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First Person, Vox's new section devoted to narrative essays, explained

Vox's mission is to explain the news. We do that in a lot of ways: through our card stacks on ISIS and student debt and vaccines; our maps posts on the Middle East and immigration and food; our videos on health care and Jurassic World and space exploration.

In the year or so since we launched, we've also come to realize the power of personal narrative in advancing our mission. A retired Secret Service agent can illuminate the agency's problems in ways a news story might miss. A woman living with anxiety disorder can explain her experience in a way even the best statistics will hide. A jailed Ferguson protester and a former police officer can reveal things about the state of police-community relations that reporters will never see.

In light of this, we've decided to devote a section of to thoughtful, in-depth, provocative personal narratives that explain the most important topics in modern life. We're calling this section First Person.

And we want you to write for us. If you have a great story to tell that helps explain an important issue, send us a pitch at We're looking for a wide range of perspectives from writers of every age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and political leaning. We also happily accept pitches from previously unpublished writers — or, for that matter, from non-writers who may have an important story to tell but need help turning it into a piece; we're here to provide that help.

Here are a few more specifics:

How do I pitch to Vox First Person?

Write a paragraph or two describing a) what you'd like to write about; b) what personal experience you have that qualifies you to write about this topic; c) the basic points you want to make in your piece.

We'll also take a look at completed drafts if you prefer to pitch that way. Keep in mind that if your piece gets accepted, we'll go through an editorial process that could involve significant revising, restructuring, and/or condensing of the original draft.

Send your pitch or draft to

What are some examples of the sorts of pieces you're looking for?

Here are a few pieces from the past several months that exemplify the style and range of pieces we're planning to run on Vox First Person:

I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing

9 things I wish I'd known before I became a stay-at-home mom

The internet is full of men who hate feminism. Here's what they're like in person.

9 things I wish people understood about anxiety

Confessions of a congressman

Are there any particular topics you're interested in?

We've had success so far with pieces on the following topics: parenting, relationships, money, identity, mental health, and job/workplace issues. But we're always looking for new topics to cover, so if you have a pitch that doesn't fall into any of these categories, don't let that stop you from sending it along.

Do you pay?

Yes! If your pitch gets accepted, we'll discuss specifics.