We’re looking for a few good writers to join our growing Task & Purpose Contributor Network.
Since we published a call for pitches in July 2021, our inbox has been flooded with great ideas for stories that resonate with readers, including:
- The story of an Afghan interpreter turned U.S. soldier who rushed back to Afghanistan in order to save his family
- A compelling op-ed calling for an end to an “essentially meaningless” medal
- An insightful debunking of a rumor about U.S. Marines surrendering to British troops, from a retired Marine colonel who was there
- A deeply-reported look inside a suicide crisis affecting the military’s youngest troops
- A review calling the movie ‘Mosul’ the best Iraq War film ever made that prompted troops everywhere to share the Netflix password
- And a truly courageous piece of writing: a Marine lieutenant pleading for accountability from a general handling her sexual harassment case
As you can imagine, we need a lot more great ideas from you in 2022. We aim to publish diverse voices from inside and outside the military, from the most junior ranks to the most senior, that help the rank-and-file and the civilians they serve to understand the world and the military’s role in it.
So what are we looking for? If you’re pitching us for the first time, you should probably browse Task & Purpose and see whether your idea seems like a good fit. You can read up on our full pitch guidelines here, but generally, we greenlight ideas that will fascinate, interest, or excite a young military audience.
These can be big features helping explain the history of night vision or stories on how elite units are training, first-hand accounts and essays on big operations, the effects of combat and what happens after, or research-backed explainers on why pilots are leaving the military in droves.
(We’re not interested in daily or quick turn news stories, hot takes, super-short items under 500 words, or pitches on behalf of companies or agencies that will be promptly deleted and ridiculed.)
If you can imagine a bored specialist or lance corporal reading a story on their phone and learning something new, or talking about what you have to say to other service members — then we want to hear from you. Additionally, we are looking for established writers who are open to joining our Slack community and accepting pitches occasionally.
Most of our contributing writers are paid around $500 per article, but we go up from there if there is more work, reporting, and editing involved. Aside from getting paid, you’ll be able to join our Slack community and chat with your fellow writers and T&P staff.
Whether you’re a journalist, researcher, academic, service member, veteran or military family member with an idea and a dream, we want to hear from you. If you’re interested in pitching us, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your pitch needs to grab our attention, but it doesn’t have to be a novel; a few paragraphs will usually do. Try to make the subject line of your email sound like a compelling headline that will capture the attention of our readers.
- Tell us about the story you want to tell and how it will be structured.
- Who are the main characters and what kind of research is going into this?
- What can the reader expect to take away?
The full story arc doesn’t have to be completely clear, but we should get the sense that we’ll enjoy reading the final product. A sentence or two on your past (especially similar) work with links to previous stories is also a big help.
If your pitch is a fit for us, we’ll be in touch. If it’s not, we probably won’t. If you don’t hear back after at least a week, you can assume we’ve moved on. We receive a lot of pitches, so don’t take it personally and keep trying.
If your pitch is successful, a Task & Purpose editor will reach out and work with you on crafting a piece with the tone, quality, and length we’re looking for. We work together primarily over email and in Google Docs. You’ll be required to sign a freelance writing contract and any potential conflicts of interest will need to be disclosed to readers.
Send us an email if you have any questions or leave them in the comments. We can’t wait to hear what you come up with.