call for pitches (plus new higher rates!) from Making Contact

Making Contact wants your stories! Plus they have new, higher rates. Plus they're good people. Details below. -Mia

Seeking Pitches

Immigration and Elections: We want your pitches! We’re looking for character-driven stories that focus on how immigrant communities engage in U.S. electoral politics. 

Here are some themes we’re interested in exploring:

  • How are undocumented communities working around elections to mitigate the U.S. Supreme Court decision halting the expansion of DACA and DAPA?

  • What factors contribute to disparities in electoral participation within different communities? How are immigrant communities addressing mis-information about how to vote, new voter ID laws, and other barriers to participating in elections?

  • Are immigrant communities organizing to put politicians in office?  What are the opportunities and challenges?  

  • How are communities organizing outside of the electoral process to influence politics locally and/or nationally?

  • How are groups working against Trump and Trumpism beyond the conventions?

  • How is campaign financing influencing immigration rhetoric and policies?   

Got an idea, let us know!  Open to all and we are especially  looking for reporters who are themselves immigrants for our Immigrants and Elections miniseries. 

Guns: We’re looking for stories that bring new perspectives on guns, gun violence, mass shootings, and masculinity. These could be personal stories. They could also be more investigative or explanatory pieces. We’d also welcome other pitches related to guns, maybe a look at one of several states’ legislation to allow or ban concealed carry on college campuses. 

Occupy, 5 Year Anniversary: For this show, we’re looking for a story about a small town in the U.S. that responded to the call to Occupy a public space as part of Occupy Wall Street. We want to know why they decided to participate 5 years ago. What difference did it make? And what lessons did they carry into their organizing today?

People in Prison and Sentencing: We’re looking for stories detailing the effects of the prison systems on children and families, delving into life after incarceration, and stories examining sentence reduction reforms at the state level. For instance in California, Prop 47 passed in Fall 2014. It reduces drug possession and five other felonies to misdemeanors. Are other states making changes similar to California’s Prop 47 ? What have been the preliminary results in California and what of the backlash by those opposed to the sentencing reform?  

Climate Change: “Climate Resilience” and “Social Cohesion” are terms used by environmental justice advocates and academics to mean various things. We want sound-rich stories that explore these terms in practice. How are communities working not just to survive but thrive? How are low-income communities of color, expected to be hit hardest by climate change developing ways now to cope “later?” Unequal impacts of climate change on women?

We’re looking for stories that break out of the gloom and doom, wonk-talk or science-load, and instead give a glimpse of people coming together to take steps now.  Pitch us stories about various bottom-up and grassroots organizing methods and tactics. Perhaps a profile of someone who was previously uninterested or overwhelmed and depressed about the crisis but is now engaged in this activism. How did that personal and political transformation take place?

In addition to the above, we’re always interested in pitches on any of our ongoing beats: prisons, poverty, reproductive health, climate change and environmental justice.  


Making Contact is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on 120 radio stations in the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.  Amplifying voices and perspectives rarely heard in mainstream media, Making Contact focuses on the human realities of politics and the connections between local and global events with an emphasis on creative ways to solve problems.  We’re interested in pitches for sound-rich segments of approx. 7 minutes.  

As with any pitches you send us, please check out our show and read our guidelines before you pitch. Consider the following. Does the story: Link grassroots issues and human realities to national or international trends? Give listeners a historical, political, or social context of major national and international events? Shed light on social and economic inequities? Explore any alternatives or solutions? 

We’re trying out new rates!

Level 1. $800 plus travel reimbursement up to $100

Involve research and original reporting • Require the reporter to have substantial subject matter expertise • Involve time-consuming reporting • Have a sophisticated narrative • Require travel by the reporter • Have sound that does not involve phone tape • Be rich in a variety of sounds demonstrative or supportive of the story.

Level 2. $500 plus travel reimbursement up to $100

Involve multiple interviews • Involve interviews conducted where the interviewee is carrying on activities relevant to the story • Involve sound, scenes, and advanced radio storytelling techniques • Involve reporter having good prior knowledge of subject matter

Full 26 min Documentary  $1000 for veteran producers to do a full documentary edition. An exclusive is not necessary but air dates need to be discussed.  

