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How to Pitch Stories to Eater

Are you a freelancer with a great idea? Start here.

Eater is a national publication dedicated to reporting on, telling stories about, and critically examining the world of food and drink, with a particular focus on restaurants. Eater covers the ways dining intersects with culture, whether through travel, film and television, trends, shopping, policy, or how people cook and eat at home. Our take on food culture is broad, curious, skeptical, and equally hospitable to the serious and the absurd.

We are actively seeking pitches from journalists, writers, academics, and other contributors of all backgrounds, especially those whose voices are often underrepresented in media. Food and restaurants are among the most dynamic and powerful lenses for storytelling, and we particularly enjoy hearing from writers whose interests, experiences, and areas of expertise originate outside of the food world.

All accepted stories go through a collaborative editorial process, and all are paid at competitive rates.

How to submit:

Across the board, we’re looking for pitches that give a clear, concise summary of the subject, angle, or thesis of the proposed piece, and your anticipated story structure. We’re looking for pitches that contain answers, not questions. (Or, if you don’t have answers yet, an explanation of why you don’t — and the reason shouldn’t be “I haven’t started the reporting.”) Your pitch should also serve as an example of your writing style and tone. Please familiarize yourself with our archives to get a sense of the kind of stories we publish. We are not looking for: cooking show recaps, stunt pieces, defenses of specific diet and wellness practices, linear travelogues, dining reviews, or humor pieces that aren’t actually funny.

All submissions should include a very short explanation of who you are and why you’re qualified to cover this story, along with links to previously published pieces and/or your online portfolio. We appreciate all pitches and aim to respond to each one as soon as possible. Note that we do often receive pitches that are similar to each other or to our existing assignments. If we’re interested in your pitch, we’ll discuss rates, deadlines, scope, kill fees (if applicable), and other expectations with you upfront. We’ll also discuss potential expenses, travel, or risks, and provide press credentials when necessary. All accepted stories are paid at competitive rates based on the scope and type of work.

Reports: Eater’s reports section assigns original, reported stories that are generally 1,800 words or less and are usually assigned with a lead time of a few days to several weeks. Everything from dining trends and the particulars of restaurant operations, to food world curiosities, to where food intersects with culture at large is fair game, and we’re particularly interested in stories that center workers and underrepresented communities. Pitches should not only identify an interesting topic or trend, but offer some case-making around its place in history or culture and a thesis or forward-thinking statement. Send pitches to editor@eater.com.

Longform features: Eater’s magazine-style longform pieces are usually 3,500-4,000 words, or their multimedia equivalent. These stories often require extensive research and reporting, occasionally including travel, and are usually assigned with a lead time of one to six months. Past stories have included everything from the history of Black veganism to the legacy of California’s Punjabi-Mexican cuisine. Pitches should be well-researched, clearly presented, and written in a way that demonstrates why the story deserves a feature-length treatment. (We currently have extremely limited capacity to accept new feature work, and expect to resume accepting feature pitches in May.) Send pitches to editor@eater.com.

Travel: Eater Travel is most interested in pieces and perspectives from locals and natives, or people with a deep connection to the culture being covered — we’re generally not interested in parachute journalism, and especially not stories reported during one’s vacation. If you believe your city merits an Eater list of essential restaurants, tell us why and why now, with a few examples, as well as a sample of your writing. We love pieces that spotlight the interesting ways in which food and culture intersect to provide insight and perspective on a place — international or otherwise. In general, travel pitches should conform to the above story guidelines. Send pitches to travel@eater.com.

Voices: Voices is Eater’s first-person section, where writers discuss a broad range of topics through the lens of their personal experiences and make an argument for a certain way of seeing things. We are particularly interested in featuring people who are not writers by trade; if you have an important story to tell, we will work closely with you to turn your story into a published piece. Pitches should include an explanation of who you are, your position on the topic, why you’re qualified to write about it, and a clear rundown of the points of your argument. Send to voices@eater.com.

Shopping: Eater shopping stories are rooted in discovery and service; and they must always provide shoppable links for readers to bring the items discussed into their own homes. We’re seeking short spotlights on a single distinctive item for our Buy This Thing column, guides to specific cooking projects for our Starter Kit series, product roundups sources from industry experts, as well as reported explainers on specific products. Send pitches to shopping@eater.com.

Eater at Home: Eater at Home seeks stories that combine service with a strong narrative, and relate to the broader culture of cooking that exists beyond the kitchen. Stories that explore ingredients, cooking trends, and food culture; thoughtful essays attached to recipes; critiques of home cooking culture; reported explainers on ingredients and techniques; and nuanced and well-informed hot takes are all welcome, as is a healthy dose of humor and skepticism. We’re not trying to give you 15 different recipes that will change the way you make roast chicken, but we are interested in asking why cooking publications can’t stop giving us roast chicken recipes. Send pitches to: cooking@eater.com

Video: Eater is now accepting pitches for video content from freelance filmmakers and video producers with experience in storytelling and working in a collaborative environment. Ideal pitches contain strong story lines and deep insight backed by an authoritative food voice. We are not looking for professional or home cooking recipe based cooking shows, and we’re more likely to green light one-off/feature content, as opposed to pitches for hosted/series-based content. All videos will have to work across multiple platforms including YouTube and Facebook. To submit: Please send your video pitch along with links to previous work to mcgraw@eater.com.

Visuals: Eater works with freelance illustrators and designers for much of our written work, including travel packages, reported packages, explainers, and features. We’re always trying to expand our roster of artists and are open to receiving portfolios for consideration for future projects. To submit: Please send links to your work to visuals@eater.com.

Publishing on Eater:

If we decide to work with you, you’ll receive an agreement with key terms clearly defined, typically sent through our freelance management platform called Shortlist. Through the editing process, we believe clear, thoughtful communication is both our responsibility and yours. Freelancers are expected to follow both Eater’s statement of ethics and our Vox Media Values, which includes collaborating well and giving and receiving feedback respectfully. We also follow those standards: If you experience a problem working with us, we encourage you to discuss it with your editor or our legal team. We also offer a hotline for reporting concerns about conduct anonymously.

We provide edited drafts before publication, and commit to appropriately credit all contributors. After publication, we pay in a timely manner in accordance with your agreement (typically within 30 days via the Shortlist platform), including reimbursement for any agreed-upon expenses.

By submitting a pitch to Vox Media, you acknowledge that your pitch may be similar or identical to content submitted by others, or to materials developed by or on behalf of Vox Media and that it shall have the right to use such other content or materials without any obligation to you. Neither the submission of your pitch nor Vox Media’s review of it constitutes or creates an implied contract or other financial or confidential relationship between you and Vox Media. You shall have no right to compensation or reimbursement of any kind by Vox Media in connection with the submission of your pitch. If and when Vox Media elects to proceed and assign work to you based on your pitch, the terms of any such assignment shall be subject to a separate agreement between you and Vox Media. Vox Media has no obligation to review, keep, or return any materials you submit.

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