Here are some types of pitches for our Life and Culture sections that I’d love to receive for Slate

I’m looking to commission pieces that make connections across culture, life, and politics, and that feel urgent, necessary, and (sometimes) fun. Here are some examples of pieces I’ve edited that fit this bill. (This page was last updated in April 2024.) 

Intellectual genealogies of ideas that are driving The Discourse.

Fresh, strongly-argued coverage of what’s going on in American higher ed. 

Pieces that look at how the humanities are taught, using a narrowed-down lens to make a specific point.

Smart pieces about politics and culture online. 

Personal essays that use an experience as a “way in” to talk about something bigger.

Pieces about parenting that combine personal narratives with reporting, science, and history.

Arguments about how history is being used in present-day political debates.

Pieces that tell good historical stories with a side dish of analysis.

And…  here are the nuts and bolts: 

  • It’s rebecca dot onion at slate dot com.
  • Slate has a good Pitch Guide with more details about the format (plus a list of other editors and their areas of interest).
  • If something is time-sensitive (i.e., pegged to news that you imagine will drop out of the cycle quickly), do put that in the subject line of your email.
  • We usually run pieces between 1000-2000 words.
  • We can pay $300 and up, on a scale according to the piece’s complexity and required reporting. 
  • If you don’t hear back from me in 10 days’ time, please assume I’ve passed on the pitch.