need financial aid? A list of journalist funds
Wow, is this really the 20th edition of the Missed Pitches newsletter?
Are you a freelance journalist in need of resources and funding? Here are a few opportunities available right now.
Free digital security training | The Freedom of the Press Foundation is offering a free, eight-week training course on digital security that goes from May 10 to June 30.
Relief fund for Black journalists | The Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund (BJTRF) is offering assistance for Black journalists who are unable to pay for the mental health support they need during this time.
Emergency relief fund | For journalists covering ongoing protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere in the U.S., IWMF is also offering a U.S. Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to help with PPE, legal aid, therapy costs and more.
COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists | National Geographic Society is offering an emergency fund for journalists all over the world who wish to cover COVID-19 within their own communities.
If you have any rejected pitches that you’d like to volunteer for this newsletter, send it over using this Google Form. Give me a follow on Twitter at @MissedPitches for updates and shout-outs. Support this newsletter; buy me a cup of coffee! // rungomez
How the 1932 Olympics defined Los Angeles architecture (by Ewan Morgan)
It’s time to give platonic queer intimacy the respect it deserves (by Sasha Weilbaker)
I didn’t think I was ‘mentally ill enough’ to need meds (by Anne H. Putnam)
The rise and fall of subscription boxes (by Holly E Genovese)
How much do we owe parents who sacrificed everything to give us a better life? (by Odalis Garcia Gorra)
Best of freelance Twitter
NOTE: The following rejected story pitches have been lightly edited for space and clarity.
How the 1932 Olympics defined Los Angeles architecture (by Ewan Morgan, firstname.lastname@example.org)
This piece explains and contextualizes the Los Angeles Olympic Games and their architecture. It chronicles how 1932 was more a revolutionary advertisement for Los Angeles driven by the city’s elites than a celebration of sporting excellence, and discusses the architectural influences of the time which went some way to altering how the world perceived Los Angeles for years to come.
It goes on to explain how 1932 informed 1984 culturally and architecturally, and how 1984 is due to affect Los Angeles’ 2028 offering. It features a few interviews, too, most notably with Paul Prezja, who headed up the design of the 1984 Games along with Deborah Sussman and Jon Jerde.
The piece raises some questions about the intersection of design and architecture with sporting culture, soft power, industrial advancement, infrastructural usefulness and more. It’s particularly pertinent at the moment, with the Olympics under scrutiny prior to Tokyo’s supposed going ahead. (And, frankly, the history of Los Angeles’ 1932 architecture in context — the influence of City Beautiful movements, modernist philosophies, and Los Angeles’ burgeoning industrialization — is pretty fascinating. As well as how this was modified for/influenced 1984’s financial success!)
It’s time to give platonic queer intimacy the respect it deserves (by Sasha Weilbaker, email@example.com)
I’ve spent three apartments, two years, and one pandemic living with my roommate, Sarah, in Oakland, California. She’s my rock, my co-parent (to our cats), my emergency contact, and both the first person I see in the morning and last person I see at night. But what do I address her as while talking to others? My roommate? A friend? Both of those titles seem to demean the importance of our relationship.
The proposed story will explore a new type of relationship coined by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman as “Big Friendship” through a queer lens. Many people, queer or otherwise, find themselves in meaningful relationships with someone who is not, and never will be, a romanic partner. It’s time to elevate its importance and validity.
I didn’t think I was ‘mentally ill enough’ to need meds (by Anne H. Putnam, firstname.lastname@example.org)
I’ve always been an anxious person. I thought it was just my personality, that I was just a worrywart. But last summer, between the pandemic and the election and the endless, shameless police brutality we were all witnessing, I was vibrating with anxiety. My nutritional counselor finally asked me if I’d ever considered medication.
I didn’t think I was “mentally ill enough” to need meds; I thought I should be able to control myself with a little discipline and a nice relaxing bath. But a psychologist friend assured me that all of these are common reactions to the suggestion of medication in anxiety sufferers, especially in adolescents, and with her reassurance and the support of my therapist and husband I began taking a low dose of the antidepressant Lexapro, which has absolutely changed my life.