Send pitches to Please be detailed but succinct, and include a description of your idea, narrative/story arc, interview subjects, scenes, and sounds/ambi.  If you’re pitching to us for the first time, please include a brief bio and relevant audio clips. We look forward to hearing from you!  

— Monica Lopez, RJ Lozada, Marie Choi

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Cash for collaborative journalism from @hostwriter, deadline Aug 31

Cash for collaborative journalism. Deadline Aug 31. Details below!

We are giving out over $5.000 for journalistic pieces and pitches that were done collaboratively, meaning that at least two journalists have to be in the byline. 
If you are interested in sharing the message you can tweet the following: 
Journalists worldwide can compete for cash prizes & story funding from @hostwriter! Send in a story or pitch by 8/31  
You can find detailed information, FAQs and the online application form here.

If you need some inspiration check out last year's winners on our blog

/// Apply for the #hostwriterPrize 2016 until August 31st /// – collaborate with journalists worldwide

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August Podcast School at @UnionDocs, application deadline July 26

Great learning opportunity @UnionDocs from some of the best in the biz. Application deadline July 26. Spread the word! -Mia

An exceptional group of professional podcasters, artists, radio producers and entrepreneurs help you develop your audio practice and podcasting vision.

This seminar, designed by UnionDocs in partnership with Mathilde Walker-Billaud, will show producers the various creative practices of podcasting. It will offer them technical tools and skill sets for navigating through the podcasting revolution and finding their own path in this emergent medium.

10 years ago the internet and low cost audio production tools radically transformed the radio landscape, liberating makers from traditional media and the audience from time and space. Nowadays, anyone can become a broadcaster. But hosting a successful listener-supported podcast is a professional engagement. A successful podcaster has a great dose of imagination and a strong entrepreneurial initiative along with many technical skills, from audio engineering and radio journalism to sound storytelling and online marketing.

This week-long seminar will explore audio storytelling, interviewing, script writing, editing, mixing, sound design to audience engagement and more. 15 producers will learn from a team of seasoned guest speakers and practitioners — public radio reporters, sound engineers, radio auteurs, successful podcasters, media entrepreneurs and artists. Discussions, group and individual exercises, field trips and participants’ work-in-progress critiques will put this new knowledge into practice. Producer, writer and host of Flash Forward Rose Eveleth will lead the course.


Monday, August 22nd to Friday, August 26th, 10am – 5.30pm

UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn NY 11211

Who is eligible?

We are looking for audio producers and podcasters (both new and experienced) from all aspects of the media industry and beyond with demonstrable skills in storytelling, sound editing and mixing.

Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience in audio production and a podcast idea (it would be great if you have one. If not, you might come up with one during the workshop), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample (and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required).

Please note: Participants *will not* be producing an audio piece during the week. Focus is on discussing and listening. The goal is also to develop your podcast/audio project conceptually.


The fee for the intensive follows the schedule below. 

August Session:

$750 – Early Bird Registration. Deadline July 26th at 5:00 PM.

$850 – Late Registration

Participants coming from outside NYC are responsible for their own transportation and room and board during the intensive. UnionDocs can provide assistance in locating housing and guidance for getting around town for those not native to New York.

Refund Policy:

Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until July 26th. After July 26th, the fee is non-refundable.

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call for proposals for a new health-related podcast series, deadline June 30

