How to pitch a story to Xtra
Xtra is an award-winning digital magazine and community platform covering LGBTQ2 politics, culture, sex, relationships and health. We tell stories in multiple ways: Short and long features, profiles, Q&As, essays, opinion pieces, explainers, video documentaries and podcasts.
If you are a publicist or a community member with a story idea you want to pass along, scroll down to find the appropriate person to contact.
If you’re a writer who wants to pitch a story, please read the following guidelines:
Start by spending some time on our website to get a sense of our voice, our areas of focus and the sorts of stories we publish.
Confirm that your idea hasn’t already been tackled by us or covered extensively elsewhere, or that you have a novel approach to the issue. Read our website and do a Google search to ensure that your idea and approach are original, fresh and a fit for Xtra.
Be specific about your focus, angle or argument. Use your pitch to show us your voice and tone. Tell us the format of your piece (essay, reported feature, opinion piece, etc.) and your proposed word length. Do some preliminary research on your topic to show us what’s at stake and why your proposed story is important and/or timely. Let us know the resources you will draw on and/or the subjects and sources you will interview.
Be brief. Don’t send completed manuscripts (except for submissions to “Love Like Mine,” see below). Please pitch your idea in the body of an email, no more than two or three paragraphs long. Include a one or two sentence bio, with links to two or three samples of your work. Writing from a personal blog is fine if you haven’t been published otherwise.
Avoid pitching to multiple publications simultaneously. We aim to reply to all pitches within one week of receipt. If you haven’t heard back from us within a week, feel free to send your pitch elsewhere. If you do decide to pitch to another publication at the same time, please let us know in your initial email to us.
How to submit to “Love Like Mine”
Xtra’s “Love Like Mine” column celebrates LGBTQ2 love in all its forms—romantic, familial, platonic and more. Here’s what we’re looking for:
A completed manuscript or a short pitch. You cannot submit an essay that was previously published online or in print. Your piece should be about 1,000 words in length and attached to your email submission as an MS Word-compatible doc or a Google doc.
A personal voice and tone. Write in your own voice, but please no journal entries or academic papers. We want readers to reflect on, and relate to, your story.
Vivid storytelling. Be clear and descriptive. Provide context and anecdotes. Situate your story in the world.
Scenes and characters. Show, don’t tell. Let us see what happened, where it happened and how it happened.
No author pseudonyms. We do, however, accept using first names, initials or pseudonyms for other people featured in the essay.
To ensure your story ideas, pitches, press releases and other communications reach the right person, please refer to our contact list below:
Gordon Bowness, executive editor: general inquiries, culture, health, “Love Like Mine”
Erica Lenti, senior editor: politics and identities
Riley Sparks, producer and story editor: “Inspired” and video stories