Modern Notion call for (written) pitches

Call for PRINT pitches from Modern Notion. They have a radio show/podcast as well. Details and contact info below. -Mia
Modern Notion: Call for pitches
Science and history touch every aspect of life—life is science and history, it's just that sometimes, it's hard to see. We want pieces that amplify the science and/or history behind a story and thread it through to create a compelling, original but anchored piece. 

We’re looking for a range of pieces. Pieces that answer everyday questions, like: does blowing on your coffee actually cool the hot liquid? To pieces that explore current events: how will barnacles help us unearth Malaysia Airline's MH370's flight path? To pieces that take a strong opinion of cultural phenomena though the lens of science or history: why Americans should (but won't) eat horse.
Sometimes the science or the real history is controversial, and we don't want to shy away from that. And sometimes, the science and history leaves us with more questions than answers. We love mysteries on Modern Notion, and even if we don't always solve them, we like spelunking through them and emerging with a deeper understanding of their significance.
We pay for all stories. That number varies with each story (length, type, etc).

You can send pitches to

Upworthy is now accepting freelance pitches

This post has been making the rounds, but in case you haven't seen it, Upworthy is now taking freelance pitches. Request your freelancer packet at the address below. (I did!) -Mia

From Amy O'Leary,


I hope you're all doing great!  I've been working for the last six months at Upworthy, where I'm running the editorial team these days. Since I joined the company, we've been making a transition toward doing more original storytelling, and just this week we launched a freelance program.  We are excited to be hearing from all kinds of storytellers — not just traditional text-based journalists — to bring attention to stories for a better world.  And we are looking for pitches!  We've already worked with one radio journalist who has done some Upworthy versions of his original reporting for radio. We're happy to find ways to make stories you've done in other mediums go viral.

We love stories that are SURPRISING, VISUAL, MEANINGFUL and SHARABLE. Most of our stories are short — around 500 words, and are most interested in empathetic storytelling about human beings (we are less interested in essays, but more interested in surprising anecdotes). We love photo stories, too.

If you are interested in learning more, email for a freelancer packet that explains what we're looking for!

And pitch us!  We've already taken nearly a dozen stories in the last 2-3 days.

Feel free to share this email with your own networks of storytellers as well!



Call for Pitches from Making Contact

Call for pitches from Making Contact. A great place for longer-form radio stories on important topics. Details below!


Dear Freelancers,

We’re looking for pitches from freelancers on several themes. If you feel you have a story that fits or a new idea, please let us know!

We’re also always interested in pitches on any of our regular beats: prisons, poverty, corporations’ undue influence, reproductive health, climate change and the environment.

Formerly Incarcerated Change Makers

Do you know someone making change in your community or at the national level who was formerly incarcerated? It doesn’t have to be in the area of criminal justice but we’re looking for stories about people who are in some way working for change, after spending time in prison.

Tent Cities

“Hoovervilles” were named in shame a US President who was blamed for the great depression.  But collective living among the homeless has its supporters too.

Dignity Village in Portland and Nickelsville in Seattle are just two examples of self-managed “tent cities” that have arisen in the recent past—not simply last resorts stemming from an underfunded social service system, but chosen alternatives for those alienated by the institutional approach. And as the years go by, some of these “temporary” communities are threatening to become a permanent part of America’s future urban landscapes.

We are looking for personal stories that take us inside temporary communal homeless villages, small and large.  The listener should learn about the honest pros and cons, in an effort to see whether collective knowledge is being gained about arrangement and management.

***Please note–We did a show on squats last year, so we are not looking for that type of situation. The communities should be constructed by and for the homeless, not a reclamation of already existing structures.

Guilt by Association

We’re looking for stories about people who are targeted, not because of what they might have done, but because of their connection to an individual or group. It could be a story from the criminal justice system, but we’re also open to other stories that might fit this description.

Informal Labor Markets

What do you do when you can’t find a job? Whether it’s because the local economy is severely lacking employment opportunities; or how age, gender, and race play out in the labor market; or the marketability of skill sets, there are various reasons people are pushed into informal labor. These are essentially marginal jobs people take on to survive, such as collecting recyclables, or  transporting goods categorized as personal luggage across borders. Some suggest training and certificate programs are what’s needed.  But is that really getting to the heart of the problem? What pushes people into informal labor markets? What impact does that have on economies and people’s lives?

Climate Change

“Climate Resilience” and “Social Cohesion” are terms used by environmental justice advocates and academics to mean various things. We want stories that explore these terms. It could be a local clean energy project, local economies, New  York after Sandy or something else. How are communities working not just to survive but thrive?


