There are numerous online magazines and publications looking for writers. But it can be hard to know where to pitch your ideas if you want to write about social justice, international development, human rights or humanitarian issues. There are numerous magazines and publications in this space who are looking for freelance writers – here are eight that are well worth considering.
8 great publications to pitch for freelance writers interested in social issues
UPDATED OCTOBER 2018
Sometimes freelance writers have lots of ideas but aren’t sure where to pitch them. And it can be tempting to keep on pitching the same old publications, but I think it’s really important to know about other markets that you can pitch to (and that will pay you).
In the past, I’ve created posts about great travel publications to pitch and food publications that accept freelance contributions, but lately I’ve been thinking about what’s out there for writers who want to write content in the humanitarian space.
So I’ve compiled a list of eight publications that have social justice at the heart of the content they produce.
For most of the magazines below I’ve included the submission guidelines as well as pay rate and contact details (if available).
Most of us are familiar with the Big Issue – it’s a magazine that offers an income to those who sell it – usually people experiencing homelessness, unemployment or poverty. The publication is predominantly interested in current affairs and social issues, but the range of content they cover is actually quite big – from articles on street culture to satire and entertainment. In general, first-person experiential narratives are preferred.
Features run up to 1800 words and one-page articles usually sit between 700 – 850 words.
Pay: 20c/word (AUD)
Contributor guidelines: https://www.thebigissue.org.au/contribute/
New Internationalist publishes “socially conscious” journalism – think articles that cover the global justice movement, the environment, social justice, fights for liberation and tech politics. They are particularly interested in under-reported topics from all over the world and radical opinion pieces.
If your bent runs to multimedia or video content it’s also worth pitching to New Internationalist.
Articles are usually between 800 – 1200 words in length.
Contributor guidelines: https://newint.org/contact/write-for-us
Yes! is an ad-free print and web-based publication that focuses on environmental, economic and social justice stories. Their articles tend to fall into three categories (explanatory, which explores root causes and opportunities for change; solutions, which highlights people working to build a better world and commentaries, which explores different ways of thinking about how to live a good life).
The submission guidelines state, “The best pitches indicate the sources of information you intend to use. A working headline helps, and, if your story is timely, give us a news hook. Include your credentials. Why are you the one who should write this article?”
Pay: 35c/word (USD) for web-based reporting. 50c/word (USD) for print-based reporting. Commentaries may receive a small essay stipend.
Contributor guidelines: http://www.yesmagazine.org/about/writers-guidelines-submissions
Eureka Street is a publication of the Australian Jesuits. It’s an online journal that focuses on ethics, humanitarian issues, politics and religion.
Pay: $200 (AUD) per article.
Contributor guidelines: https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=33927
BRIGHT magazine used to be called The Development Set and runs articles about education, health, gender and social impact. It’s an online magazine run with funding from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The editors are after stories that provide a fresh look on familiar stories and articles exploring issues that are unfamiliar to most of us.
Pay: Reportedly 50c/word (USD)
Contributor guidelines: https://brightthemag.com/bright-magazine-pitching-guidelines-749597db9b66
I have to admit that I don’t have many details about Overture but I saw a call for pitches on Pitchwiz (and I also checked out the editor on LinkedIn) and thought it would be worth sharing. From what I’ve read, Overture is a new print publication focusing on “science, innovation and technology in the humanitarian space”.
As you can see from a comment below, one reader said that Overture is now looking for pitches and was great to work with.
Pay: Reportedly $500 (USD) per 1,000 – 3,000 words.
Pitch: Via Pitchwiz
Latterly (no longer exists)
Latterly is a quarterly print magazine that covers human rights, politics and conflict. They have commissioned some super writers for this publication, but it’s worth noting the low pay (they’re a small, independent outfit).
Pay: $50 for contributions that appear in print.
Contributor guidelines: https://latterly.org/about/
New Matilda is after witty submissions that tackle political and social issues in Australia and internationally. They are open to commentary as well as researched articles. Articles typically run between 800 – 1200 words.
Contributor guidelines: https://newmatilda.com/contribute/
Edited on 5 June 2018 to include:
SSIR is a fantastic publication for people interested in social innovation. They publish “authoritative, cutting-edge thinking on issues facing leaders of nonprofits, foundations, businesses, and government agencies.”
Pay: $600 USD for What’s Next, $1,500 for Field Report, $3,500 for Case Study.
Contributor guidelines: https://ssir.org/about/submission_guidelines
Of course, these are not the only social justice or humanitarian-focused publications out there. And if you want to write this kind of content, you definitely don’t have to stick to niche publications.
You may want to follow in Ginger Gorman’s footsteps and write social justice articles for a broad audience – not just for the readers who seek it out.
Are you interested in writing articles about social issues? Where else do you suggest is a good place to pitch?