I’d love to write a personal essay about going on Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) for the first time at 35 and interrogating my own biases. I think this story could provide necessary context for readers who may be struggling with similar roadblocks to getting help for their anxiety. As last year’s trials show little sign of resolution, many of us are curious about therapy and medication, and it's important to address the ways we might self-sabotage.
The rise and fall of subscription boxes (by Holly E Genovese, email@example.com)
I am writing with a pitch about the rise and fall of subscription boxes, and in particular pegging their success (and seeming failure) to economic shifts, the growth of minimalism, and the increased desire to use money for donations/activism/small businesses.
Though the origins of subscriptions go way back, the modern incarnation began in 2010 with Birchbox. The idea was simple: for $10, you would get samples of beauty products. But as the subscription box model took off, the values of boxes went way up (many were artificially inflated). Consumers expected to get a good deal for their money. They expected low cost, free shipping, and well known brands. And at first, boxes like Popsugar Must Have and Fab Fit Fun delivered.
In the heyday of subscription boxes, the economy was growing. People had more expendable income. But as the pandemic wreaks havoc on our daily lives, our incomes, our families — these kinds of treats are the first to go. And are they really even a treat if you have all the stuff already, if you are working from home with no need for new makeup or a new bag?
The rise and fall of Subscription boxes is intimately tied to the American economy, to the rise in minimalism, and a shift away from stuff to donations and activism in recent months. It is also tied to the new ways of working and shopping during the pandemic.
How much do we owe parents who sacrificed everything to give us a better life? (by Odalis Garcia Gorra, firstname.lastname@example.org)
In Peacock’s Saved By the Bell reboot, Daisy Jiménez (played by Haskiri Velazquez) is offered an opportunity to apply to a leadership program that would take her to Washington, D.C., for the summer. She immediately says, “I can’t be away from my family for that long.”
It isn’t about missing them, instead she’s concerned about all the things that her mom and brother would be unable to do if she were to go away. As the show went on with its usual hijinks and sitcom tropes, that one moment stuck with me.
This personal essay would talk about the struggles, tribulations, and sacrifices the eldest daughters of immigrants face. How much do we owe parents who sacrificed everything to give us a better life? Finding myself at my mother’s house during the pandemic has highlighted much more all the different ways my family (aunts included) depend on me for everything from translating a letter from the bank to taking them to doctor’s appointments. How much of my own self and goals do I give up to not upend the role assigned to me?
Cunning Folk (Pitch Guide) - Pitch personal essays about how magic and folklore affect your everyday life to email@example.com
Cosmopolitan - Pitch hot/juicy/raunchy sex stories to Taylor Andrews at Taylor.firstname.lastname@example.org
Water Canada - Pitch articles on topics related to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater in Canada to Simran Chattha at email@example.com
Earther - Pitch data-driven stories about nature to Brian Kahn at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Guardian - Pitch stories about the environment to Bibi van der Zee at email@example.com
Best of Freelance Twitter
NOTE: This space is dedicated to featuring one worthy Twitter account that provides an invaluable service to the freelance community.
⚡️ Follow Fiza Pirani at @fizapirani who offers expert advise on freelance journalism and she runs a newsletter about de-stigmatizing mental illness via immigrant storytellers.
via Leor Galil (April 8): Hello culture journalists, I want you to pitch us! I want to see your work in the Reader! I want to read your stories! (Pitch Guide) Email Brianna Wellen at firstname.lastname@example.org
via @beerkulture (April 15): We are looking to highlight our voices, our stories, our insights. If you're a freelancer, writer or story teller, Consider pitching us! beerkulture.com/pitchus Pay ranges from $150-$300 (per story) depending on writing experience and depth of story.
via @tordotcom (April 13): We've updated our article submissions guidelines! Take a look and come pitch us your ideas for non-fiction articles and essays. We're particularly interested in articles relating to upcoming cultural events and celebrations including Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, LGBT Pride Month in June, Juneteenth, Emancipation Day (and throughout the rest of the year, as well)
The Breach is hiring a Part-Time Staff Writer/Editor - Canada
Long Beach Forward is hiring a Communications Coordinator - Long Beach
CNN is hiring a Justice Writer - Washington, D.C.
Institutional Investor is hiring a Staff Writer - New York City
The Athletic is hiring a Los Angeles Dodgers Writer - Los Angeles