What’s faith got to do with climate? “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and humanity’s responsibility to protect it, might give faith-based environmentalists added stimulus to organize. What are groups like Global Catholic Climate Movement doing to mobilize young Catholics. What are the tensions and contradictions between the Pope’s hopes and the general churches’ actions? And how significant was this call to action from the Islamic Climate Change Symposium?

The Starkest Borders

US/Mexico  Spain/Morocco  Israel/Palestine Greece/Albania  Singapore/Malaysia South Africa/Zimbabwe

It's at these crossroads of rich and poor nations, that the arbitrary nature of our borders is truly revealed. Why is the water undrinkable, 50 yards away from a place where it’s clean? Why are robust social services only available on one side of a fence?

This show is not about immigration.

We are looking for stories that bring us to one or both sides of borders between countries with vastly different standards of living, and see how the disparity affects the people and culture of those who live in close proximity. Interesting stories about professions that require people to cross everyday to work? Kids who cross to go to school?  Cross border medical care dilemmas?

What about the parallel histories of border cities on each side? Who drew that border, and why were some people left on the “wrong side”.

We would also be open to stories about the border between a country at war, and another at peace.


Making Contact is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on 140 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, emphasizing positive and creative ways to solve problems.

This call for pitches is for segments of about 8 minutes(unless otherwise noted), and we pay $450 per story of this length. We also occasionally take longer pieces (12 or 26 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?

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!

Laura Flynn, Jasmín López, Andrew Stelzer & George Lavender

Making Contact producers

Snap Judgment Call for Pitches, rolling deadline (they ALWAYS want great pitches)

Call for pitches from SNAP!! (Newly partnered with WNYC – nice!)


Hello everyone,

I'm excited to share the most recent edition of Snap Judgment themes! 

Before you pitch, please review our guidelines at to make sure your story is a good fit. You can send your brilliant pitches or questions to

Okay, onto the themes:

***Any Really Good Story***

We will never stop saying this.  If your story is amazing, it will make it on the air, theme or no theme.  In fact, consider the following themes inspiration, but do not take them as gospel.    

***Black Box***

Stories which only work because of what we don't know.  An unopened letter. The secret behind a magic trick.  The room you weren't allowed to enter as a child.  Stories in which some people want to open the box, and others don't, because — this time — the truth just might not set them free.  

***Long Distance***

Stories about that time someone went the extra mile with unexpected results. Long distance competitions, adventures, relationships, etc. Just remember, there’s gotta be a darn good reason for going just that far.

***Shangri La/Atlantis/Paradise Lost***

A childhood fantasy world or a grown up’s Eden, we want your stories about that hidden utopia that no one else knows about, or maybe just that one else else cares about!

***Water Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink***

Sometimes we’re surrounded by a bounty that’s just out of reach. Bring us your stories of famine during feasts, the virgin at the sex party, the blind juggler in a circus tent. Don’t be afraid to get creative!  

***Albatros/My Cross to Bear***

Stories of people carrying around something (either figuratively or literally) that weighs them down.  A duty.  A debt.  A reputation.  A lingering question.  Do they shake it off or learn to live with it?  Let us know.

***The Tax Man***

Yup, stories about taxes.  Fair or unfair.  Collecting them.  Dodging them.  And not just government taxes.  Crushing loans. Protection money.  The makeup tax.  But remember: no exploring an issue for the sake of exploring an issue.  We need plot, people.

***Rising Tide***

Do you know someone who is denying a change that’s happening all around them? Or something that's going to happen whether they want it to or not? Stories of confronting, fighting or fleeing a mounting force of nature, stories that inch towards something big, real big.

***Sell Out***

What’d they do? Why did they do it? Calling all stories of backroom dealings and record label signings.

***The Tape***

Stories in which a recording – once seen or listened to – has the power to change everything.   

upcoming grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, next deadline Sept 21

Upcoming deadlines for the Fund for Investigative Journalism. Next one, Sept 21. Go for it!! -Mia
The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) awards reporting grants three to four times each year for investigative stories and books, and is currently accepting applications for its upcoming deadline, Monday September 21, 2015 (5pm EDT).

FIJ’s Board of Directors seeks proposals for stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing – such as corruption, malfeasance, or misuse of power in the United States and overseas. FIJ encourages proposals written for ethnic media in the United States.

The typical grant is $5,000 and covers out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. Requests for small stipends are also considered as a part of the overall budget.

For more than 40 years, FIJ has been a resource for independent journalists working as freelancers or for nonprofit media outlets.

