VeryWell is Looking for Black Writers to Tell Black Health Stories Start at $250

VeryWell is Looking for Black Writers to Tell Black Health Stories Start at $250

"Hi! I’m calling for pitches from Black writers for a @Verywell

Health Black History Month series. I'm looking for reported stories about all things Black health as well as health-related reported essays. Send pitches to pdevarona@Verywell.com Rates start at $250.

 

Here are some topics/ideas we’re interested in to help in brainstorming: anything related to COVID, how family and community influences healthcare decisions, delays and barriers to care, timely stories, potential Q&As with innovative health orgs addressing Black health.

You can find a guide on how to pitch Verywell Health here: And my DMs are open for any questions!"

 

How to Pitch a Story to Verywell Health News

Verywell Health is always looking for fresh, timely health stories and new writers. Here’s a closer look at how we assign stories and how to pitch us.

What Makes a Story the Right Fit For Verywell?

Over at Verywell Health we take a human approach to health and wellness, and steer clear from the hyper-clinical. Our stories are really all about helping our readers, which we do in a few ways. First, all of our stories include clear takeaways. We want readers to walk away with actionable items: whether it’s how to be a better ally or blood clotting symptoms to watch out for. We also only publish timely stories. Whether it’s a trending topic online or a new study or policy, there needs to be a reason we want to talk about this issue at this very moment. 

The types of topics we cover include:

  • COVID-19
  • Health conditions
  • Nutrition
  • Mental health
  • Health disparities
  • Health policy


What Types of Stories Do We Typically Publish?

Most of our coverage, and what we look for from freelancers, revolves around trending topics. Some of our best stories add context to the stories our readers are already talking about: like why you shouldn’t compare COVID-19 vaccine blood clot risks to birth control and how to stay safe during COVID summer travel.

 

When done respectfully, we also enjoy highlighting narrative-centered stories. One writer explored the stories of women experiencing chronic cases of COVID, and the ways many were dismissed by the healthcare system. In another piece, our writer follows one family's experience with debilitating long-COVID symptoms. 

 

We also cover recent studies that offer new and interesting insight. For example, a study examining whether getting too little sleep ups your dementia risk. As a general rule of thumb, studies shouldn’t be more than a month old.

 

When organizations like the CDC or FDA and major health organizations release new guidelines, we cover those too. 



What Types of Stories Are We Not Looking For?

At Verywell, we don’t cover stories that highlight health disparities in the form of mortality rates without a clear takeaway or action item for readers. We also prefer not to cover animal/mouse studies. 

In some cases, pitches regarding parenting and fitness/nutrition, and mental health/wellness may be better fitted for our sister verticals: Verywell Family, Verwell Fit, and Verywell Mind. While we can offer guidance, generally, if there’s a clear link to a health condition, it’s a reasonable fit for Verywell Health.

 

How Should You Format Your Pitch?

In your pitch, you should include:

  • The story and information you intend on reporting out
  • What is timely or newsworthy about the idea 
  • Your thesis for the piece or “nut graf”
  • What kinds of sources you intend on reaching out to

If we haven’t previously worked together, introduce yourself and send over a few clips so we can get a feel for your work!

Here’s an example of what a successful pitch can look like: 

Hed: Vaccine “hunters” are crossing state lines to search for a dose

As vaccine rollout lags behind, and eligibility requirements differ state by state, people are taking matters into their own hands. All across Facebook, vaccine hunter groups are cropping up, where people are sharing information about available vaccine appointments across state lines. Some are even crossing over to nearby states to secure doses for themselves and their families. 

A few questions I’m interested in reporting out include:

  • Do states not require ID or proof of residence in the county or location you’re receiving the vaccine?
  • What are the ethical implications of pursuing this technique—are some states being hit particularly hard with an influx of outside “hunters”? 
  • And I’d like to provide some context and understanding around why people are vaccine hunting in the first place. 

Suggested sources:

  • Members from Facebook groups (link groups here) who can provide narrative to the story
  • Medical health experts, like bioethicists or doctors familiar with vaccine hunters to provide an expert perspective

Who Should You Pitch?

You can direct pitches to our associate editorial director Anisa Arnesault at aarnesault@verywell.com or our news editor Paola de Varona at pdevarona@verywell.com

What Are Our Rates?

Our rates begin at $250 per piece. 

Do Verywell Editors Respond to All Pitches and Stories?

While we read all pitches that come our way, unfortunately, we can’t respond to every single one. We regularly receive more pitches and emails than we have the bandwidth to respond to, so we only reach out about stories that seem like a good fit. If you don’t hear from us two weeks after your email, we encourage you to send your story idea to other publications. 

 


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