Thank you for your interest in Romper, where we are looking to a) explore facets of parenthood that may yet be unaddressed by the media, and b) ruminate deeply on The Great British Baking Show. We accept pitches from freelancers for our features vertical, where we run essays and reported pieces anywhere from 800 to 2,000 words. Please keep inclusivity in mind as you pitch and execute on stories.
About pitching: There is no inbox zero, there is only inbox 40,000. With that in mind, crafting a strong pitch that gets to the point is key to cutting through the noise. We are very open to working with emerging writers, but regret that not every pitch will receive a response. If you have not heard from us within a few days, please do pitch elsewhere!
Your pitch should include:
- a working headline
- a tight graf outlining your argument
- proposed sources, for any reported stories
- third-party sources (relevant for most cultural coverage — you should know where your story fits in with the wider conversation)
Most importantly, it should be apparent WHY we should cover this story from your pitch. Include a relevant subject line and send to email@example.com.
SUBJECT: We Are All Target Mom
PITCH GRAF: Target Mom dates back as far back as 1987, when she was documented in a television commercial leaving a store with 30 shopping carts, having gone in for “a few supplies.” Today, Target Mom is an identity (you can see people self-identifying with the label [here] [here] and [here] on Twitter) — so what it is that cuts across social, class, and geographical boundaries? Ashley, a mom of 2, suggests it is the scent and bright lights, which serve to “hypnotize you” while in store; Hayden is more philosophical, saying it is a place of respite for mothers who do not feel welcome breastfeeding in other stores, and who cannot afford upscale stores in a time of diminished wage growth.
SOURCES: I would also speak to Professor Maryann Badger, who specializes in retail psychology at Relevant University, and a range of other parents. Below, please find links to articles I have written on related topics:
PITCH GRAF: Hi, I want to write about sleep after baby for Romper. I have been published before.
“I want to write about TKTK” is a very common pitch, and unfortunately quite unconvincing. Whether it is an essay or a reported piece, you are pitching a story. Ask yourself where the story begins and ends. Please do take your topic to Google before you pitch to see if we have covered the same angle already.
For more on specific pitches, read on...
How-to articles, listicles, and service pieces:
- These are covered by in-house writers and therefore closed to submissions.
- Tell us about your experience, most likely in chronological order (you can get creative after you've got the bones of your story).
- If you have a provocative position on a parenting topic, frame your argument as though you were riding into Congress to debate it to the death.
- We rarely run humor pieces, but are always looking for well-written comic essays.
- We are looking for parents interested in chronicling what they spend on an aspect of parenting for our money series, Expense Report.
- Narrative must be accompanied by a spreadsheet with full cost breakdown per item, grouped by type.
- You can also pitch an interview with someone else about their costs.
- We are looking for evidence-based coverage of infant and maternal health. Articles should have at least three human sources, along with expert commentary (we prefer interviews take place over the phone or in person, not via email). Please seek a diversity of sources.
- We are always looking for timely takes on the shows, movies, songs, and memes that have captivated parents.
- Your piece will always be more valuable if you can connect the subject of your focus to broader cultural trends, or find the place that multiple trending shows intersect, for example. We are waiting for the Ferrante pitch of our dreams.
- We tend to assess and assign books coverage ourselves, and prefer to work directly with publicists.
- We are currently accepting pitches and narrative essay drafts for our children’s books series, This Book Belongs To. See that the book you are pitching has not been written about before, and make sure there is a compelling reason for writing about that book.
Thank you for making it this far! I look forward to reading your stories, which you can also send to janet [dot] manley [at] romper [dot] com.
Senior Features Editor