So, you want to write an article, or create a video for our social media platforms? 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).
How to Pitch the Order of the Good Death
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 and videos 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:
Pieces on the many ways death intersects with race, disability, gender, immigration, class, politics, capitalism, and sex, and features on funeral reform are what we want to see most.
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!).
- What the Dead Can Teach Us About Aging and Beauty
- Eating Toward Immortality
- The Unbreakable Spirit of Black Gospels During Funerals
- How Death Positive Women Kickstarted a Civil War
- Exploring Grief In Animal Crossing
- Victorian Murder Collectibles and Our Enduring Fascination With True Crime
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 Die, or this collective of Black midwives working to stem the mortality rates of Black mothers and infants.
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?
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.
We would also love to see practical pieces on subjects like donating your body to science, meaningful and creative things to do with cremated remains, what should you do if you find ashes in a thrift store?
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
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.
- 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.
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!
We only consider pitches for our social media platforms, (do not send us pitches or ideas for Ask a Mortician). Watch this video we created with Danelle Belleny, the Cemetery Birder, to get an idea of what we’re looking for.
When pitching consider that videos will need to be 59 seconds or less. If you are an experienced creator who can do it all, great! However, if you are working on an amazing death positive project, or have access to a subject or story that we’re interested in, and you need some support we can help! Our editor can work with you to create a script outline. You would need to be responsible for filming, and providing still images/photos.
The Order team will be responsible for editing audio, film footage, and images you submit.
Yes, we do pay! We are a small nonprofit 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.