Just a few days left on this RFP – get it while you still can! Deadline June 30. Contact info below. -Mia
AphasiaAccess, an organization that promotes communicative access and supports people with aphasia and their families in achieving their goals, needs a producer for its new podcast. Aphasia is a language disorder, often resulting from a stroke, that impacts a person's ability to speak, understand, read, and write. It affects around a million people in the U.S. See the request for proposals for podcast details and to learn more about AphasiaAccess. 
Request for Proposals
Producer – Podcast Series
Issued: June 15, Responses Requested by: June 30
Organizational Summary
AphasiaAccess is a nonprofit membership organization. Its mission is to “grow a network of healthcare, business, and community leaders to advance lifelong communication access for people with aphasia.” Members come from the majority of US states and Canadian provinces, along with 11 other countries. A key commonality is that AphasiaAccess members are supportive of the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA). The LPAA is a consumer-driven service-delivery approach that supports individuals with aphasia and their families in achieving their immediate and longer term life goals.
The organization currently offers educational programming that includes a Biennial Leadership Summit, a library of training videos with archives of previously captured webinars and general resources (e.g. forms, protocols) to help professionals in healthcare (acute, rehabilitation, and community-based on-going programs), plus university professors teaching the next generation of speech-language pathologists.
More information about AphasiaAccess is available at
Project Overview
AphasiaAccess intends to launch a podcast series in September of 2016. The organization envisions a multiple- episode professionally-produced podcast series focused on effective LPAA intervention examples, the how-tos of sustaining and marketing LPAA aphasia services, as well as riveting Ah-ha moments that surprise, inspire and motivate! The final # TBD, minimum of 6 and maximum of 24, predicted to be approximately 15 minutes each.
Statement of Need
AphasiaAccess seeks the services of a resource to assist in the production of this podcast series. We specifically anticipate the need to include:
• Identification of initial technical specifications and procedures for recording interviews
• Set up and/or counsel for podcast platform and promotion
• Editing/mixing podcast to final form and delivery of final files
• Recording of intros/outros
Proposals Requested
Third parties, capable of providing the services noted above, are invited to submit a proposal to AphasiaAccess to provide these services. Your proposal should include:
• Background on your firm
• Statement of experience of those who would be working with this account
• Description of services your firm provides, noting any services that you would typically outsource
• Explanation of how your firm bills for its services, including discounts for committing to multiple editions
• References and samples of past work (non profit / health care examples preferred)
Proposals will be accepted through June 30th. AphasiaAccess anticipates awarding this contract between August 1 – 15. Any or all proposals may be declined at AphasiaAccess’ sole discretion.
Questions about this RFP, or your response, may be sent to Todd Von Deak at

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WHYY’s The Pulse seeks pitches on health and science, deadline July 1

WHYY's health/science/innovation show "The Pulse" is looking for pitches that can turn into assignments that can produce some awesome audio. We're mostly looking for fresh new ideas, but we're open to work that's previously been aired as well.

What makes a story a Pulse story?
It takes the audience on a journey.
It puts people first.
It answers questions people didn’t even know they had.
It surprises.
It empowers people to take control of their health.
It celebrates breakthroughs with skepticism.
And it Keeps it weird…the fringe is where the action is, afterall.

Send your concise pitches to: We'll be assigning the week of July 5th, so please have pitches to us by Friday, July 1st.

Joel Patterson
Managing Editor, The Pulse

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New class from Radio Boot Camp – the Art of the Pitch, @UnionDocs, Sept

A fantastic addition to the Radio Boot Camp curriculum – how to PITCH! Details below. -Mia

We're so excited to announce a new class from Radio Boot Camp! The Art of the Pitch: a three session workshop dedicated to learning how to pitch a radio story. Dates are as follows:
Friday, September 9th 2016. 6pm-9pm
Friday, September 16th 2016. 6pm-9pm
Friday, September 23rd 2016. 6pm-9pm
More info, and registration here:
And, the next regular Radio Boot Camp class for beginners has also been scheduled for September, 
Hope to see you this fall! 

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5-week radio storytelling by Snap’s @davey_kim @WritingPadUS, July, SF

Hey FC folks! Perhaps I've been deep in production mode for too long, but I just learned about this great series of courses from Writing Pad. They're based in LA and SF but offer online courses too. Check out their latest from Snap Judgment's Davey Kim. PLUS, friends of Freelance Cafe get a discount. 15% off the class by using the code FREELANCE. Drop me a line if you sign up and let me know how it goes!