Mentoring: In partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists, mentors are recruited for successful grantees upon request. Mentors act as sounding boards, working with grantees over the course of their projects.

For detailed application requirements, visit the website: If you have further questions, contact executive director Sandy Bergo at or call 202-662-7564.

Following the September 21, 2015 deadline, applications will be accepted for the next deadline, which is February 1, 2016 at 5pm Eastern Time.


Sandy Bergo
Executive Director
Fund for Investigative Journalism
529 14th Street NW – 13th floor
Washington DC 20045
Selected for the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington


Final countdown for the 2015 New Voices Scholarship, deadline TOMORROW (8/21), 5pm PT

Whether you apply for AIR's New Voices Scholarship or not, please let me know if you plan to got to PRPD. I'm going for the first time and I'd love to see some friendly FC faces there.
A quick note to remind you that the deadline to apply for AIR's 2015 cohort of New Voices Scholars is tomorrow, Friday Aug. 21 by 5 p.m. PT. Here's the link to apply: All applicants should read the FAQ before applying (

Scholarships are $750 to $1,500 for up to 15 selected applicants to attend this year's PRPD Conference ( in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sept. 29–Oct. 1.

Any questions about it? Give me a shout at


AIR is everywhere

Rebecca Feldhaus Adams
AIR Talent Manager

San Francisco part time Sound and Screencast Editing gig

Passing along this Bay Area opportunity – details and contact info below!

I'm looking to hire a part-time sound and screencast editor in San Francisco for Evented Mind, an online video education company that reaches a large audience of people learning Web development and software engineering.
The job is to help edit and prepare for release the sound and video for new classes. A class is typically about 1 hour of video (screen casting style) broken into 10-12 chapters. You can see an example here: How The Web Works.
More details:
  • $300 / class (~ 1hr of video) negotiable depending on circumstance.
  • 1 – 1.5 hours of screencast style video and audio is captured in Screenflow in the correct order.
  • Estimated production is 1-2 classes per week.
  • Bring clips together, shorten dead segments, assign video chapters, clean audio (Adobe Audition or other tool), export final production video.
  • Bonus: contribute to improving content / production quality and help guide the production process.
If you're interested please contact me: and let me know a bit about yourself. I'll evaluate candidates by doing a paid test run with a short class. Really look forward to meeting you!

photog/videographer needed in Santa Clara, CA, this Sunday

Passing along this post from a long-time FC member.

Yo freelancers!
My colleague David Kravets is going down to Santa Clara on Sunday for a demonstration of this new football stats tracking thing (he can explain more). 
He’s looking for someone to accompany him to shoot some stills and video (total of 5 hours, starting at 3pm). Ars would pay $400.
You can meet him down there or roll with him (he’ll be driving from Walnut Creek).
If you’re interested, email:

Cyrus Farivar
"suh-ROOS FAR-ih-var"

Senior Business Editor, Ars Technica
+1 510 394 5485 (mobile)

Twitter: @cfarivar

2015 CA Documentary Project, deadline Oct 15

It's time to apply for your California Documentary Project grant. Nice chunks of money for good media works. Deadline October 15. Details below! -Mia

Dear Friends and Colleagues,


Cal Humanities is pleased to announce that guidelines for the 2015 California Documentary Project grant are now available and I’m writing to ask for your help in sharing them with your respective communities. This year’s deadline is October 15.


As always we are looking for high-quality film, radio, and new media productions that document California subjects and issues and that use the humanities to provide context, depth and perspective. Funding amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000 and a cash or in-kind match is required. Please note that California residency is not a requirement for eligibility.


For complete program guidelines, application instructions, dates and times for informational grant workshops, and a list of previously supported projects, please visit


Cal Humanities is an independent non-profit and a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 2003, we have awarded over $4 million to projects that document the California experience, including The Case Against 8, Regarding Susan Sontag, Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle, Seeking Asian Female, We Were Here: The AIDS Years in San Francisco, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, Romeo is Bleeding, and many more.


Thanks in advance for your help.







doc icon CA-Documentary-Project-2015-Annnouncement.docx

Ferguson Reporting Opportunity

I sent this out awhile back and the "official" application process is closed, but it looks like they're still looking for stories. Details below. -Mia


PBS Black Culture Connection and Cowbird are looking for photographers and digital campaigners on the ground in Ferguson, and for journalists to interview them. 

This is for a digital project on photography and the Civil Rights Movement. We're telling the story of how digital organizing has been used in Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter.

We're working fast, so please call 410-300-8779 or email coordinating producer if you're interested or know someone who would be. 

Here's more background: (applications are closed)