So you want to contribute to Grist? Well, there are three paths you can go by:

1. Comment on stories. Start writing now! No hassles, hardly any questions asked! You’ll get immediate exposure, the joy of seeing your name in lights, perhaps a moment or two of fleeting fame.

2. Send a query. This is what we call the delayed gratification route. Your carefully considered, finely wrought query might or might not get a response, might or might not get published, and might or might not earn you fame. See below to find out more.

3. Send a portfolio. If you are a photographer, illustrator, or videographer with an environmental angle or project, we’d love to hear from you. Professional status is good, but good work is even better. Send samples of (or links to) your work.

P.S.: If you don’t want to contribute content but have a juicy tip for us to pursue, tell us about it. The magic gnomes will make sure your note gets to the right person.

Much of the content on is created by staff members, bloggers, or partner organizations that are generous enough to share their work with us. However, we do accept the occasional freelance query. In general, your query should fit in one Grist’s main coverage areas: cities, food, climate/energy, cleantech, and green living.

Stories that we accept generally fall into one of two categories:

Opinion and analysis. We’re on the lookout for fresh, funny, intelligent voices, whether you want to parse the latest climate bill or share your experience with eco-parenting. Timeliness and a tie to the current news cycle is a big plus. These pieces, which range in length from 200-1,000 words, are generally unpaid.

Reporting and features. We consider original investigative journalism, dedicated pound-the-pavement reporting, and interviews with key environmental figures (from politicians to celebs). Since these pieces require work beyond the “think deep thoughts” variety, they are generally paid. However, keep in mind that as a nonprofit, Grist’s fees are below-market.

We do not accept: fiction; poetry; travel narratives; meditations on nature; profiles of environmental organizations or accounts of an activity or campaign they sponsored; stories that are of interest only to a local audience; press releases; or material of a non-environmental bent.

Send your query. Please include examples of previously published works, and give us three weeks to respond before nagging. And thanks for your interest in Grist!