for Tenderly — you could be paid for these via the Medium Partner Program, with potential for future paid assignments depending on performance and reception.
Existing Medium writers who would like to submit published posts to Tenderly should also drop us a quick email with a link to the post, or if you publish on vegan topics regularly simply a link to your profile.
What kinds of topics is Tenderly interested in?
If you have an idea, the easiest way to find out if it’s a fit is to email us!
That said, here’s what we know we want to publish (click on our sections to read some examples of stories we already liked enough to commission):
- CULTURE: Profiles of plant-based chefs and vegan influencers around the world making a difference, honest examinations of tough questions faced by vegans, book reviews, deep dives on dishes that matter, and personal essays with a truly compelling + unique perspective.
- RECIPES: Most typically, our recipes feature a unique personal story or journey along with a well-tested, trusted recipe that is achievable by an average home chef. We are less likely to consider “basic” recipe pitches that don’t have a specific hook.
- LIVING WELL: Personally-tested product roundups and reviews, letters of recommendation + odes to favorite products and experiences, guides to living the good life, essays about sex and love — basically, anything on living a good life, as long as what you’re covering is vegan + cruelty-free. These pitches are much more likely to be considered if you can include high-quality photography as part of your story.
- ANIMALS: photo essays that make our hearts feel full, personal stories about animals that changed your life, animal behavior and science with a unique angle, and animal-related humor. Always looking for more stuff in this category, especially as it results to the most typically exploited animals like cows, pigs, chickens, etc.
- TRAVEL: Vegan-friendly weekend itineraries, restaurant recommendations, personal reflections and opinions on travel, and general travel tips / perspectives. We’re focused at the moment primarily on travel essays and global profiles.
- JUSTICE: Reporting on animal cruelty and environmental issues, intersectional examinations of social justice + animal rights, profiles of and interviews with global activist organizations and individuals, hot takes and calls to action that draw on issues that are in the current zeitgeist.
- FUN: Relatable, humorous lists and essays about being vegan and vegan identity, memes and charts, comics, essays about pop culture through a vegan or animal-loving lens (see: Radicalizers, which we continue to accept pitches for), personal challenges, just whatever voicey/silly/dumb ideas you’ve got that might be relevant to Tenderly (we’d like more of those!).
Right now (10/7/19), we’re looking in particular for more:
- Animal-focused photography — particularly about rescued farm animals
- Relatable humor about vegan identity, animals, or plant-based food
- Comics and illustrated essays and recipes
- Creative, original, authentic lifestyle content (hacks, DIY, home cooking tips, gardening, home decor, style, and beauty) with professional-quality photographs
- Profiles of underrepresented global “tastemakers” — chefs, business owners, and activists — changing the world for the better
We’re not interested in stories about veganism as a weight loss strategy, pseudoscience about vegan diets for health, or any other misleading advocacy. We’re also not interested in shaming non-vegans. Although we’re obviously fans of the vegan lifestyle, we don’t believe that we are the police of other people’s choices — particularly not before there are bigger systemic shifts that make vegan living more accessible to all.
What does Tenderly sound like?
The tone of the pieces we run will vary depending on the topic and author, but we are particularly receptive to pieces that have a sense of humor; that convey enthusiasm and warmth; and that amuse and delight as well as inform. Our goal is to find areas of common interest and to help readers discover new things to be excited about, and while this won’t be appropriate for every topic, ideally, we’d like to make them smile or laugh while we’re at it. You should write with your own unique voice and perspective — we’re not aiming for generic here.
Do I have to be vegan to write for you? What does “vegan content” mean?
You don’t have to be vegan to write for Tenderly, but your content should be. That means that you shouldn’t employ or endorse any food or products that you know contain meat, dairy, eggs, honey, gelatin, tallow, castoreum, collagen, leather, wool, fur, or other animal products — or ingredients that are tested on animals.
Personally, we’re not particularly strict about some of the edge cases that are harder to avoid such as some types of refined sugar, animal products or testing in vital medicine and vaccines, snacks made at facilities that also produce milk products, or non-dedicated cook spaces at omni-restaurants — although of course we’d like to see those practices change, they aren’t our first priority particularly given how difficult or impossible accessing alternatives can be.
If your piece is explicitly about a difficult issue in the vegan community, we encourage you to provide multiple perspectives on the topic and write a piece that doesn’t aim to solve the problem for others but rather to illuminate complexities. We acknowledge that there’s a spectrum of adherence to the vegan lifestyle among self-identified vegans, and we want Tenderly to be a place for all of those people where we can have honest and frank discussions about our choices. We won’t be enforcing or endorsing any particular adherence or type of vegan philosophy beyond the basics outlined above.
Length, rates, and deadlines:
Pieces can vary in length from 500–5000 words, but most will fall between 1000–2000 words. If you know an approximate word count for your pitch, feel free to include it in your email. If not, we’ll suggest one!
We pay a variable rate starting at $200 and going up from there depending on additional research, reporting, and writing time. If you have a specific rate requirement for your piece, please include it in your pitch email. Otherwise, we will give you a ratee in our first reply if we are interested in your piece. Writers will be paid within 30 days of turning in a workable draft.
We’ll set a deadline for your first submitted draft together — for most standard posts, it will be 2–3 weeks from when your pitch is accepted. For pieces with more in depth reporting or development, let us know how much time you’ll need.
What if I already have a piece written, or I’ve already published a relevant piece on Medium?
In addition to commissioning pieces, we will be working with writers through Medium’s partner program to occasionally re-publish and re-promote their content on Tenderly and across our socials. If you have Medium posts you’d like us to consider, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a previously unpublished writer looking for a way to show off your chops, Medium can be a great way to share your writing — feel free to paste your original writing into a Medium post and send us the link (drafts or published posts are both fine).
What if I have a product, book, or service to promote?
Email email@example.com with more info on what you’re marketing and we’ll see if it’s a fit for one of our writers to cover! If you’re publishing a book on veganism or animals and you think Tenderly might be a good place for an excerpt, we’re excited to hear from you.
You may not accept payment for mentioning a person or business in an article. If you have any business or financial relationship with any individuals or companies you mention, please disclose that in your pitch and we will decide together whether it works and how to disclose in your piece. You may accept free products or books for honest review, but we will disclose those giveaways as well.