BackStory Call for Pitches – Natural Disasters

Hey folks. BackStory with the American History Guys is accepting pitches for an upcoming show. This from Jess: "We'd need pieces from outside contributors in hand by the end of May, and pitches that come in this week will have a significantly better shot at making it than pitches that come in later." Details HERE and below. Good luck!

Ahead of hurricane season, BackStory's looking at a show on natural disasters: floods, tornadoes, blizzards, hurricanes, you name it. Some questions we're mulling over: why are some disasters remembered and others forgotten? How natural are natural disasters? And while we all love wild stories, we're looking for pitches that get beyond "this crazy thing happened" and show us something surprising about American society or culture. We're a history-focused show, so your story will need a clearly defined historical angle.

As always, we’re looking for features that have a couple key components: first, a story. Your characters might be alive, or they might be long dead. Either way, you should still have some character(s) with something at stake. Second, when pitching your story, think about ways to bring these characters to life. We’re open to re-enactments, experts telling the story second hand, oral histories, personal essays, and so on. But don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Questions we’re always going to ask are: What does this reveal about America at the time? Why should we care about that now?

For more information on what we're looking for and other upcoming show topics, check out our pitch page: 

And here's the pay scale:
Payment: $200 – $500+ depending on difficulty and skill of the producer. All the rates below are flexible, but are meant to give you a sense of what we offer. 

Level 1 Piece: $200-$350

– May include a snapshot essay of a particular moment in history, typically with simple production requirements.

– May be a shorter, 2-3 minute sound rich “audio postcard” style piece.

Level 2 Piece: $350 -$450

– Medium length story with at least one interview and some reporting.

– May include some field tape. Probably requires little travel

Level 3 Piece: $450 – Negotiable

– Longer feature with multiple interviews.

– Significant research and creative use of sound and/or content.

Please send pitches to Jess Engebretson at

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2 thoughts on “BackStory Call for Pitches – Natural Disasters”

  1. Search “BackStory” and go with the most recent post. If there are no recent posts it means I haven’t heard from the show in awhile. You’d have to contact them directly for more details.

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