We’re over the moon that you’d consider writing for us. Here’s everything you need to know.
The Unwritten is a new publication for disabled people by disabled people and we’re looking for stories on health, love, loss, success, struggles, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, no diagnosis, and everything in between. All stories are welcome, we won’t define or gate-keep what qualifies as a disability and we recognise self-diagnosis.
- Word count: 700- 900 words
- Pay: £75/ $100 (we’re hoping to increase this as the site grows)
- Pitches accepted on an ongoing rolling basis, but this may mean your article isn’t published for a few months after pitching
- We accept pitches from all over the world but be aware we only pay in GBP and USD.
How to pitch
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- The word PITCH in the email subject
- If your story is time sensitive or news related please mark as TIMELY but be aware that we have a limited budget.
- A couple of paragraphs about you, your pitch and why you want to write about it.
- Any clips, examples of your work, blog links or even social links. Don’t worry if you don’t have any published work.
- If your pitch contains sensitive subjects can you please trigger warnings at the top of the email. A simple “TW: Domestic abuse” or “TW: eating disorders” is fine. If you’re unsure if you should a trigger warning, do so anyway just to be safe. This allows our editors to practice self-care.
- Please only send pitches, not completed articles. It takes more mental energy for us to read whole articles. If you have already written the article, please indicate this and the word count at the end of your pitch to aid in decision making.
Please only send pitches to this address, not Rachel or Caroline’s personal email addresses or Twitter DMs – regardless of your relationship with them. This ensures they don’t get lost and stops us from getting overwhelmed.
What we want
- Personal essays and opinion pieces about chronic illness, disability and health.
- How your illness intersects with other aspects of your life sexuality, gender, race, religion, class, education, family and relationships – priority may be given to pitches where the author is part of another minority group.
- Funny stories, perspectives and issues we might not have considered before.
- Your opinion on political, social and topical issues that affect you as a disabled person
- Stories of diagnosis or how you’ve struggled to gain a diagnosis.
- We allow stories to be published under a pseudonym, no questions asked.
What we don’t publish
- Inspirational stories of people “overcoming” illness
- Stories written by non-disabled people about their disabled partners or relatives. Those are not your stories to tell.
- Anything that is offensive to other disabled people or other minority groups.
- Right wing views. Nope.
Notes on tone and language
We aim to have a conversational writing style, like you’re chatting with your pals. With that in mind, swearing is allowed, but don’t go overboard. They should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Preferably if it’s in a quote, and starred out.
In the interest of inclusivity we use gender-neutral language, so it’s always “people who have periods” or “people who menstruate”. We also always respect pronouns.
In reference to the queer community, we use the acronym LGBTQ+, though if you’d prefer a different term in your article please let us know.
For ease of reading and reporting, we are using Covid-19 to refer to the coronavirus pandemic in line with The Guardian style guide and WHO.
Please note that we are a two-person team, both of whom have chronic illnesses and working other jobs, so it may take up to two months to reply to your pitch. Due to funds it may also take a while to publish it. We appreciate your patience.
We can’t wait to hear from you!