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How to pitch Vox

Vox is a general interest publication that helps our audience understand the world around them. We cover a wide range of subjects — from policy and politics to culture and tech to science and health — with clarity and depth, curiosity and generosity.

Freelance pitches for written pieces are accepted by many of our sections; pitch guidelines and contact information can be found below. All accepted stories go through a collaborative editorial process and are paid at competitive rates, which are based on the amount and type of work.

We also hire freelance photographers and illustrators for many of our feature stories. You can find details on how to pitch to the visual team on this page, too.


Submission guidelines

A good pitch consists of a concise description of the piece you would like to write; aim for a couple of paragraphs here. We are looking for pieces with strong, unique angles. Specifics are important! Tell us the whats of the story, but also the whys: why this story is important to cover now, and why you should be the one to write it. Please add information on any pre-reporting you’ve done and source access you have; diverse sourcing is of paramount importance to Vox. A proposed headline and word count should also be included.

In addition to your pitch description, please tell us a bit about yourself and your work (just a line or so will suffice!), and provide links to pieces you’ve previously published that are similar to your pitch in subject and/or form.

Put all of this in the body of your email — no attachments, please — and remember that how you write your pitch gives editors insight into the quality and style of your writing. We rarely accept already-written pieces, as we like to work with writers on shaping their stories from start to finish.

We are not looking for:

  • Q&As, unless you have access to a hard-to-get subject and a compelling reason to use the Q&A format
  • Traditional reviews of books, TV shows, movies, albums, or other cultural products
  • Shopping roundups, how-to guides, or other types of service journalism
  • Manuscripts or academic papers

What are we looking for? Read on for section-by-section instructions.

The Goods

We’re actively seeking contributors to our Best Money I’ve Ever Spent essay series, where writers explain what purchases have brought them the most value. Subjects can range in price and scope; we’ve commissioned pieces about top surgery and work visas as well as a $2.75 ride on the NYC ferry. This is not a product recommendation column; what’s most important is that the purchase was significant to you — it came at a pivotal moment in your life, or helps explain who you are and how you got to be that way. We want to shed light on cost, too, and what it means for something to be worth it, so do be prepared to write candidly about money and your relationship to it. To pitch, email bestmoney@vox.com with a brief description of what you bought, how much it cost, and what it meant to you.

We’re also on the lookout for smart, reported stories about the things we buy and the way we present ourselves. The Goods is concerned with the economies and life cycles of all things purchasable, including but not limited to fashion and beauty, transportation and travel, food and drink, fitness and wellness, and tech. We’re also interested in self-presentation and the culture of appearance, as well as general aesthetics and design; for these subjects, we accept both feature pitches and pitches for our trend column Noticed. To pitch, email thegoods@vox.com.

The Highlight

The Highlight is Vox’s features section, exploring a wide range of topics with in-depth reporting, character-driven accounts, and colorful writing. We’re in search of pitches for deeply sourced narrative longform that uncovers untold stories, as well as for 2,000- to 3,000-word zeitgeist-y pieces that smartly capture how we live now. Some recent examples include a longform feature on a rash of illnesses that befell a Mexican boarding school; a piece on the complex nature of the American obsession with “it” dogs; an unexpected and unexpectedly emotional story on inheritance; and a series of articles on the modern state of museums. To pitch, email thehighlight@vox.com.

Future Perfect

We’re seeking pitches for our Future of Meat coverage, where we examine the consequences of industrialized meat production and the policy, advocacy, and business solutions to address it. We are eager for stories that explain how factory farming is a people problem — for the environment, meatpacking plant workers, farmers, rural communities, and consumers. We are also interested in stories about broader trends in the plant- and cell-based food sectors, as well as stories that explore moral philosophy and social science research around meat consumption and the treatment of animals.

We are not looking for stories about vegetarian cookbooks or plant-based product launches or startup funding rounds. We are also not looking for narrow stories about particular campaigns or undercover investigations, though we are open to narrow stories that serve as an entry point to explain a larger issue. We also occasionally consider pitches around other Future Perfect topics, such as global health and poverty, universal basic income, pandemics, and philanthropy. Please reach out at futureperfect@vox.com.

Science

Our Down to Earth initiative is looking for future-forward pitches on the science, politics, and economics of the global biodiversity crisis; we want stories geared toward reckoning and responding to this multidimensional issue, not just cataloging species loss. We’re especially keen to run reported articles with a focus on intelligent responses and accountability; stories that center Indigenous knowledge and stewardship; and work that explains why a radical rethinking and prioritization of conservation is needed. We aim to explain, for example, the policy and cultural forces behind the bizarre push to kill more of Montana’s wolves, the hottest number in conservation being rooted more in politics than in science, and the ongoing plight of the Amazon rainforest.

We are not looking for stories simply about cute wildlife and “pristine” nature, or focused solely on mass extinction or losing individual species. After all, biodiversity is about abundance (billions of cicadas, anyone?), healthy functioning ecosystems, and cultural diversity, too. If you have an urgent, compelling biodiversity story burning a hole in your notepad, do reach out at downtoearth@vox.com.

Visuals

Visuals at Vox means photography, data viz, illustrations, comics, mixed media, infographics — anything that isn’t words that offers clarity to our audience. A strong visual pitch for us involves answering one narrow question, visually; these questions center their subjects and often sit at the intersection of themes like identity, race, economics, politics, religion, and science. Stories that originated with visual pitches include pieces on how New York City’s Times Square performers have been affected by the pandemic, what life looked like for an imam during the early days of Covid-19, and what it means to have a Black Lives Matter movement in an all-white conservative enclave.

Do not pitch us stories trying to demystify a stereotype; these often amplify the stereotype and are counterproductive. To that end, we are especially interested in photographers seeking to tell stories about their own communities. Pitches can be sent to visuals@vox.com.


How we’ll work together

If we’re interested in your pitch, we’ll discuss rates, deadlines, scope, kill fees (if applicable), and other expectations with you upfront. We’ll also discuss potential expenses, travel, or risks and provide press credentials when necessary.

We appreciate all pitches but are not able to respond to every one. Please note that we often receive pitches that are similar to each other or to our existing assignments.

If we decide to work with you, you’ll receive an agreement with key terms clearly defined. We typically use a freelance management platform called Shortlist where you’ll find your agreement. It will also generate an invoice for you and show you payment status.

We believe clear, thoughtful communication is both our responsibility and yours. We expect you to follow our Vox Media Values, which include collaborating well, and to give and receive feedback respectfully. We follow those standards, too: If you experience a problem in working with us, we encourage you to discuss it with your editor or our legal team. We also offer a hotline for reporting concerns about conduct anonymously.

We’ll provide an edited draft before publication. We’ll appropriately credit you and other contributors. After publication, we will pay in a timely manner as specified in your agreement (typically within 30 days via our Shortlist platform), including reimbursement for any agreed-upon expenses.

By submitting a pitch to Vox Media, you acknowledge that your pitch may be similar or identical to content submitted by others, or to materials developed by or on behalf of Vox Media and that it shall have the right to use such other content or materials without any obligation to you. Neither the submission of your pitch nor Vox Media’s review of it constitutes or creates an implied contract or other financial or confidential relationship between you and Vox Media. You shall have no right to compensation or reimbursement of any kind by Vox Media in connection with the submission of your pitch. If and when Vox Media elects to proceed and assign work to you based on your pitch, the terms of any such assignment shall be subject to a separate agreement between you and Vox Media. Vox Media has no obligation to review, keep, or return any materials you submit.