We Want to Hear Your Stories
How to pitch Place
Place is a weekly newsletter featuring original writing and creative works that are centered on the places we go and the spaces we inhabit. Think of us as a travel journal, both for the moments on the road as well as the resting time between journeys. The pieces that we publish are often personal, but always have a universal takeaway (see examples below) and are deeply rooted in bringing the reader somewhere new, or making us think more deeply about where we find ourselves. While many of the pieces we publish are written essays (usually between 1,000 and 1,500 words), we have published original artwork, photo essays and poems and are keen to publish more multimedia pieces. If you’re not sure if it fits -- just email us anyway!
While we are open to pitches of all kinds (and you can see more inspiration on topics in our original pitch doc) we are particularly looking to expand in the following categories:
Reportage and researched essays: This could be a reported piece on a current or overlooked issue related to place, or a deeply researched personal essay. These don’t have to have a news hook (and in fact we would love the opportunity to highlight place-based issues that don’t fit the news cycle). A good example of this is “A Trail, A Treaty and a Church” about the layers of placemaking and land ownership in Western Canada.
“A Day In” pieces: These pieces take the reader on a typical day walking around a city or place somewhere in the world. We would prefer that you are a resident or have spent significant time in that place, and are currently seeking contributions from places that are not in the US, Canada or Western Europe (unless you have a unique angle - in which case, just shoot us an email and we’ll talk)! See our previous examples from Helsinki and Bangkok.
Pay: Send us your idea and we’ll discuss pay, though keep in mind that Place is entirely funded by subscriber donations -- 90% of which goes directly to paying contributors (10% goes to Substack fees) -- which we are actively growing, however our budget is limited at this time.
The best way to get a sense for what a Place story looks like is to go back through our archive and see what ideas come up for you. For writing pitches, please send a 100 to 300 word paragraph that covers the basic idea(s) of your story and gives us a sense of your writing style, along with a brief bio and any clips to previous work you’d like to share.
For Inspiration: Here are a few (of the many!) pieces we have loved to publish:
Finding a Homeland: Gloria Kimbulu, who is Congolese but grew up in Spain and is now living in Nebraska, wrote about her search for identity and how a trip to Cuba helped her uncover a hidden history and a surprising connection to her family’s homeland.
Creating a (Temporary) Home: Tamara Rosin, an artist and writer living in Tel Aviv, wrote about overcoming her hesitation to decorate her flats and how painting interior portraits helped her find peace with nesting even within what is temporary. She also created four original paintings for the piece.
Making ‘Sense’ of Place: Molly Simpson, an editor in the UK, went deep into the philosophy around absence and perception, offering us a new framework for considering the physical experience of our surroundings, deeply rooted in the senses.
Ghost Stories: Karis Hustad, a co-editor of Place, took us on a camper-van road trip through Iceland – what started as an idyllic escape, took a curiously eerie turn. The piece not only grounded us in a new environment, but gave us a different look at a side of a place we wouldn’t expect.
A City Without Its Sea: Pooja Sivaraman, a playwright, theatre-maker, and scholar from Bombay, wrote about her complex relationship with the city that not only embodies her family history, but sits at an intersection common to the modern world - where public spaces, growing infrastructure, the environment, and nostalgia collide.
Any pitches that we do not have the budget for will still be given the chance to be published without pay if the writer so chooses, or else we will reach out again once we have the budget to commission more! Please send pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org.