SFist is looking to expand and deepen our coverage of San Francisco, and we're paying.
We want original, compelling, heartbreaking, funny, enraging, enlightening work, written clearly and with an eye towards stories that cut through the dull hum of the internet stories that help the reader better understand San Francisco and the people living in it. It should not have been published anywhere else in print or online.
ALSO we are seeking occasional help from eager graphic designers and photographers, who can use this form to submit URLs to their previous work.
A well-sourced, 1,500-word indictment of downtown developer corruption is just as welcome as a 500-word profile of the 92-year-old Giants fan in your building who never misses a game. We want the gems buried at the bottom of Kafka-esque Planning Commission meetings and the life-affirming acts of kindness often obscured by the relentless crush of humanity; the joys of working for a dog-walking marijuana delivery service and the hazards of playing bicycle polo.
You should be as excited writing or pitching your story as we are reading it. The only thing we don't want (at the moment) is fiction. Pay depends on experience, quality, and length.
In general, "personal narratives" aren't a good fit for us, unless they're very unusual or noteworthy. So meditations on your experiences as a recently arrived San Francisco resident or on a specific neighborhood that you moved to probably won't work, unless there's a newsworthy hook and/or peg. Reported facts ("journalism") often improve submissions, and help distinguish them from personal narratives.
We give every submission serious attention, but due to a large volume of responses, it may take several days for us to get back to you. If you don't hear from us after a few weeks, assume the piece wasn't a good fit for us (but we think you are great and hope you'll submit again!)
Here's a short list of types of articles we tend to like: non-fiction mysteries, explainers that reveal how some aspect of the city works (like how to navigate a Japantown food store), well-reported pieces that expose injustice or corruption. Explore articles we've already published for more ideas.
Social topics that tend to get traction include bicycle politics and safety, marijuana, the SFPD's 'War on Fun,' the affordable housing crisis, quirky real estate stories, and SF's growing traffic problems.
Another category of pitches we enjoy are "dispatches" from other cities- where another city has invented a new solution to a typical urban problem, or a new kind of food, or a new kind of entertainment, that will probably spread everywhere in the next 5 years. Doesn't matter if it's a US city or from overseas, as long as it's novel and seems like it could spread.
Submit your stuff here, and please go easy on the attachments. URLs to earlier work are preferred, along with pitches of 3-4 sentences each please do not submit whole stories for publication. In the case of designers, a couple of URLs and a resume will suffice.