WRITE FOR US
We accept pitches and submissions! Please check this guide before submitting your work. Below describes how to get published in the Dispatch.
Pitches can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and should follow the format below. If you send a pitch that is not in the format below, we will ask you to resend it, so thank you in advance! And remember that we want to hear your voice, so don’t be stiff or hyper-formal — we’re all friends here :) If you’re unsure about The Dispatch ‘voice’, pick up an issue! Don’t have one close-by? Explore our website, check out our Instagram, or see our guidelines below to get a feel for who we are, what we believe in, and how we talk about it. Judgement? Nope. Curse words? Hell yes.
Suggested Section (See sections below)
Short bio with links to two recent and/or relevant clips
2 sentence summary of the piece
1-2 paragraph deeper exploration of the subject.
We accept pitches for the following sections:
Digital Culture Piece
word count: 1000-1100
Digital Culture pieces zoom in on a particular industry or trend relevant to the issue theme, looking at it from multiple angles. Previous pieces have focused on the business of wellness and the relationship between Instagram and art.
word count: 1000
For experiment pieces, the reader must try something (the experiment) relevant to the issue theme, document their experience, and then give the reader tips on how to apply the lessons learned to their own lives. Examples include meditation, filtering out advertising, and juice cleanses.
Culture Think Piece
word count: 1200
These pieces each examine a facet of culture that is experienced by a broad swath of society, picking it apart and asking "why is it this way?" Previous pieces include the institution of time and the culture of danger, and each must be tightly linked to the issue theme.
Political Think Piece
word count: 900-1000
Political Think pieces draw from the past and the present while looking towards the future. We are particularly interested in pieces that look outside of the federal government, looking at political trends more broadly. All pieces must tie in with the issue theme.
word count: 700-900
These pieces dive into what work is like today, through the lens of the issue theme. From freelance culture to going corporate, the Work-Life article should always provide a fresh take on what it means to be a worker today. Previous topics include the rise of 'social good'-centric jobs and the myth of work/life balance.
Photo Feature 1
word count: 1700
image count: 9+
This photo feature is a reported article on a topic that is both aligned with the theme of the issue and that requires visuals. The writer is responsible for providing the images, either as the photographer or by obtaining permission for their use. Previous topics have included the trend of families going full-on nomad and the portrayal of women in advertising through history.
Photo Feature 2
word count: 1200
image count: 6-9
This photo feature can either be a reported piece or a narrative essay that aligns with the theme of the issue. Images are printed in a large format (so must be very high quality) and must be provided by the writer. Previous pieces include an essay that drew parallels between meditating and making s'mores a reported piece on the revival of ceramic arts through social media
word count: 2500-3000
The cover feature is the longest piece in each issue. It is a statement piece on the theme and is expected to weave together deep reporting and story. Each cover feature must include both rigorous research and an accessible voice. This is typically achieved through the development of subjects as 'guides' through the piece. Previous topics have included the concept of Nature Deficit Disorder, the concept of 'Timehacking,' and Dark Marketing.
word count: 1000
The how-to walks the reader through applying a theme-relevant exercise or practice in their own life. Previous pieces include "How to Listen to Music" and "How to Look Slowly."
word count: 850-950
Parenting articles are an opportunity to apply the theme of an issue to the practice of parenting. These pieces can be prescriptive (teaching parents how to practice something in their lives), reported (examining a trend), or essayistic (sharing advice from the trenches).
Essays & Memoir
word count: 1000-1800
We publish one essay and one longer piece of memoir in each issue. These pieces must fit the theme of the issue for which they are submitted. For memoir pieces, images must be available. All essays and memoirs must be scene-based and deeply narrative. We prioritize stories, especially unexpected ones.
We DO accept pieces that fall outside of these categories. However, filling them is our priority for each issue.
We DO NOT accept listicles, product round-ups, destination pieces, or interviews.
Topics of interest:
Slow Living, Connection, Travel, Adventure, Boredom, Zeitgeist, Nature, Consumerism, Simplifying, Productivity and Busy Disease, Technology, Hustle Culture, Societal Norms, Parenting, Anti-Establishment, Rebellion, the Psychology of Motivation and Change, Neuroscience and Eastern Practices, Storytelling through Data. We’re also always looking for relevant and timely pieces but try to create content that is timeless.
*Have an idea for a column? Before pitching a column concept, please keep in mind that, when assigning columns, we prioritize writers who we have worked with before. Because of that, we highly recommend that you pitch another section first so that we can get to know each other!
**We do not accept fiction at this time.
Completed Pieces: We do accept submissions of completed pieces. When submitting, please keep in mind that we will still expect to go through an editing process to ensure that it is as strong as possible!
Payment: Payment typically ranges from $100-$350 depending on the length of the work.
We raise hell, live well, and are rebellious to the core - At The Dispatch, we amplify rebellious voices, fact-based curiosity, and controversial opinions, so send us your best and boldest.
We are passionate about authenticity - We love true stories that are honest and authentic. No polishing out the rough spots or buffing out the hiccups, we want to know how things really went.
