So you're interested in contributing to Elevation DC?
Great. Thanks! We're always on the lookout for new voices...and unlike many online media outlets, we do pay
our contributors. Here are some tips to help you be most effective in getting our attention.
Your pitch should be a mini-story. Give us a compelling first line, an interesting angle, and tell us what's new or interesting about your topic. List what kind of sources you'd like to talk to and include statistics, facts or anecdotes.
Our model pitch template is here
, with preemptive thanks/apologies to the BOSS GROUP for letting us use them as an example.
Below, you'll find out what types of stories we look for and where.
We are most in need of these. We are interested in trends affecting or playing out in the District, profiles of local organizations (non- or for-profit) doing interesting things in the city, Q&As with influencers and disruptors, and more. We highlight little-known solutions to big problems and shine a light on good news even when the city seems like a mess. We're interested in covering the positive, but not fluff.
We have two basic feature formats, a written-through, 800-1000-word story, and Q&As. We are not opposed to packaging stories in other ways--just let your editor know!
Vegans of color spread the healthy living gospel
Southwest redevelopments bring new life and more space for the visual arts
DC school lunchrooms put local, healthy products on kids' plates
Pop-ups, parties, and...parking lots?
Elevation Q&A: Liz Norton, Stone Soup Films
Streetcar reboot promises citywide growth for underserved areas
Elevation Q&A: Cinque Culver, Ward 7 organizer
Here's what we don't
want to commission: stories about politics, scandal, or problems without a solution. We also aren't interested in event coverage, unless the event is indicative of a larger trend (see the Southwest arts piece above), restaurant reviews, or sports stories.
If you think you have an idea for us, and you're sure we haven't covered it recently, write up a query letter (aka pitch letter) and send it to managing editor Rachel Kaufmanemail@example.com
If you have an idea or an opinion that fits within our coverage areas, send it to managing editor Rachel Kaufman. firstname.lastname@example.org
. Unlike with features and news stories, we can't pay for op-eds, but your work will go out to our sizeable web and e-mail newsletter audience. If you've previously published this op-ed somewhere (like on your own blog, perhaps), let us know--we may still be interested in printing some or part of it.
Our news stories are written by regular contributors, but sometimes they need to go on vacation, too! If you're interested in covering the real estate, startups, or nonprofit beat, email managing editor Rachel Kaufmanemail@example.com
Other resources: Knowledge Commons DC
offers frequent (and free!) classes on "journalism gig acquisition," including a section on query letters.
is specifically referring to guest posts on blogs, but has a section on pitching that should be relevant to any freelance writer.
Also useful: How to write a good magazine query letter
and Samples of query letters that work
Don't forget to spell-check everything!