A big part of Byteside’s publishing mission is to create a space for fascinating articles that we aren’t reading anywhere else. We love giving writers a chance to show off their original thinking, unique perspectives, and intriguing angles on ideas across technology and digital culture.
Are you an Australian writer (we want to support local voices first and foremost) and keen to pitch something specific that might catch our eye? Here’s a guide to how to prepare your thoughts to convince us your story is worth commissioning.
The Byteside focus
We love tech and digital culture. The new, the fun, the weird, the cutting edge. But we’re also concerned with where the current trajectory of digital leaders are taking us. We love games, we love online culture, we love new toys and gadgets, but we want it all to do more to bring us together instead of tear us apart.
The digital world has become a complex, messy realm and we want writers to explore both sides of the coin. Maybe even the edge of the coin. The change, the friction, the intersections… that’s often where the most interesting stories lie, and where the future emerges.
We aim to lift up and explore the the positive possibilities. Not tear down or criticise.
What we don’t want…
- General queries about writing ‘something’
- Basic requests to review a product
- Weekly columns or a series of stories
- News reports already published elsewhere
- Interviews without a clear, compelling angle
What we do want…
- Feature reports and analysis
- First-person essays
- Short cultural histories
- Unique opinions and personal perspectives
- Experiential product explorations
- Creative writing that explores our digital future
Got an idea that fits that you can refine into something with a clear voice and a solid central angle?
Then hop to it.
The hard truth: we do NOT get enough pitches at Byteside. We have a very small budget but we want to spend it. But there’s a lot of people who like the idea of writing articles and a lot less who follow through on their ideas. Do the work of sending a good pitch and you’re 95% of the way there.
Got it? Still with us? Here’s what to do next.
Key tips for selling your pitch
Lead with a headline suggestion. Yes, headlines are hard, but if you can’t boil your idea down into a catchy sentence then what’s so special about it?
You’re trying to sell us on your story. We’re here to give writers a shot, but you need to prove you’ve got a strong, exciting idea. And your pitch is its own sample of your ability to make a reader take notice.
Three paragraphs max. Establish what’s at stake, why this story needs to be told, and what underpins your perspective. Then leave us wanting more.
Have a strong sense of narrative. We don’t need suggestions for topics to explore, we want actual stories with a clear sense of the journey they’re about to reveal to our readers.
Show you know what you’re about to explore. Speak to what has already been written and why your take is a fresh perspective.
If this is a deep, deep passion, explain what you can reveal to others. Sometimes a great story just helps the wider world see inside a fascinating subculture or internet moment. If you were there and you know why others will find it amazing to hear about, make that clear.
Be specific. Delve closely into a single idea and what the wider trend or truth is that your story speaks to. Too many pitches are too broad or try to capture too much at once to tell a truly engaging story.
Suggest a timeline. A lot of writers pitch a great idea but then disappear for many months. We don’t mind work that takes time, but we do encourage writers to have a sense of timing and do their utmost to work toward a deadline and communicate any problems if they arise.
Include a link or two to other work. We love giving writers their first paid gig, but if you’ve got something you can point to – point to it.
If you’ve already written it, still pitch it. We don’t just want to read finished stories, we want to help refine an idea to make sure it’s a perfect fit for Byteside. But if you have it in the bag, still sell it like any other pitch.
Here’s some articles we think show the kinds of stories we love to publish. A lot of these examples are very game-centric, but we’d love wider explorations of technology and the impact of the digital on society.
Byteside freelance writing rates
Right now Byteside pays a flat frelance article rate of $250 / article.
Where to send your pitch
Include ‘Pitch’ in your subject line along with your headline, say hello, then hit us again with that headline and those couple of pitch paragraphs.
We will do our best to get back to everyone and give feedback even if we do not go ahead with your idea. But sometimes we’re snowed under, so please feel free to follow up if you do not hear back.
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Seamus runs Byteside. You may also have spotted his words at the Australian Financial Review, the ABC, Junkee, Gamespot, The Esports Observer, CNET, Gizmodo and a few other spots over the years. He's very happy that he gets to nerd out for a living.