Our readers are smart - Life is a scavenger hunt, but we’re all about showing the mechanisms behind the machine. We expect solid research, expert sources, and for arguments to be backed up with facts.
We are playful - Though well-researched and smart we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are playful, unexpected, and sometimes funny. For every deep long-read, we like to have a purely fun bit to balance it out, and we embrace non-traditional formatting so give us all your long parentheticals, strikethroughs, and cuss words.
We welcome all - While many of our contributors are seasoned pros, we love working with new voices! We are inclusive and elevate the voices of the marginalized and minorities.
We are hands-on - Putting out a magazine is a collaborative process. We pride ourselves on an involved editing experience that amplifies your voice and helps your piece shine. We love working with writers that see writing an exercise in teamwork and working with our editors as an opportunity to publish great work that stands up to the test of print.
We look up to - the Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Lenny Letter, Outside Magazine, Rolling Stone, Wilderness, Flow, Adbusters, and Offscreen.
We are not - We are not a blog come to life. We are not whimsical. We are not in the business of content for content’s sake. We are not in the awareness economy. We are not going to share more crap. We are not luxury. We are not a public collective diary. We are not Fashiony/Female Only/Trendy. We are NOT too cool for school.
February 2018: The Inaugural Rebel Issue
Rebel (noun): A person who rises in opposition. A renegade. A revolutionary. A breaker of the status quo.
Permission To Give Hustle, Shoulds, Technology (and more) The Middle Finger.
March 2018: The Time and Productivity Issue
The question of who can do more, more quickly, with less sleep, and without complaint has become a cornerstone of society today, but it’s breaking down what binds us. Mindfulness, meditation, and redefining productivity offer an opportunity to (re)take control of your time.
April 2018: The Advertising and Mind Control Issue
The media controls our minds, or at least they’re trying to. Let’s understand how they do it, and how to ‘Just Say No.’
May 2018: The American Dream Issue
Redefining what success and joy mean in a culture where happiness is an obligation that’s rarely fulfilled.
June 2018: The Technology & Innovation Issue
Tech is complicated. It’s given us profoundly immense possibilities, but too much of it can rope you down. From innovative ways of tech truly is improving our lives to gaming addiction, cyberbullying, and toxic tech culture, we’re exploring the complex world of innovative technology.
July 2018: The Freedom Issue
Breaking away from the pressures of perfectionism, the search for status, and personal brands, and embracing what it truly means to be free.
August 2018: The Consumption Issue
“Eat me, read me, buy me, listen to me.” 24 hours a day, every day, we’re consuming, but somehow we’re never full.
September 2018: The Nature Issue
When was the last time you walked barefoot? Disconnect from expectations, reconnect with the world, discover nature in unexpected places, and wander where the wifi is weak.
October 2018: The Busyness + Hustle Culture Issue
Go, go, go — but the culture that tells us to hustle is also burning us out. We’re stressed, tired, and it’s out of control.
November 2018: The Money and Debt Issue
We’ve been taught to trade passion for paychecks. What if that’s backward? Afterall, you can’t take it with you.
December 2018: The Simplicity Issue
From Black Friday to New Year’s Day, the holidays have become centered on the idea of more. We prefer the ‘less is more’ approach. Our holiday issue will focus on going back to basics, stripping down to the analog, and rediscovering what’s really meaningful in life.
Still have questions? Shoot us a note!
Submitting Art, Photographs, Activities:
If you are interested in taking photos or creating artwork for us, please sign up to the email list we use to announce projects. You can submit works there or send an email to email@example.com with a link to your portfolio or website and with “PHOTOGRAPHER” or “ILLUSTRATOR” in the subject line.
- Single still photographs
- Photographs in series
- Vector artwork
- Editorial work
- Graphic Short Stories
- Mixed Media work
- Mad Libs
- Mind Maps
- Word Find
- Bingo Cards
- Journal Prompts
If we say yes:
Your submission will be moved to a Google Doc which we will share with you. All subsequent edits and notes should be made to that document. If you do not have a Google account, and are not interested in having one, you will need to create a throwaway account specifically for your work for us. Since this is a print publication we will send you a PDF for your portfolio. We will also need a short bio from you, including:
- Your public name
- Your Twitter handle (if you have one)
- Two sentences describing your activities and interests in the third person
- A link to a portfolio or other personal website.
Due to the constant flow of pitches, we can only respond to accepted pieces. Don’t be too bummed if you don’t hear from us. We swear it is nothing personal. While we wish it was possible to send each of you a handwritten note or get back to each and every email, we are a small editorial team. If you do not hear from us, it’s probably because we think your work isn’t a fit for us right now. We will do our best to get back to y'all but we appreciate your understanding as we look to work less in the inbox and more in the real world. As we add more people to our team, this will be the first thing we change. We thank you all for being so cool about this.
Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to submit a letter to the Dispatch:
If you are submitting a letter to the editor and would like it to be considered for publication, please make sure to include your name, location, and telephone number.
Send mail the old-fashioned way (much preferred!):
Editor: Jess Davis
36 Waverly Ave #313
Brooklyn, NY, 11201