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.
A well-sourced, 1,500-word indictment of governmental incompetence 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 the minutes 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, public transit, marijuana, SFPD abuses, the ongoing affordable housing crisis, quirky real estate stories, and SF's constant traffic problems.
Submit your stuff to [email protected], 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.