Davey Kim is a producer of Snap Judgment and a radio journalist who has been on multiple NPR shows. Not only is he an amazing teacher with a great ear for story, he is really supportive and inspiring! Also, because of our radio storytelling classes, 7 students have gotten on the radio and have gotten paid). You could be next! Our latest student success is Tanya Frank:

In this class, Davey shares the Snap Judgment guidelines, themes and helps you craft a pro radio story. He helps you transform a real-life event into a deep, moving tale. You workshop it twice plus get performance notes. On the last class, you record your story at Snap Judgment studios. It will make you feel like a rock star and you will get a professionally recorded clip from Davey (that you can send out to This American Life or Snap Judgment too).

RADIO STORYTELLING 5 WK w/ Davey Kim (Snap Judgment, NPR)
July 10, 17, August 14, 21 (4 Sun. nights, 1 recording session) 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.  

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America’s Test Kitchen Radio seeks stories for Holiday Special, deadline July 19

Looking to New Years already! (That's my kind of production. :) America's Test Kitchen Radio wants your stories about great New Year's food traditions. Pitch deadline is July 19. Details and contact info below. -Mia


America's Test Kitchen Radio is looking for your stories! We want tape about unusual New Years traditions with food from around the world, from Black Eyed Peas to Yusheng. Please email us if you have ideas for short interviews to be included in our show. We are not looking for fully produced pieces, but collaborators in tape gathering. Talk to your grandmothers! Your bakers! Your Korean uncle or German schoolteacher! Deadline for pitches is July 19, 2016. Fee is $250 if chosen to record your story. Producers will receive an on-air credit for their contribution.

Please send your ideas to Carly Helmetag at or Stephanie Stender at

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grant money aimed at increasing diversity in investigative journalism

Spread the word about this important fellowship aimed at journalists of color!

Grants & fellowships for journalists of color & women journalists
View this email in your browser
Media contact:
FIJ and Schuster Institute Launch Initiative for Diversity in Social Justice Investigative ReportingWithout greater diversity in journalism, some very important stories are never pitched, some assignments never made, facts never gathered, and serious abuses of power never uncovered.Through a collaboration underwritten by a Ford Foundation grant, The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University have joined forces to broaden opportunities for independent investigative reporting by women and journalists of color. Four independent, U.S.-based reporters with strong proposals to investigate significant systemic or social justice issues will be selected.

The selected journalists will receive competitively awarded grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which will provide up to $9,000 to pay the expenses of reporting a specific investigative story, covering costs such as travel, document fees, equipment rentals, and small stipends.

Recipients will also be awarded Schuster Institute fellowships, which will give them access to paid research assistance, the extensive offerings of Brandeis University’s library and technology services, mentoring, editorial guidance, and opportunities for pro bono, media-related legal advice from a major New York firm. The Schuster Institute will help publicize the fellows’ work through press releases, social media and the Institute’s websites. As a fellow, they will join our “Newsroom Without Walls,” a community of Schuster Institute fellows and research scholars who regularly share ideas, advice and support. The fellowships do not require residency at Brandeis University and the fellows are not paid.

The work must be completed within one year.

It is widely recognized that journalists of diverse backgrounds are underrepresented in this country’s ranks of independent investigative reporters. This initiative is designed to help those selected journalists report and write important stories about unreported or underreported social justice issues.

“Journalism in the U.S. has made some progress on diversity in newsrooms. But that progress has lagged well behind this nation’s demographic change,” said FIJ president Ricardo Sandoval Palos. “This imbalance is acute in the specialized field of investigative journalism. For decades, FIJ’s strength has been identifying and supporting stories that might not otherwise get done. So this generous grant from Ford is a great start: It allows us to work with journalists from underrepresented communities who’ve lacked access to investigative resources.”

“The Schuster Institute has collaborated with FIJ for years on our fellowship program. We know the value of providing an institutional home and valuable resources to independent investigative journalists, and Ford’s support of this initiative allows us to grow our community of fellows and support an even broader range of underrepresented voices and their important investigative stories,” said Florence Graves, founding director of the Schuster Institute.

