We’re always happy to review pitches from freelancers who want to write ambitious investigative and narrative features, reported mid-length pieces, and first-person essays. Expose something. Take us somewhere. Tell us your incredible personal story. Send us a truly original take. Here’s how to pitch us and what we are looking for right now for our technology, culture, consumer tech, io9, Earther, and science coverage areas. This post will be updated as our needs change.
Send your pitches to [email protected] Include “pitch” in the email subject. Include a description of your pitch, who you’re hoping to interview for the piece (if applicable), potential headline ideas, estimated turnaround, and links to your previously published work. If your story overlaps desks or is an outlier, send it over anyway!
We’d love to see pitches of experiential reports from extraordinary happenings, profiles of pioneers and radicals or powerful conspiracists and crafty conpeople, and engaging tales from the historic depths and wild fringes of the internet. Explore the intersection of tech, life, culture, and subcultures. Previously (by staff and freelancers):
- The Survivors of the Coming Apocalypse Just Wanna Have Fun
- Horror Stories From Inside Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
- The Fake Sex Doctor Who Conned the Media Into Publicizing His Bizarre Research on Suicide, Butt-Fisting, and Bestiality
- Some Crypto-Capitalists Just Want to See the World Burn
- The Rise of the Skeleton King, the ‘80s Bone Dealer Who Changed Halloween
- When a Stranger Decides to Destroy Your Life
- How Cartographers for the U.S. Military Inadvertently Created a House of Horrors in South Africa
- She Built a Shady Guru’s YouTube Army. Now She’s His Fiercest Critic—But Who Will Believe Her?
- An Oral History of the Early Trans Internet
- How ITT Tech Screwed Students and Made Millions
Additionally, to compliment our news coverage, we’re looking for accessible overviews, detailed breakdowns, and deeper dives on our core coverage areas—tech and labor, sweeping policy changes, corporate misdeeds, privacy and security, and more. We also want speculative pieces (like on the future of automation, AI, or quantum computing) as well as more hopeful, forward-looking, tech-done-well themes. Previously (by staff and freelancers):
- Your Travel Guide to the Rudderless Right-Wing Web After Trump
- The Gentle Side of Twitch
- How Facebook Outs Sexworkers
- The Deadly Recklessness of the Self-Driving Car Industry
- ‘Robots’ Are Not ‘Coming for Your Job’—Management Is
- Harassment, Transphobia, and Racism: A Look Inside Blind’s Anonymous Chatting Forum for Google Employees
- Reddit Is Tearing Itself Apart
- Belarus Turned Off the Internet. Its Citizens Hot-Wired It.
- QAnon, CultTok, and Leaving It All Behind
- Amazon’s Last Mile
Aside from narrative and investigative features about consumer technology, we’re currently looking for oral histories of notable gadgets. We’d like stories on product design, accessible technology, and some reporting on the global chip crunch and its effects on everything. We accept consumer tech reviews on a case by case basis. Consider submitting an idea for one of our recurring series: nostalgic essays on defunct tech and roundups of tech history’s greatest fails. Previously (by staff and freelancers):
- Does My Smartwatch’s Sleep Tracker Actually Do Anything?
- A Pilot’s Review of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
- How I Let Disney Track My Every Move
- The Anti-Rape Gadgets That Never Delivered
- How the Invention of Spreadsheet Software Unleashed Wall Street on the World
- Your AI Chatbot Therapist Isn’t Sure What It’s Doing
- The Future of Online Dating Is Unsexy and Brutally Effective
- In 2030, You Won’t Own Any Gadgets
- What Will Quantum Computer Games Be Like?
