Want to write for Refinery29 Australia? Good news: we accept freelance pitches on a wide range of subjects.
We look to amplify underrepresented voices and how they are impacted by policy, represented in pop culture, and forge their own paths. We also help our audience navigate decisions big and small, from switching up their hairstyle to quitting their job. But before you send us your ideas, here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you’re on the right track.
A bit about us
Refinery29’s mission is to help women and underrepresented people see, feel, and claim their power. We’re launching Down Under to spotlight the unique experiences and perspectives of Australian women and TGD (trans and gender-diverse) people, predominantly Gen-Z and millennials. We’re fiercely committed to making space for and elevating the perspectives and stories of a diverse range of people, including racialised and marginalised women and gender non-binary people of all abilities, socio-economic statuses, identities, and sizes.
What kind of stories are we looking for?
We publish everything from personal essays to reported trend pieces and features on race, reproductive rights, and pop culture. Our favourite stories are surprising, illuminate the world around us, and are written through a local lens. That Australian flavour may come from the nature of the subject or simply be because the author has a distinct Australian voice in the media landscape.
We focus on lifestyle journalism; that is, journalism about living. We’re particularly interested in stories from freelancers under the Work and Money, Relationships, Wellness, Beauty, Social Justice and Politics categories. We aren’t a newsroom, but we do give context behind the headlines, report on how current events impact women and TGD people, and answer questions not addressed in quick news stories. Please note that we don’t accept fiction or poetry.
A few of our favourite types of pieces
Opinion-driven cultural pieces:
Personal essays with a unique angle:
Trend pieces with a point of difference:
What About Money Diaries?
How much will I get paid?
Our rates aren’t based on word count, but vary based on the type of story and the amount of work required. Please see our publishing guidelines for more specific guidance on rates, which will always be agreed to with the commissioning editor.
Here’s how to pitch to us
WORKING HEADLINE: To arrive at one, try to dilute the main takeaway - what made you interested in the idea? How would you describe it to someone with a short attention span to try and entice them to read?
CONTEXT: Why is now the right time for this story? Has a politician said something that's prompted the idea? Is there a new study on the subject? Is search interest in this topic increasing? Is everyone on Twitter talking about it? Is there a new product launch?
CONTENT: What will be discussed in the piece? What is the Refinery29 angle that makes it unique from the way others will write about it? What experts will you speak to? Will you be calling on case studies? Where will you source them?
CONCLUSION: What conclusion do you hope to draw? (This might change as you write and research, as might some of the above).
If there’s anything specific to you that makes you the right person to write the piece, let us know. Also include an estimated word count.
Other things to keep in mind
Not a regular Refinery29 reader? Time to change that. The most successful freelancers know exactly what kinds of stories a given publication is likely to tackle by nature of being familiar with the outlet. Because we publish a mix of Australian stories and localised pieces from our international editions, the best way to see what we assign for the Australian edition is to follow our Instagram account.
Do a quick Google search before pitching to make sure your idea hasn’t been covered by us recently. Remember: The best stories are surprising, challenging, entertaining, or help readers navigate the world around them. That means pitches should address why this story matters right now (which might be a solid news hook, but not necessarily), and what the larger takeaway is for the reader.
Diversity in interview sources matters, even if the story is not about race, identity, or inclusion. Please keep this front of mind when gathering experts/talent.
Due to the high volume of pitches we receive, please note that we won't be able to respond to every pitch. If it's of interest, you'll hear back from us; otherwise, your name will be added to our contributor database for future consideration.
We look forward to hearing from you!