Pitch to Black Ballad
There are a number of different ways you can work with Black Ballad. Maybe you’re a writer, videographer or podcast editor who wants to work with us in a way that aligns with our mission of helping black women live their best lives and ultimately help them tell their stories on their own terms.
We see Black Ballad as the ultimate modern media company. Beyond our content, we organise events, create community initiatives and work with brands & advertisers in a way that is true to us and never compromises our relationship with black women. However, our content is and will always be the heart and soul of this media company. With that in mind, we are looking for content across text, video and audio that is original, engaging and impactful for our black women. With our platform being created for and powered by black women, we only commission those with the lived experience of black women to achieve our mission and vision and of course, we pay for ALL commissions as we respect and value the labour of black women.
We are looking for the stories mainstream media won’t tell. So for example, we are highly unlikely to commission pitches such as: why I no longer relax my hair or what returning to my hair's natural hair texture means. These stories are valid, but they have been told numerous times and are still regularly commissioned on mainstream media platforms. Instead, we are much more likely to commission: how do you care for your natural hair when battling depression as it spans across multiple themes such as mental health, black hair and ultimately tells a story you are unlikely to see on other journalism sites. Or videos such as our natural hair documentary as this joyous visual spotlights black women in the British natural hair movement who would be unlikely to be spotlighted on mainstream women’s lifestyle media platforms.
Likewise, we won't commission pitches like what it is like to be the only black woman in my workplace, again for the reasons listed above. In terms of the type of careers pieces we want to publish, previous articles such as The Black Female Health Professionals Fighting Coronavirus or Black Women Making Things Happen In The UK Music Industry - are great examples of the content we want. Both of these articles contain the experiences of multiple black women, while simultaneously addressing a topical issue or specific industry that gives readers insight and analysis into how black women deal with societal inequalities or celebrate their triumphs while dealing with workplace challenges.
Please remember we have a high editorial bar, as we are extremely blessed that black women pay for our content and are determined to deliver the content they deserve. So before you send your pitch, ask yourself, would you be willing to pay to read this story?
Other examples of the type of content we want and have commissioned that are unlikely to be published on mainstream media sites are below:
How to layout your pitch:
Please use this structure and layout below in order to be considered for a commission:
- Subject Line: PITCH* - Working title of the article
- *If the pitch is timely, or urgent, start the subject line with URGENT PITCH
- 3-4 bullet points or short paragraphs summarising the main points of the article
- A sentence that explains why your pitch works for our readers beyond the fact that they are black, British and female
- Examples of your work on other media platforms/blogs if you haven't been commissioned by Black Ballad before
- If you are writing an opinion piece or a longer investigation, please always include whether you plan to interview anyone else, use statistics or plan to reference other works about the topic you are pitching
- Include a short bio introducing who you are and your social media handles.
- Please send all pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org
- For pitches that relate to the experiences of Black communities not in London, please send your pitch directly to your region's editor here.
Please note if your pitches are not sent to the above email address it is unlikely that your pitch will be seen.
Dos and Don'ts when pitching to Black Ballad:
- We want to create the best journalism possible, so think beyond standard opinion pieces- so do include original reporting by speaking to others who have the lived experience of black women, do include statistics and do include interviews with experts on the subject matter you are covering. Below are two great examples:
Do make sure you have read the website thoroughly to ensure that you don't pitch articles that are the same or too similar to articles we have previously published.
Do be patient once your idea is sent in, please give us 5 working days to process your idea, as we are a small team of four people and only one full-time editor. We will try to get back to you in a quicker fashion if the pitch is urgent.
If we haven’t got back to you in 10 working days, it is probable that the idea doesn’t work for us, but please do continue to pitch other ideas.
Please don't pitch to us or chase us about editorial pitches and commissions on other platforms e.g. our social media channels. Our editor does not monitor those platforms and your editorial concern won't be answered or resolved that way.
Don't think your pieces have to be "race content." As black women, we understand that black women are multifaceted and have various life experiences and we want our content to reflect that. You don't have to pitch or write pieces about your blackness and how it reflects every aspect of your life. Yes, our blackness is important to us but feel free to pitch other ideas outside of race issues.
Don't send us fully written articles as pitches. We don't have time to read full written articles. Pitches that are sent in as fully written articles will not be accepted under any circumstances.
As black women pay for our content, they deserve the best quality journalism possible and we have a set of guidelines that we expect you to follow in order to maintain the high editorial bar we have created in addition to the publishing schedule set by our editor and team. If your pitch is accepted by an editor, we will send you a link to these guidelines and expect you to read and accept them as the terms and conditions for your pitch.
What we are currently looking for
- Unique/rarely-heard stories around motherhood and parenting
- Stories from Black British women living outside of London
- Original stories around dating/relationships
- Insightful stories around Covid-19 that won't be found elsewhere
Good luck and we look forward to hearing your ideas!