Pitching the SLR

Write Your Own Sunday Long Read

At The Sunday Long Read, we share weekly picks of the best longform journalism out there, but we also like to make our own. We publish 5-10 original longform articles per year and would love to hear from writers hoping to work with us. In partnership with the Freelance Solidarity Project of the National Writers Union, the SLR has created a fair contract and established a commitment to treat freelance writers fairly.

What to know about pitching the SLR

  • How: We accept pitches by email, at originals@sundaylongread.com
  • When: We read pitches year round. We may not be able to publish a story right away, but if we like it, we will try to find a place for it.
  • What: Your pitch should include a basic explanation of your story, including the who, what, where, when, why, etc. of the piece. Include a list or outline of sources and research you might tap for a story and a proposed word count. Please also include your name, contact information, and a brief explanation about why you want to tell this story and how you’re in a unique position to tell it. Outline any expenses you envision during the reporting of this story. We may be able to cover them.
  • Clips: Are not necessary to send along with a story pitch. We may ask you for examples of past work but do not select story pitches on the basis of “qualification.”
  • Pay: Our floor for reported longform (>2,000 words) stories is $2,000 with the possibility of covering expenses. Want to help us increase this rate? You can join us as a paying subscriber or reach out to talk about sponsorship of the SLR.
  • Rights: After our initial publication and promotion of your story, you will retain the rights to it in all future media.
  • Replies: A Sunday Long Read editor will be in touch with you within 30 days of your pitch (and often sooner) to check in, even if it’s to say “No, thank you.”

What we’re looking for

  • Longform nonfiction in its many forms. We want you to do reporting and talk to people. Research is good too. We want you to show us things, not just tell us things, and we like stories that are character- or narrative-driven. 
  • A story that brings a new topic, angle, or idea to the table. We share dozens of great longform stories in our newsletter every week and are comfortable with writers who want to address something we aren’t familiar with. 
  • New writers, old writers, writers from marginalized communities that have been underrepresented in media, established writers, up-and-coming writers, writers who need more coaching, writers who need less coaching, but most importantly, writers who care deeply about their work and want our help to make it better, not just to publish it.
  • Here are examples of various previously published SLR originals. You can read more stories on our originals landing page.

What we’re not really looking for

  • Opinion pieces, Q&As, listicles, personal essays without accompanying reporting.
  • Stories that have already been extensively told – offer us something new, if you can.