How to Pitch Observer

Basic Guidelines

Please send all pitches via email to the appropriate section editor and include “freelance pitch” in the subject line. If you have never written for Observer before, please include a brief introduction, along with 2-3 links to previously authored stories that showcase your voice.

All pitch emails should include the following:

  • The type/format of the story you are pitching (i.e., an investigative report, an op-ed, a hot take on a big news story, a reported feature, a profile or Q&A, policy analysis, etc.)
  • A concise synopsis (no more than 3 short paragraphs) of your pitch
  • A unique angle and/or a brief explanation of what makes your take stand out from any other similar media coverage
  • The level/amount/depth of expected reporting (if applicable)
  • An estimated word count
  • The reason why you think you’re the right person to write this specific story

Observer welcomes pitches with an emphasis on power players, cultural trends and smart, unique takes that offer something new. Pitches should highlight an intelligent, interesting and/or a one-of-a-kind perspective.

Please send all business and innovation pitches to Jordan Zakarin at jzakarin@observer.com.

Arts pitches can be sent to Erin Taylor at etaylor@observer.com.

Entertainment pitches can be sent to Eric Vilas-Boas at evilas-boas@observer.com.

Section Guidelines

Technology and Innovation:

  • Observer does not accept tech or gadget reviews.
  • Observer accepts a wide range of technology and innovation-related pitches; however, priority will generally be given to underreported trends, cultural reports centering on tech or innovation, examinations of the power players and/or power structures of big tech companies, expert analysis, and exclusive scoops.

Business:

  • Indicate specific news pegs when applicable, along with an ETA on how long you will need to turn around the piece—especially for any timely stories or hot takes.
  • Observer accepts a wide range of business-related pitches; however, priority will generally be given to reported features, industry analyses, profiles on power players (or a power player-centered angle), larger trend pieces and exclusive scoops.

Culture and Entertainment:

  • Observer accepts pitches that spotlight power players and forward-thinkers who are making strides on the scene and behind the scenes.
  • We highly encourage pitches for profiles and Q&As, but we’re looking for three-dimensional portraits of our subjects. This includes TV and film stars, but also social media breakouts, Netflix and studio tastemakers, avant-garde directors, literary iconoclasts, rising chefs, legends reinventing themselves. We’re interested to see how the subject redefining power and shaping contemporary culture.
  • For think pieces and trend stories, be sure to include germane examples (with links where applicable) to support your argument or theory. Contrarian viewpoints are always welcome.

Travel:

  • Observer seeks pitches that profile unique, upscale and outlandish destinations and travel packages—everything from an absurd million-dollar trip to an igloo from which you can see the Northern Lights. It can be anywhere in the world, but the newer, the better.
  • We also strongly encourage crossover stories—anything that encompasses travel and another Observer coverage area, such as art, film, dining and nightlife.

Arts:

  • Our priorities for visual arts content include previewing major U.S. exhibitions, profiling industry heavyweights and insiders, weighing in with an original angle on art-related news, spotting trends at fairs or finding cross-category stories that connect to other verticals.
  • If you’re pitching a spotlight of an emerging artist, outline why their work is culturally relevant right now. These stories should always have a peg to an upcoming event or exhibition.
  • For theater, dance and opera, Observer is particularly interested in features on the center-stage or behind-the-scenes players involved in new productions. We also accept think pieces with engaging new angles on the industry’s biggest shows.