Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when pitching us.
Your pitch should include:
- A concise description of your story
- To whom you have spoken, or plan to speak, for this story. (If you’re pitching a story that revolves around getting answers from these sources, we’d like to know in advance that they’re willing to speak with you).
- Clips of your work, especially those that align stylistically with what you want to write for Launcher.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Some pitches start with “I want to look into how x is impacting y.” The result might make for a fascinating story, but if you’re pitching this to us, you should include the answer to the question (Here’s how x is impacting y) and explain why the result is compelling.
- We do not accept op-eds, and we rarely accept reviews (our staff handles 99 percent of these) or essays (which fall slightly outside of the scope of what we usually publish). If you’d still like to propose a review, please do so early and outline why you would be a good fit to write it. The same goes for essays; here’s an example of the kind of essay we do accept.
- Please do not send us pieces that have already been published in some format (this includes tweets that capture your idea in full).
There’s a particular kind of story that stands out to us: We want reported stories that reveal some kind of tension. What’s a challenge that a person or community faces? How is the subject of your story changing the industry? Who are the stakeholders who will have to adapt? What’s something or someone people have been overlooking, and why is that an issue? Pitches that demonstrate that you’ve homed in on a source of tension and that you’re well versed in the answers to the crucial questions surrounding it jump to the top of our list.
Here are some examples of freelancers' stories that we really like:
- This profile of a Smash pro who is hated because he plays a character people dislike, by Zane Bhansali.
- This piece on the consultants working behind the scenes to make games and the industry more accessible, by Grant Stoner.
- This reported news story on the challenges of organizing AGDQ, by Elizabeth Henges.
- This piece on the quandary Adderall use in esports poses to leagues and organizers, by Coleman Hamstead.
Target length: 1,000 to 1,200 words / $300
Launcher does not cover travel costs.
Please send pitches to LauncherPitches@washpost.com. We’ll try to get back to you in 2-3 days, but please feel comfortable following up with us if we don’t get back.