We live on a planet with a superheated atmosphere where scientists are debating whether we’ve entered a new geological epoch. It can be a scary time — but also an exciting one.
Just think: To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, humanity needs to rethink everything about how we produce and consume energy and food, how we build and organize communities and our economy, how we live and interact and govern ourselves. And that’s cool — because if we do it right, the result will be a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.
For journalists, that means a lot of exciting things to write about! And as the nation’s leading independent, online publication covering climate and sustainability, Grist is open to your ideas.
Our editors will consider a wide range of freelance pitches, from reported essays to in-depth investigations to changemaker profiles and Q&As. We’re particularly interested in ideas for features that could fill our weekly cover story slot. We’ll also consider videos, data visualizations, and other multimedia ideas.
So what makes a good Grist article?
Our core topics include clean energy, sustainable food, environmental justice, livable communities, and reinventing the economy through cutting-edge science and cleantech. We’re looking for stories that offer compelling narratives, surprising perspectives, newsworthy revelations, awesome visuals, or can’t-miss commentary. We want articles about wicked problems and kick-ass problem solvers that readers will devour and share.
Above all, we strive to publish journalism that makes a difference — reporting that can sway public opinion and shape policy, expose injustice and hold wrongdoers accountable, and embolden and inspire readers to demand and take action. We value a curious, empathetic, conversational voice, and we want stories that are exclusive and timely. We’re also highly interested in reporting that features underrepresented voices and provides perspectives from vulnerable communities.
Some of our signature recent pieces have examined the challenges of remaking Kauai’s power grid; exposed intrusive paramilitary surveillance tactics used against pipeline protesters; explored the culture and psychology of vegetarians awakened by meatmares; chronicled efforts to build a better battery; told the inside story of how a deal was reached to protect rainforests from palm oil producers; and reported on communities trying to reinvent themselves after the removal of a polluting industry.
Think you’ve got an idea that fits the bill? Please email pitches to our editorial team, along with links to writing samples. You can also contact one of our senior editors directly. Here’s a staff list. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we can’t respond to every pitch, but if we’re interested, you’ll usually hear back from us in about a week or two. Please remember: We don’t accept a lot of pitches — just the exceptional ones.
Not a professional journalist? That’s OK. Our editors will help with that. Fix, Grist’s solutions lab, is currently accepting submissions for guest columns and opinion pieces. Grist values a diversity of voices and opinions that challenge us to think differently about how we might tackle problems like climate change and environmental injustice. Our storytelling helps usher in a whole new narrative of what’s possible. If you have a fresh idea and believe our readers will find it worth reading, drop us a line! Please include “Commentary” in the subject line.
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Thanks for your interest in writing for Grist.
Here are some things we’re not interested in: fiction, poetry (we like those two things, we just don’t publish them), travel narratives (yes, even that awesome new eco-resort you’re just dying to visit), meditations on nature, puff pieces, stories of interest only to a local audience, the guaranteed-to-save-the-world gadget you’re promoting on Kickstarter, or anything at all that you’re trying to sell on Earth Day (unless you want us to mock you mercilessly — we do that sort of thing).