How to write for Popverse
The Popverse is for everyone - do you have something formidable to add to the conversation? The Popverse welcomes pitches from freelance writers and video producers.
If this sounds like you, read on, as we're going to explain how to stand out and get your pitch considered for a possible paid assignment on the Popverse. This article explains where and how to pitch, lays out our freelance rate system, and gives you all you need to know about what the Popverse is looking for.
Where to send your pitchWe currently have two commissioning editors:
- Chris Arrant (editor-in-chief)
- Tiffany Babb (deputy editor)
You can send your pitch to either/all of these people. They go over pitches together, and will respond to the ones they have an interest in.
What to include in your pitch
First thing's first, a subject line for your email! Start with "Pitch:" then follow with a summary of your article idea. That could be something like "Pitch: Why Poison Ivy is a hero" or "Pitch: Why Fast & Furious is a superhero movie".
For the email itself, start by introducing yourself. Tell us who you are and about your writing/journalism experience.
Then, explain your article idea in two to three paragraphs - no more than 250 words. If you have trouble explaining your idea in that amount of space, consider that you might need to focus your idea more.
Include a proposed headline (or two, or three) to give us an idea of what you see as the unifying statement of the piece and how it relates to the general public.
Make sure to include links to your writing samples. It doesn't matter if these are professional writing samples or something you've done on your own. What we need is clear demonstration of your ability to write the kinds of work that the Popverse publishes. The best samples should be representative of what the Popverse publishes and what you are pitching to write.
What not to include in your pitch
As one writer to another, I strongly advise against writing the article and sending it to us in full before we enter into an agreement to work together. While we appreciate your enthusiasm, we want to be able to work with you on the conception and execution stages to avoid unnecessary re-writes.
Do not include an offer to run your piece for free. The Popverse pays for everything we publish.
Also, for brevity's sake - do not submit a description of an article pitch that is as long as the article itself.
What the Popverse pays
Our standard article rate is $100 for an article in the region of 1000-1800 words. This covers most features, interviews, reviews, etc.
We will endeavour to adjust the rate fairly according to the amount of work each article requires. Doing a particularly in-depth interview or deeper original reporting might call for $150 or more, while an exceptionally short write-up might warrant us to offer $50 or $75. We'll discuss this with you to agree on a rate.
As for other currencies, we work with writers all over the world. The agreed upon rate is simply converted to your local currency using the conversion rates at the time.
What the Popverse is currently looking for
That's a loaded question, as writing an exhaustive list of every single thing we're looking for would stress even the bounds of the internet. Sometimes the best pitches are for things that don't fit neatly into a box (or bullet point, in this case), so don't hold yourself too closely to these examples. Use the advice above and send it anyway.
That being said, here are the main types of articles we're looking for:
- In-depth analysis on big projects in comics, movies, tv, games
- A personal story that would be evocative to the Popverse readership
- Engrossing interviews/conversations with pop culture personalities that people enjoy
What the Popverse is not currently looking for
Let us be frank - we believe that all kinds of pop culture writing are valid. That said, we have a limited freelance budget so we have to pick our shots.
Opinion pieces, generally
If you are an expert in the field, a creator in the space, or have a unique perspective, then it's likely we're interested in an opinion piece from you on your subject area. But, there's a slippery slope in terms of being able to determine those factors and the potential audience for a piece.
The Popverse chooses what we want to write reviews on and assigns them to writers ourselves, and so we tend not to need pitches for reviews on specific projects.
The Popverse is flatly against any discriminatory or bigoted articles, including (but not limited) articles which are racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, ableist, anti-semitic, or other similar behavior.
What if I want to write about….?
If you've made it this far, you might be on the fence about if the idea you have is something we're looking for. As mentioned, the list of what the Popverse is looking for is a suggestion. If you think your idea is so good that we're sure to be interested, pitch it to us using the methods we described above.
And if you have a question that's not answered here, email one of the editors mentioned and ask - we're here to help.