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How to pitch The Verge

Here are some guidelines on what we're looking for from contributors and how to send us pitches

WORK FOR THE VERGE

The Verge covers the ways that technology and science are changing the way we live. Our stories go through a collaborative and thorough editorial process, and writers are paid at competitive rates. We try to respond to every pitch, but if you don’t hear back within a few weeks, please follow up or resubmit.

Nothing elevates a strong story like mesmerizing art. That’s why we also work with freelance illustrators to create eye-popping art for our feature stories. Details on how to pitch yourself as an illustrator are below.

Pitches for written work are usually read by their subject area editor. That contact information can be found below.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR

  • Strong angles for The Verge’s smart audience
  • Reported stories that show readers something new, like an unexpected side effect of an app, a new surveillance program, a cutting-edge research program, or a new community or trend
  • How technology intersects with other fields, including business, health, politics, culture, and more

WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR

  • Most opinion pieces or personal reactions to news
  • Executive op-eds
  • Stories someone else has already published

HOW TO PITCH

A good pitch contains a story, a narrative backbone. Pitches should clearly and concisely convey the story you plan to write and why it matters. The best pitches display promising pre-reporting and a deep knowledge of the topic as well as a sense of the angle or insight you plan to pursue. If your story depends on access to a person or company, you should say whether you have obtained it already (and if not, what your prospects are). Pitches should also be written in the style you expect to write the story.

Good pitches also contain a reporting plan and an estimated word count. Please also link similar stories you’ve done in the past. (It’s more helpful to your editor than a generic portfolio.) Put the pitch in the body of your email, please!

A common mistake when submitting pitches is pitching a topic rather than a story. We are looking for stories. For example, a broad overview of CRISPR/Cas9 is less interesting to us than a scientist’s specific work on a gene variant. Good stories are specific; they live and die on details.

Depending on the focus of your story, it may fall under one of The Verge’s desks: features, tech, science, transportation, film & TV, games, and art. Below are more detailed descriptions of what each of those sections is looking for.

FEATURES

Our features take the rigorous, forward-looking journalism The Verge is known for, and combine it with the narrative muscle of classic magazine stories. We’re looking for pieces that are more expansive and accessible than what people may consider within the purview of a tech site. Sure, if you have big scoops about the abusive working conditions of Facebook moderators, we want to hear about it. But we’re also interested in telling stories about police brutality and surveillance, over-eager algorithms that shut those with criminal records out of homes, and the romance authors that game Amazon. Really, we’re more curious about people than the tech angle.

A great feature pitch for The Verge does three things: it gives the scope of the narrative, it lays out an ambitious reporting plan, and it shows us that you can write with a strong voice. (A sense of humor never hurts!) Also, there’s no need to send a whole CV — just one or two examples of feature-length pieces you’ve written is all we need.

For features pitches, email kevin.nguyen@theverge.com, and start your subject line with “pitch.”

TECH

Every story is a tech story. From the ludicrously powerful smartphones we carry everywhere, to the laptops that have become the primary conduit for work and education, to the platforms and networks that underpin nearly all of modern communication, the world of technology has become inextricably enmeshed in our lives.

We’re not looking for gadget review pitches or armchair editorials; we want stories that go deeper than an initial news cycle, break new ground, and give readers a unique perspective on the systems and devices that shape our world. They can be deadly serious or lighthearted fun, but they should surprise. In the recent past, we’ve looked at how files and folders are gibberish to modern students, the shady practices of Apple’s gadget trade-in partner, the cottage industry fueling a Nerf arms race, and how Hollywood is using AI to decide which movies to make.

For tech pitches, email techpitches@theverge.com.

SCIENCE

We’re looking for stories about exciting new avenues of research, Silicon Valley’s forays into health tech, space exploration, climate change, and other topics. We’ve covered everything from cutting-edge heart transplants to disappearing beach sand to ant extermination campaigns to an investigation into sexual misconduct at the Smithsonian. We’re particularly interested in ambitious reporting and feature-length stories that cover science and its impacts for a general audience without talking down to them. We handle the study stories we’re interested in in-house, and typically before the embargo lifts. However, research trend stories are always welcome.

For science pitches, email marybeth.griggs@theverge.com.

TRANSPORTATION

Everyone needs to get around. How we do it will change more in the next decade than it has in the last century. We are looking for stories that explore the science, technology, and culture of transportation. We’ve published stories about a self-driving tech entrepreneur, the allure of “flying cars,” little-known but wild innovations in mass transit, and how big tech companies are reimagining our every move. We want to tell stories about the challenges we face in transportation and those who are dreaming up solutions behind closed doors at big companies and in research labs far off the beaten path.

For transportation pitches, email andrew.hawkins@theverge.com.

FILM & TV

Generally speaking, we aren’t looking for people to review the latest big movie or interview someone involved with a TV show. We have plenty of reviewers! What we’re looking for is fresh perspectives: opinionated essays, in-depth analyses that help us understand individual films and movies better, and overviews that explore larger trends in entertainment. We’re interested in strong, unusual arguments about what’s going on in current culture, especially in the ways social networks are evolving to meet new needs or how technology is changing the ways film and TV are made. We’re particularly interested in reported pieces on current streaming platforms (from Netflix to YouTube to Disney+), the business and technology of creating entertainment, and the people who are changing how it works. And we’re always interested in microcosms of fandom, including how people are expressing their interest in culture and what it means to the world at large.

For film & TV pitches, email tvfilm@theverge.

GAMES

Games are vast and varied, and that’s exactly what we’re looking for in our coverage of interactive entertainment. Typically, we’re not looking for traditional reviews, retrospectives, or straight news. Think beyond the typical game news cycle. That could mean taking a look at a smaller game that no one is talking about or a unique take on that game everyone is talking about. We’re also interested in the people behind the games. That includes their creators, of course, but also players and communities. Maybe it’s an e-sports pro who’s challenging long-held expectations or a dedicated Discord community centered on an unexpected game. Whether it’s an opinion or reported piece, the ideal story is one that’s interesting and informative even for people who don’t play games. If it can factor in ways technology is changing how we play? Even better.

For games pitches, email andrew.webster@theverge.com

ART & ILLUSTRATIONS

We love evocative art and illustrations, so we look for work that is bold, clear, and intelligent. We are looking for artists who like taking on our larger stories and features. (Our in-house team handles stories with tight turnarounds.) Ideal artists can work collaboratively to develop a story concept, meet deadlines, and deliver stellar final results. In the pitch, tell us what you love! If you love science, show us your strongest science work. If you’re into tech, show us that work. The more specific you can be about your strengths and interests, the easier it is to pair you with our editorial team. Please include your most recent work — as well as your strongest — in your portfolio.

Send your portfolio to william.joel@theverge.com.

HOW WE’LL WORK TOGETHER

All accepted stories go through a collaborative editorial process, and all are paid at competitive rates, which are based on the amount and type of work. 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.

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 includes 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.