How to pitch a story to FanSided

FanSided covers the world of sports from every angle and we’re always looking to build relationships with new freelance writers. In particular, we are looking for freelancers who can help us tell stories on new subjects and in new voices, whether that’s through access, creative approaches or unique perspectives and experiences.

We are open to pitches for opinion columns, essays, detailed analysis, interviews, reported features, cultural criticism related to the world of sports, fan fiction any anything else you might dream up related to the world of sports. We are looking for stories about the world of sports both on and off the field and are very interested in stories from voices that are historically underrepresented in sports media — women, POC, LGBT+, etc.

Our rates vary based on length, topic, timeliness and the unique expertise or experience you bring to the topic. All of our payments are made through Payoneer and our policy is to send payments within 60 days of the end of the month in which the piece was published.

If you’re planning to pitch us a story make sure you know what your story is before you reach out. In about 200 words or less, tell us what kind of piece you’re pitching. How long do you anticipate it being? What is the most intriguing piece of the story and why do you think it would be a good fit for FanSided? If it’s a topic that has been well covered at other sites, tell us why your piece is unique and what new things it brings to the conversation. If it’s a reported piece, let us know what interviewing or research you’ve already done and how you plan to finish the rest.

When you are emailing your pitch please include a proposed headline in your subject line. If you have already written some of the piece, feel free to include a draft but it’s not necessary. If you have not previously written for FanSided, include no more than two or three clips of your best work from other outlets and it helps if the links you send are representative of the kind of story you’re pitching. Tell us why you’re the right person to do this story.

All pitches can be sent to [email protected].

Please give us a week or two to review and respond to your pitch. If your story is particularly timely, it’s okay to send a follow-up email. We do our best to respond to all pitches but we can’t promise. If your pitch is something we’re interested in we will let you know as soon as we can.

Below you’ll find some additional details on the kinds of stories you’re looking for and how to make your pitch as strong as possible.

FANSIDED FEATURES

In the past, we’ve run deepplayerprofiles, run historic events through a new lens, explored the science and practice of preparation, learned the history of sports media institutions and new fan communities, and followed professional athletes as they build new lives off the field.

Our FanSided Features stories run anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 words and although most of what we’ve run in the past has been reported non-fiction, we’re always interested in branching out into new and different structures. Just because we’ve never done a story like yours doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in hearing a pitch for it.

Feature pitches require a bit more preparation than other kinds of stories. If reporting is going to be part of the story, it helps if you’ve conducted or at least lined up some of your interviews so that you’re sure you’ll have the access. Share what you’ve plotted out for the arc of the story. Who are the characters it will be built around? Who do you plan to interview for the story? What non-interview sources will be part of your research. If you have done stories like this before, it helps to send some examples.

FAN VOICES

Fan Voices is our home for fan-forward stories about the experiences of fans and how relationships with sports, teams and athletes have rippled through their lives. These are first-person stories that explore the practical and emotional implications of fandom. In the past, we’ve run stories in this series on the ways fandom can bind a family together, the way fandom can help us find community and identity, or survive some of the worst things that life can throw at us. We’ve run stories about expecting more from our favorite teams and what it feels like when we know that optimism is misguided. Every fan has a story, we want to hear yours.

WHY WE PLAY

Built, in part, around our partnership with Special Olympics, Why We Play is our home for stories about the power of sports to bring us together, overcome obstacles, make positive change and reach everyone. In the past, we’ve run profiles and interviews with athletes overcoming enormous obstacles as well as covering the systems, structures and support networks that help them along the way. This is a new series for FanSided and we’re looking to expand it dramatically in 2022. Help us shine a light on the athletes and organizations that are helping make sure sports can be for everyone.

COLUMNS, ESSAYS AND INTERVIEWS

We’re interested in stories about the personal side of sports fandom, criticalanalysis of the overlapbetweenculture and sports, and shorter interviews with interestingcharacters. We’re not interested in hot takes but welcome thoughtful and insightful analysis of sports both on and off the field, with a personal touch. When you’re pitching us these kinds of stories make sure you’re bringing something unique and relatable, beyond just personal opinion.

ANALYSIS

Explaining what’s actually happening on the field (or court) and why are among the most important stories we bring our readers. We’re always looking for experts to help break down complex concepts and teach our readers about the game itself. We run detailedanalyses of young prospects, explain how players are taking the leap, explore how certain players work in tandem and how league structures affect everything from team building to game strategy.

If you are pitching us a piece of analysis, make sure you can strongly articulate your thesis and you already have supporting evidence in place, whether it’s video, statistics or something else.

EVERYTHING ELSE

At FanSided, we’re interested in any story that will resonate with sports fans and our readers and that sometimes means going beyond the normal structures of sports media. We’ve run fan fiction (serializedandnot), critical analysis of the best mustaches, dunk contest props and timeout spectacles in NBA history, gift lists for players, strange aesthetic ramblings, pop-culture comparisons and pieces using academic and philosophical frameworks to examine the world of sports.

Don’t be afraid to get weird. We’re weird too.