How to pitch a piece to ThinkProgress

For freelancers: Here’s a full guide on what we’re looking for and how to pitch us.

Interested in writing for ThinkProgress? That’s great! Read on for more information about what to pitch and how to get in touch.

What we’re looking for

There’s a lot to be written right now on the future of progressive politics, especially in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections, and we can’t do it all ourselves. Here are the areas where we could use more help:

  • State politics and policy: Local politics often have national repercussions. Pitch us stories about gerrymandering, state health policy, local races, and other local news that progressives should know and care about.
  • Economic policy: Help us report on the impact of the Trump administration’s economic policies, the future of the labor movement, discrimination in the workplace, the social safety net, and homelessness.
  • Climate policy: Help us report on climate science, energy, pollution, politics, environmental justice, and what’s in store under a Trump presidency.
  • Activism and resistance: Pitch us stories that can show our readers an inside look at people and groups involved in progressive activism near you. Help us report on the actions of progressive faith-based activists and organizers (often called the “Religious Left”).
  • Criminal justice: Help us report on prisons, police brutality, unlawful imprisonment, and the real people affected by these issues. Pitch us stories that are going untold in the national media and need more attention.
  • Diverse voices, diverse voices, diverse voices: Diversity in writing matters to us. Our job is to inform an increasingly diverse public, and we can’t do that alone. POC and/or LGBTQ people especially: please give us your analyses on progressive politics, the Trump administration’s policies, and what’s wrong with today’s media portrayals of race and sexuality.

Of course, you can pitch us on other topics if you have an amazing story — but these are the areas we’re most interested in receiving pitches about right now. If you’re interested in telling a story in a different way (first-person narratives, graphics and illustrations, comics, etc.), we’re open to that too.

We are especially interested in working with freelancers outside of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

How to pitch us

Start reading. If you aren’t already familiar with ThinkProgress, start reading. It’ll give you a better idea of what issues we cover, what stories our readers are interested in reading about, and what you should be pitching us.

Email us. Send your pitch to freelance@thinkprogress.org. Email again if you haven’t heard back within a week. ThinkProgress pays writers, and we will discuss compensation with you before you proceed with working on a story for us.

Be concise. Give us a sense of who you are and what your idea is. If you’ve already published other work, include some links so we can see your writing skills. Aim for about three paragraphs. Editors usually know within the first paragraph whether your idea works — so make it great.

Get in touch early. We are less inclined to accept completed pieces that are already written. We want to talk about your idea, your angle, and your reporting first to make sure we’re on the same page about the end product. Tell us what you already have in mind about the story you’re pitching and who you want to talk to in order to find out more. Tell us why ThinkProgress readers should be interested.

Show us why you’re the right person for the story. We prefer to work with writers who are familiar with the community or topic they’re writing about. If you have never written about social justice issues, for example, then we’re less inclined to accept a story from you on on the future of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Freelance stories we loved

Still wondering what to pitch us? Check out a few of our favorite recent freelance pieces to get a sense of what pitches work for ThinkProgress: