Beyond PitchFest: New market guides and tips for negotiating contracts

Photo by Paola RodriguezEditors attentively listen to freelancers pitch their ideas during PitchFest at Health Journalism 2022.

Hello freelancers! Many of you may be finalizing your pitches for the editors you met at PitchFest during Health Journalism 2022 in Austin and preparing to sign contracts. To help, I have added some new and revised market guides to the Freelance Center and provided a list of resources for negotiating contracts in case they contain clauses you don’t like.

And don’t forget to join our monthly Lunch & Learn discussion this Thursday. We will be discussing sourcing and reporting. Lunch & Learns provide an opportunity for member freelancers to chat about a designated topic over Zoom every third Thursday at 12 p.m. CST The Zoom link stays the same every month, and it can be found on the Networking tab at AHCJ’s Freelance Center.

New and revised market guides

Since last blogging about the market guides, I have added two new ones and one revised guide. Here are some quick summaries:

Grid News

This digital publication pays $2 per word for feature articles that range in length from 800 to 3,000 words. Science & Technology Editor Lauren Morello said, “Our sweet spot is the collision of science and medicine and policy.” Features typically approach a story through multiple lenses such as science, economics, misinformation, the law, politics and technology.


Leaps publishes articles about discoveries in science and technology that range in length from 750 to 1,500 words. This nonprofit venture pays freelancers $1 a word and slightly more to some of its veteran, award-winning writers


This online magazine pays between $1,000 and $3,000 for features that range in length from 1,000 and 3,500 words. Its audience of scientists, researchers, biohackers, entrepreneurs and trend spotters want to know “how science and technology alter the world within us — our own brains, genomes, and microbiomes,” according to its website.


Here are some resources if you were lucky enough to have landed an assignment at PitchFest but face a tricky contract situation. The information available on these sites is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.

  • A Culture of Safety: ACOS offers journalists a contract template and supporting explanatory documents.
  • Columbia Journalist Review: Attorneys offer advice about understanding and negotiating three important clauses found in contracts.
  • Freelancer Union: This member organization offers a step-by-step contract creator.
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts: Volunteer lawyers at VLA will assist low-income artists, including writers, with intellectual property issues and contracts. Membership is required.


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