Submissions

After reviewing our guidelines below, please email submissions to the appropriate inbox.

An editor will review all submissions and contact authors directly if interested in working with you. Please note that due to the amount of submissions we receive and our capacity, we cannot respond personally to all queries.

If you do not hear back from us regarding a pitch, please don’t give up. As Aaliyah said, “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again!”

While we do publish syndicated material, we prefer exclusive content. If your submission has been published elsewhere already, please state exactly where and when with your submission. If this is a simultaneous submission, please note that.

Once your submission is approved for publication by an Overground Collective editor, exclusivity going forward is assumed. Exceptions are occasionally approved by the editor.

Please include a phone number where you can be reached with your email submission. If your pitch is accepted, we may ask for a photo to attach to your author byline. Thanks in advance for submitting your work to Overground Collective.

Guidelines and “Proximity”

Overground Collective was created with the singular goal of amplifying Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) voices and perspectives. While we will occasionally feature non-BIPOC writers, all pitches will be reviewed with this goal in mind.

Try to imagine the story you’re pitching as a tangible object. Now imagine how “close” or “far” you are from it.

Are you African American and writing about how you live in an area with a significant Black population, but 75% of the state legislature where you live is white? Are you a military veteran and urging the U.S. to shrink its defense budget to pay for desperately needed social programs like education and healthcare? Are you trans and writing about the Supreme Court’s decision to include gay and trans folks in the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1965?

That is the sort of proximity we are looking for.

In other words, are you, in any way shape or form, representative of or adjacent to the community you’re reporting on? If not, then perhaps consider letting someone who is “closer” to that story be the one who tells it. Plainly, we want people to feel empowered to be the voices for their own communities. To facilitate this, we adhere to a strict “proximity meter.”

Features

Overground Collective’s feature section is a space for investigations, reported stories, and thinkpieces between 600 to 800 words. In addition to traditional features, we’re looking for stories that lend themselves to nontraditional formatting: Q&As, photo essays, infographics, comics journalism, etc.

How to pitch: Pitch 1-3 months in advance of any time-specific hook—an anniversary, movie release, book publication, etc. We are unlikely to accept reviews of already published books. Send pitches to “features[at]overgroundcollective[dot]com.”

Sections

Our sections offer a space for idea-driven writing with a distinct, authoritative voice. That may take the form of reporting on a national issue, local news, a personal essay, a historical piece, thinkpieces on cultural or political trends, or reviews of books, movies, or TV shows as a jumping-off point for a larger discussion. We believe that big ideas can be expressed in ways that are not full of jargon or “wonkery,” and that great writing, at its best, relates people’s lives and interests to broader community and societal issues.

How to pitch: Time for pitches varies based on what stage of production your content is in. As a general guiding principle, send pitch ideas around 2-3 weeks in advance. If you’re pitching a (just about) finished product, 1 week advanced usually suffices depending on how heavily your piece needs to be edited. To increase your chances of a successful, honestly evaluate your week and gauge how much work it needs. The more work, the earlier the pitch should be sent. Send pitches to “sections[@]overgroundcollective[dot]com” with “pitch” in the subject line followed by the name of the section.