Pitch Guide

The majority of The Assembly’s writing and photography is from freelancers, and we’d love for you to be part of it.

We primarily run longform stories that have narrative and nuance. We also run shorter articles that break news, uncover new information, or provide unique insights. 

We like stories about power: who has it, what they’re doing with it, how they got it, and why it matters. We want to write about the people, ideas, and institutions that shape our state. Politics, business, culture, science are all fair game.

The best pitches will be surprising. We don’t want work that simply confirms a reader’s priors. Ideal pieces are focused on North Carolina, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have broad implications beyond the state. If you have a tie to North Carolina, let us know! If you don’t, that’s not a deal breaker. But be ready to demonstrate how you’ll ensure your story is firmly rooted in the state.

Pitches can be sent to pitch@theassemblync.com. They should include as many specifics about the story as you can, including characters, length, and timing. Please also include a little about you and some links to your published work. 

How Our Process Works

We review pitches weekly on Fridays and aim to follow up within a few days. We take pride in being a writer-friendly publication, and that means quick responses, attentive editing, and prompt payment.

Expect a collaborative editing process. This isn’t a file-and-move-on publication. Most stories will go through both structural and line edits. We promise to have a two-way discussion about how stories take shape.

Some stories, particularly investigative stories, will be assigned an independent fact checker. We also try to pair our written stories with original illustration or photography. Every story gets a deep copy edit before publication. 

Our Payment Structure

We aim to pay experienced journalists an ample wage for great stories. We also want to be fair, equitable, and transparent in how we do that. Assigning pay based on anticipated word count and individual relationships with editors is an imperfect practice that too-often lends itself to opacity and inequity. We start from a base rate of $1,000 and determine total based on five criteria: 

  • Reporting difficulty 
  • Reporting duration
  • Experience/expertise
  • Anticipated length
  • Exclusivity

We want to adequately value investigative work that can take months of reporting, while also compensating for having exclusive information delivered on a tight turnaround. We think writers with substantial experience in journalism or who are highly credentialed in their field should be paid commensurately. At the same time, less-experienced reporters should be rewarded for finding and telling the stories no one else is. 

Reporters are typically paid after the story is published, and we offer a kill fee if an assigned story doesn’t work out. 

Partnerships

We’re also open to co-placements and partnerships with other news organizations. If you have something in mind, please reach out to us at pitch@theassemblync.com.