How to Pitch Study Hall


Study Hall is a digital publication and online community by and for media workers. While “media workers” is a broad category and so is our scope, we maintain a foundational focus on freelance journalists (although our readers include staff writers, editors, journalism students, etc).

We usually publish stories about media work and journalism, specifically ones that treat workers as central to the story rather than an afterthought. Our service content debunks common myths about the media industry and provides writers with a baseline for starting their freelance practice.

We also host panels, talks, seminars, and workshops featuring speakers who present on topics ranging from contract negotiation, branded content, landing an agent, and investigative reporting. In sum, our events explore how collective approaches to education, labor organizing, and knowledge sharing can upturn the otherwise exploitative media industry.


We publish, broadly, writing and reporting on media work. We’re also open to writing and multimedia projects that don’t necessarily center the industry as such but instead topics of interest to very online, increasingly jaded media workers: digital culture, making a living in the death throes of late capitalism, the influencer economy and its intellectual detractors, structural inequity in creative communities, Slack microaggressions, what your parents think you do for work.

We also believe that media workers, even (or especially) those without glamorous columnist positions or prestigious staff jobs, are uniquely positioned to assess what’s going on with regard to the industry as a whole. We welcome analysis and reporting on industry shifts, deep dives into the events, systems and people that have brought us to our current moment, and perspective on what’s next.

We want to know how media workers make and understand money, how they value and conceptualize their labor, what makes them stay in an unstable and sometimes hostile industry, and what, if anything, the media industry can teach us about the developing labor crisis.

We like voicey and original writing so long as it’s not gimmicky, and we’re open to ideas that we haven’t thought of yet or aren’t included here. We aren’t formal or hung up on convention, but remain hung up on quality of reporting and analysis. We like sharp thinkers with a point of view who are open to exploring new ways of conveying information.

Some of our (service) content is paywalled for subscribers only; the majority of our content is not. We pay on time (JustWorks or PayPal) and endeavor to respond to every pitch, although sometimes that isn’t possible. Accepted pitches usually go through at least one round of edits, very often more.

Types of Study Hall Stories


Generally between 800 and 1000 words, blog posts are informal writing often based in personal experience. They flesh out an aspect of media work or the larger media infrastructure. Wry observations from the content mines, reflections on what you’ve learned from experience, or subjective musings on digital workplaces that don’t fit anywhere else all go here. Blogs generally pay between $300-350. Send pitches to [email protected].


Essays are longer, more structured and more formal in their inquiry than blogs, although a conversational tone is fine; roughly up to 2000 words. Personal essays reflecting on lived experience related to media work are great, as is cultural criticism exploring a broader phenomenon through a writer’s personal lens, likely including research but not reporting. Essays pay generally up to $500. Send pitches to [email protected].


A brief (~1000 words), well-informed conversation with a person of note whose work in the broader media ecosystem would make them interesting to readers – questions should be well researched and specific to that person, not general “what does a day in your life look like?” discussions, and of interest even to readers that don’t already know who they are. Pitches should include why the person you’re proposing to interview is cool and what angle/topic your questions will explore; Q&As pay $250. Send pitches to [email protected].


Researched and reported pieces between 800 and 1600 words that examine a discrete and singular phenomenon in detail: an investigation into an ongoing labor issue impacting media workers, tracking down the facts of a digital media urban legend, a profile of a particularly interesting publication or project, or analysis of an industry anomaly that speaks to a larger phenomenon. Reports pay between $400-600. Send pitches to [email protected].


Features are longform pieces (2000+ words) that either explore a singular issue very deeply with significant research, reporting and generally an overarching thesis, OR tie together several themes or experiences for a well-structured and complex text in which the final whole is more than the sum of its parts. Features pay up to $1200, and we don’t run them all that often because that’s a lot of our budget and we have to be pretty selective with it. Send pitches to [email protected].

Digest Blurb

Longtime listeners will know that we publish a weekly subscriber-only newsletter of major news stories in the media world along with a link roundup and bulletin of career comings & goings; although the Digest is written by an SH staffer, we will occasionally publish a freelancer in it as well if they come to us with a timely media story we think our readers will care about but isn’t quite robust enough to be a report, something in the 200-500 word range. Send pitches to [email protected].

Service Content


A how-to piece is a concrete, detailed set of instructions toward a task or skill related to journalism or media work. They should be brief (500-1200 words) and specific such that they’re informed by lived experience in the field and not something someone can find in an SEO-driven blog post. “How to pitch” is not a good how-to topic; “how to successfully pitch culture editors when you don’t have a portfolio yet” is better. Generally it is assumed you’d be writing these from personal experience, but interviewing others is ok too. How-tos pay $350. Send pitches to [email protected].


Guides are overarching where how-tos are very specific; they aim to cover all the most important information someone (especially a new freelancer) might need to know about a topic, such that they can leave the guide feeling reasonably confident about navigating it. Good topics might include “contracts,” “bookkeeping for freelancers,” or “relationships with editors.” You should be grounding the guide in experience but research and/or interviewing will likely make sense too. Guides pay $800-1200. Send pitches to [email protected].


Editorial at Study Hall is collectively, so all of our staff participate in editorial decision-making. Questions about editorial content can be sent to [email protected].

Useful info to include in a pitch:

  • who you are, your background/experience and any relevant clips
  • brief summary of your story or event idea and any reasons it’s relevant to SH’s audience if not self-explanatory
  • what category of SH content you see the piece as if you know, expected length and scope for your piece, roughly expected timeline, and rate you’re looking for
  • any reporting or material you already have on the subject, and/or sources you hope to speak to for it
  • for events or seminars, any previous presentations or preexisting materials you have on the subject
  • if a broad or popular topic, what’s specific about your angle

Thanks! Talk to you soon.