Eligibility requirements

Applications from women and journalists of color working in any type of media — print, audio, video, online — will be considered.

Application deadline

Applications may be submitted from June 1 through Oct. 1, 2016, and we will announce grantees and fellows in early November 2016.

How to apply

Application instructions are available at
If after reading about the entry process you still have questions, please email

In the meantime, please check the FIJ and Schuster Institute Facebook pages,
and #FIJSchuster on Twitter for updates.

The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ). Since 1969, FIJ has supported the work of independent journalists who have tips, sources, and ideas, but lack the resources needed to do their investigations. The late Philip M. Stern founded FIJ to invest in the work of determined journalists in the fight against racism, poverty, corporate greed, and governmental corruption. FIJ-supported projects have won a wide array of journalistic honors, including Pulitzer Prizes, the George Polk Award, the Sigma Delta Chi Award, and many others.  Please see for more information.

The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University is a collaborative, investigative newsroom focusing on social justice and human rights issues as well as government accountability and transparency. We dive into systemic problems afflicting those who are poor, voiceless, or forgotten—with an eye toward informing policymakers and public debate. Launched in 2004 by Florence Graves to help fill the void in high-quality public interest and investigative journalism, the Institute was the nation’s first independent, investigative reporting center based at a university. Our staff and Schuster Institute Fellows cover such subjects as human trafficking and modern-day slavery; criminal justice; race and justice; food and health; government and corporate wrongdoing; environmental justice; gender and justice; political and social justice; and border issues and immigration. Please see and for more information.

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The Kitchen Sisters Bowling with Grace Fundraiser, Next Thurs, June 2, SF

Fun fun fundraiser with the Kitchen Sisters! Details below.


The Kitchen Sisters and our 92 year-old muse of the lanes, Amazing Grace Mulloy, invite you to join us at Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco, next Thursday evening, June 2 for a night of bowling, food, drink, music and podcast superstars to support the work of The Kitchen Sisters.


If you came last year, and got some hot tips from Grace, come see how you improved since she shared her secrets. If you missed last year here's a chance to bowl your brains out or just hang out and eat, drink and watch the NBA Finals with some of the Bay Area’s finest.

The Kitchen Sisters are independent producers and we raise all our own funding. Last year’s Bowling with Grace fundraiser helped create the new season of Hidden Kitchens stories coming to NPR's Morning Edition this summer – Kimchi Diplomacy: War & Peace & Food. It also sparked our Radiotopia podcast, Fugitive Waves and our deep bench of remarkable interns who will be roaming the lanes that night.

Delight in the fried chicken and burgers of Mission Bowling, the tarts and cakes of Tartine, the holy elixirs from St. George Spirits, the deep wines of Scribe, the slap your brains out cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, the Chez Panisse Farmhouse Ale and so much more.

Bowling with Grace {The Legend Continues} is sponsored by AMY’s and EVENTBRITE. Deep thanks to both.

We hope you'll come join The Kitchen Sisters and Celebrity Bowlers: Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, Roman Mars, Renée Montagne, Alice Waters, Thao Nguyen, Amy Tan, Armistead Maupin, Wendy MacNaughton, Caroline Paul, Ayelet Waldman, Jeannette Etheredge, Mark Buell, Randy Thom, Terry Zwigoff, Laura Sydell, John Vanderslice, Youth Radio & More.

Building community through bowling (and storytelling).

Buy Tickets Now
$150 ($100 is tax-deductible)
June 2, 2016, 6-10pm
Mission Bowling Club
San Francisco, CA
Buy a tax-deductible ticket to support the work of The Kitchen Sisters and you’ll automatically be entered into our raffle for a brand new, oh-so-beautiful PUBLIC bike! {Thank you PUBLIC Bikes!}.  

The Kitchen Sisters Board of Directors:
Mara Brazer, Claudia Ceniceros, Robert Fisher, Marc Hand, Cristina Hudson, Richard Hylton, Ellen Lewis, Frederic Marienthal, Davia Nelson, Marlene Saritzky, Nikki Silva, Carolyn Zecca-Ferris.

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