- The Never-Ending Death of Smart Home Gadgets
- Key Crazy: Inside the Wonderful World of Keyboard Fanatics
We welcome more oral histories—especially on cult classics—as well as features on the state of Hollywood and working in Hollywood from multiple sources; well-known and behind-the-scenes, generally and especially in regards to diversity and inclusion issues. io9 would like thoughtful essays on genre fiction from personal perspectives, in-depth reported features on any of our coverage areas, and nuanced opinions on big franchises. We are not looking for recaps, reviews of films or television episodes (unless you have non-film expertise on the subject), most lists, or fiction (unless we’re specifically asking for fiction submissions). Previously (by staff and freelancers):
- Comics, Contracts, & Covid: Inside the Scandal at Terrific Production
- How Star Wars’ Fan Wiki Found Itself in a Fight Over Trans Identity
- Filmmakers Reflect on Reign of Fire, 18 Years After the Bizarre Blockbuster Bomb Became a Cult Film
- Punisher: War Zone Director Lexi Alexander on the Curious Journey to Cult Status
- To Boldly Stay: How Deep Space Nine Upended Star Trek by Exposing Utopia’s Dark Side
- The Sexist Legacy in Star Trek’s Progressive Universe
- Staircases in Space: Why Are Places in Science Fiction Not Wheelchair-Accessible?
- ‘Bionic Actress’ Angel Giuffria Is Ready for People With Disabilities to Get Their Close-Up
- Why We Need Utopian Fiction Now More Than Ever
- What Arrival Gets Right About Talking to Superintelligent Noisesquids From Space
- A Medievalist’s Guide to Magic and Alchemy in A Discovery of Witches
Earther is interested in communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis, in-depth reporting on Big Oil and other bad actors, and the technology that could help (or harm) the climate. We’re looking for things at the intersection of climate and culture and what it says about society and our relationship to climate change. We’re also very interested in technology that affects people’s daily lives and carbon footprints—heat pumps, smart thermostats, induction stoves—both in how they can address emissions and how they can be linked with greater governmental support so everyone has access. Previously (by staff and freelancers):
- The Big Oil Instagram Influencers Are Here
- The Quietest Place in America Is Becoming a Warzone
- Ted Lasso Is an Unexpected Masterclass in Environmental Storytelling
- Beyond the Hype of Lab-Grown Diamonds
- Recycling Is Broken
- Space Tourism Is a Waste
- NASA Is Sinking Into the Ocean
- This Town Didn’t Want to Be a Radioactive Waste Dump. The Government Is Giving Them No Choice.
- The Machines That Could Darken the Sun to Stop Climate Change
- The Planet Needs a New Internet
- How Google, Microsoft, and Big Tech Are Automating the Climate Crisis
- The Battle for Bad River
We’re looking for stories that showcase the world of science and health from many angles, whether it’s a profile of a researcher obsessed with a vexing problem, a nitty-gritty explainer on how a particle accelerator works, a tale of patients fighting to get the treatment they need, a photo essay of a fossil excavation, or an investigation into a pseudoscientific scam, to name a few possibilities. We welcome pitches for both short- and long-form stories. Previously (by staff and freelancers):
- The Last of the Iron Lungs
- How the Universe Ends
- How DNA Testing Botched My Family’s Heritage, and Probably Yours, Too
- The Challenges of Unravelling Long Covid
- Blood Feasts and Roach Vacuums: The Life of an Urban Pest Scientist
- The Scientists Who Won’t Give Up on the Warp Drive
- Humans Will Never Colonize Mars
- Why the FDA Can’t Fix the Opioid Crisis
- DARPA’s Brain Chip Implants Could Be the Next Big Mental Health Breakthrough—Or a Total Disaster
- Inside the Fight to Legalize Psilocybin Therapy in Oregon
- How American Healthcare Is Failing Transgender Patients
- A So-Called Game-Changing Weight Loss Drug Is Here—So What Happens Next?
- For Men Who Will Try Anything to Get Taller, There’s a World of Grifts and Gimmicks
- How to Make a Black Hole in a Science Lab
We’ll begin the invoicing process as soon as you file your first draft. You will need to create a profile in our internal system. Once published, you will invoice through the system with a PDF invoice. (We’ll guide you through.) Fees vary based on project scope.