Want to write for The Pigeon?
Unlike most legacy media outlets, we care about what young Canadians have to say. Young Canadian writers are encouraged to send us story ideas about justice, identity, politics, climate, and health.
Whether you’ve gone to journalism school, are still a student, or are just finding your love for writing now, we want to hear your ideas.
Before you pitch
The Pigeon is devoted to sharing feature articles and personal essays that tell unique stories from across Canada. We want to hear from underrepresented, inexperienced, and overenthusiastic young journalists.
The Pigeon publishes feature articles and personal essays about anything that affects Canadian youth. Our articles are typically 1000-1500 words.
To understand the kind of articles we’re is looking for, read our website regularly to get a sense of our tone and style. Make sure we haven’t already published an article similar to your pitch.
Pitching The Pigeon
The Pigeon’s editorial team accepts feature and personal essay pitches on an ongoing basis. All pitches should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. In under 300 words, provide a brief description of the story and who you plan to interview, as well as a proposed word count.
While not every story we publish has to be directly about Canadian youth, it should at least matter to that age group. We also prioritize stories that fit into the following categories—justice, identity, politics, climate, and health. The best way to get an idea of our stories is to read what we’ve already published.
Please note in your pitch email what level of experience you have with journalism and writing, so our editorial team can walk you through the editing process. If you haven’t worked with us before, we also encourage you to provide one or two examples of your work.
Once you have sent in a pitch, you should expect to receive a response within 5-7 business days. While we do our best to reply to every email, we may need longer if things are busy.
If your pitch is accepted, an editor will introduce themselves and work with you to flesh out your idea, confirm sources, and finalize any details before agreeing on a deadline for draft submission.
Before you write
Writing for The Pigeon
While writing a first draft for The Pigeon, please refer to our Official Style Guide and familiarize yourself with our specific preferences for articles, specifically grammar, punctuation, and content. Adhering to these guidelines will ensure you submit a polished first draft to our editorial team. An editor will send you a PDF copy of our style guide if your pitch is accepted.
Reach out to your sources, interview them, and create a draft article of roughly 1000-1500 words. This draft should include a proposed headline, the body of the article, and a brief author bio. For more information on the contents of a feature, refer to published articles on The Pigeon website.
Once your draft is submitted, you and your editor will work together to polish your piece. This may take multiple rounds of edits before you are both satisfied with the final product. Your article will then enter internal rounds of editing for style and grammar before being scheduled for publication.
The process of editing a long-form article is more involved than the process for shorter pieces. While our editorial team will work with you to preserve your voice, we may ask that you change the structure, tone, or style of your piece to match our standards. This is normal for most publications.
The Pigeon’s Official Style Guide
While our editors keep an eye out for grammatical and stylistic errors in each article, it’s important to have a sense of a publication’s specific style before submitting a draft to them. This shows the editors that you’re detail-oriented and take the time to read our guidelines.
Our Style Guide also contains our journalistic practices for speaking with sources belonging to equity-seeking groups, and addressing topics important to equity. We expect each of our contributors to have a strong grasp on these guidelines.
Interviewing your sources for The Pigeon
To write a feature article, you’ll need to interview a variety of sources about your topic. From individuals to experts, a good feature will include a minimum of 2-3 sources, with quotations to provide evidence and opinions.
If you are unfamiliar with the interview process for a feature article, don’t hesitate to ask your editor for help. In addition, The Pigeon has the following guidelines for conducting interviews:
- Interviews should be conducted in person, over the phone, or over a video call whenever possible. Written statements can be accepted with permission from an editor.
- At the beginning of an interview, tell your source that you are interviewing them for The Pigeon and will be recording your conversation in order to accurately quote it.
- It’s also important to mention that your source’s comments are on the record—your source should not say anything they would not want published in an article.
- Confirm your source’s name and pronouns at the beginning or end of an interview. Have them spell out their name to you, and repeat it back to them. Even if their full name is on social media or in their email, it is important to double check this.