How to Pitch the Order of the Good Death


So, you want to write for us? Great! Here’s a handy guide, to help you know more about what we’re looking for (and also what we aren’t looking for).


Our advocacy centers on the ways we think about, remember, and interact with our dead, with a focus on ensuring all people have access to a good death, and the resources needed to achieve it, so the articles we publish will reflect this. We do not feature pieces that have been published elsewhere.


How to Pitch

Email pitches to our editor and director, Sarah Chavez at submissions(at)orderofthegooddeath.com

Be sure to include “pitch” in your subject line. If your pitch is about a current event or timely subject, you can also include “time sensitive” in your subject line and we’ll do our best to look it over ASAP.

In 2-3 paragraphs let us know why your piece is a perfect fit for The Order, and give us some details. Don’t forget to tell us why you are the best person to write it, or what particular insight you’ll be able to lend to the subject.

Include links to previously published works, preferably things that are similar to your pitch, (for example, don’t send us something from an academic journal if you’re pitching a personal essay, if possible). Do not send attachments.

Some things to keep in mind:

Topics are fine, but what we’re really into are ideas. Say you want to write about Native burial spaces in the U.S., or maybe natural burial? That’s great, but we really love it when writers push the envelope further (see the linked examples). We want stories that challenge our basic ideas about a subject, and reveal something about our society, beliefs, ourselves and our relationship with death.

Be original! Obvious, right? If Swedish Death Cleaning is a hot topic, and everyone is covering the subject, chances are we won’t be interested unless you have a completely unique take. Research what is already out there on a subject and give us a completely different angle.

What We’re Looking For

Don’t get us wrong, we love a great concept for a piece, but these are the things we prioritizing:

1.

Pieces on the many ways death intersects with race, disability, gender, immigration, class, politics, capitalism, and sex are what we want to see most.

2.

Features on the many ways humans have been reckoning and interacting with mortality, death, and the afterlife, throughout history and today; through art, the corpse, terror management theory, religion, and culture (that includes pop culture!).

Some examples:

3.

Stories that showcase individuals and organizations who are taking death positive action in their communities, and offering alternatives to the funeral industrial complex by applying the concepts of community care and mutual aid to the end of life. What are the ways people are working to make end of life and death care more equitable, affordable, and accessible? Like Mario’s Caskets, A Place To Dieor this collective of Black midwives working to stem the mortality rates of Black mothers and infants.

4. 

Articles that challenge or examine gaps in death education, practices, or advocacy, like what barriers exist in mortuary science programs for Black, Indigenous and other students of color? How do these things manifest in a professional funeral service setting? With families?

Gentrification and funeral homes and Cultural appropriation and commodification in teaching and practice.

5. 
Practical Guides that answer important questions like how do I talk to my therapist about death? How can we honor a life in the absence of a funeral? Or How to talk about death positivity and suicide.

What We Don’t Want

Pitches from businesses or people that sell a deathy related product, looking to write a piece about what product, book, or services they offer. We do not accept paid or sponsored content.

Listicles. Lists are fun and super useful if you need to go shopping for your cat’s quinceañera, but not really what we’re looking for. (We are looking for invites to your cat’s quinceañera, though).

Things we’ve already published articles about or have covered on the Ask A Mortician channel.

Completed drafts. We just don’t have the time to read through an entire piece, so please adhere to the 2–3 paragraphs mentioned above.


Additional tips and guidelines

Personal Essays

There are so many great places that feature personal essays on death and grief, so we are only looking for experiences that aren’t often included, or given a platform.

Some ideas:

  • Dealing with death, grief, and mourning of incarcerated persons.
  • Death and grief in families separated by immigration, displacement and/or deportation.
  • Mourning and memorialization of missing persons, or victims of violent death.
  • Neurodiversity and death, grief.
  • Are you a home funeral or green burial advocate and you want to offer these ideas and services to your community who may be skeptical or hesitant for cultural, historical, or religious reasons?
  • Preparing your children for the death of their parent, sibling or other loved ones.
  • How death intersects with chronic illness and disability.
  • Disability and working in death care.

Word Count

We don’t have a firm word count, but the sweet spot for our audience is 800 – 1,000. We’re flexible, let’s talk.

Most of the pieces we publish at The Order have been commissioned by us, and we frequently invite or approach writers we love to address a specific topic. If you think someone would be a perfect fit for us, drop us a line!

Payment

Yes, we do pay! We are a small organization, so it is not nearly as much as we’d like, but we value you and your labor and can offer something to our contributors.

Hearing Back From Us

We will try to follow up with you within two weeks if we are interested. We are a very small operation, so unfortunately we do not have the bandwidth to respond to or provide feedback to everyone, but we want you to know that we are grateful for your time and consideration.