SELF is inviting submissions of pitches from writers for publication on their platform. Submit your pitches and get published now!
SELF magazine is a mission-driven health and wellness brand. Their goal is to help people take good care of themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. Sometimes they do that by reporting on individual actions that can make a difference; sometimes they do it by highlighting efforts to make systemic or institutional change. Sometimes it’s a bit of both. Whatever the case, SELF is here to help.
What to Pitch?
Since SELF is a health and wellness service brand, they’re looking for stories that will help improve personal health or public health. When pitching a story, you should be able to answer the question: How is this helpful?
They have a few main categories of focus: health, fitness, food, beauty, love (think sex and relationships, both romantic and otherwise), and lifestyle (travel, money, career, home, productivity, and so on). Beyond those categories, here are the types of stories they’re looking for from freelancers:
- Reported Service: They’re focusing almost exclusively on service journalism—stories that give people the information they need in order to take action. They’re typically looking for reported pieces that rely on research and expert insights. Think how-tos, tips, tricks, advice, and explainers that people can act on.
- Personal-Experience-Based Service: They are not accepting pitches for personal essays right now, but are accepting pitches for service stories that are based in part (or fully) on your non-expert, yet still relevant, personal experiences. The idea is to share a wellness practice you have that accomplishes a very specific task in your life, and that you think other people might benefit from hearing about as well.
- Expert-Recommended Product Roundups: Good product recommendations can be a huge service to people—the key is finding the right people to make those recommendations. For product roundup stories, you should pitch a list of products that fall into a particular category, as recommended by people whose independent expertise and experience make their recommendations noteworthy and valuable.
- Opinion and Cultural Criticism: They don’t accept a ton of opinion or cultural criticism pitches because those are mostly handled in-house or by their recurring columnists, but they are open to them. The key is that the idea needs to be timely, relevant, and research- or expert-informed.
- Features: SELF very rarely accepts feature story pitches (when they assign them out, they develop the pitches in-house). But when they do, the key is that the feature is heavily reported and also structured around a narrative.
When reaching out with a pitch, please include the following:
- A working headline (or two) that shows very clearly what the story is about.
- A paragraph or two with a description of the story, including why it’s relevant right now, how it can be helpful to people, and what your angle or approach will be. Be sure to also include the types of experts or the specific people you want to speak with—the more specific, the better.
- If you’re new to working with SELF, it helps to include clips of relevant work you’ve done, as well as any information that illustrates your expertise in the topic you’re pitching. They are especially interested in developing relationships with freelancers who have established beats.
- A word-count estimate.
How to Pitch?
SELF’s editors will make every effort to respond to your pitch within seven days. If you do not hear from us in that time frame, please feel free to pitch your story elsewhere. The following editors are currently accepting pitches for the following subjects:
- Alisa Hrustic, health director (alisa_hrustic[at]condenast[dot]com): Autoimmune conditions, tick-borne or mosquito-borne diseases, health conditions specifically impacting those who have vaginas: PCOS, endometriosis, etc., chronic illness/pain, misdiagnosis, advocating for your health, up-and-coming mental health treatments, “everyone wants to know” health questions (Why do certain smells trigger memories? Why does cleaning your ears feel so good?), personal mental health experiences rooted in service, the intersection between health and nature, the climate crisis and its impact on public health, the intersection between systemic racism and public health, the intersection between gender identity and public health.
- Allison Tsai, associate health director (allison_tsai[at]condenast[dot]com):Health conditions, particularly skin conditions, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, mental health conditions like anxiety/OCD and postpartum anxiety/depression, pregnancy and parenting, health disparities.
- Melissa Matthews, associate health director (melissa_matthews[at]condenast[dot]com): Health conditions, general health and wellness, health trends, access to health care, disordered eating.
- Cathryne Keller, associate wellness director (cathryne_keller[at]condenast[dot]com): General wellness + lifestyle, wellness trends + products, beauty + skincare, sex + dating, relationships (of all kinds), food + fitness (particularly in the realms of Intuitive Eating + Health at Every Size), travel, work + home life, humor, self-compassion, mental wellbeing, body image, mindfulness.
- Christa Sgobba, associate fitness and food director (christa_sgobba[at]condenast[dot]com): Fitness, food, and nutrition.
- Jenifer Calle, senior commerce editor (jenifer_calle[at]condenast[dot]com): Commerce-related pitches, gift guides, product launches.
- Malia Griggs, commerce editor (malia_griggs[at]condenast[dot]com):Commerce-related pitches, sale information, wellness products you can’t live without, roundups based on your expertise, expert-based product recommendations.