Contributor Guidelines & Pitching 101

Image: Megan Brewer

Who are we?

Siren: A Women in Sport Collective is a collective of women’s sports advocates, content creators and fans who for years have been left wanting more from mainstream coverage of women in sport. 

Realising we could achieve more together than separately, we combined our skills, experience and knowledge to form Siren: A Women in Sport Collective.

Our mission is to elevate women’s voices, alongside other diverse and marginalised voices through in-depth storytelling, analysis and opinion, and deliver feminist content that challenges the status quo of sport media. 

Contributor guidelines

What do we publish? Lots of things! Interviews, profiles, season previews and reviews related to women’s sport. But also essays and op-eds, lists, audio and video content that explores and provides insight into the women’s sport space. We regularly feature athletes, but we’re also interested in women in sport. That includes women in administration and coaches, and women behind the scenes from the grassroots to the elite (ideally with an Australian angle but we’re open to exploring international coverage too). 

We encourage submissions that play with form: first-person pieces, creative nonfiction, and feature pieces. Do you have something that straddles both sport and technology or pop culture or social justice or history? We’re interested. 

Think creatively about sport and about women in sport. Be playful and ambitious. Funny is good, we love funny. 

Never written about sport? No problem. This is your first time pitching? Great! (See some pitching tips below)

Our mission is to challenge the status quo of sport media. Keep that in mind, but don’t be intimidated by it. We don’t expect everything we publish to be taking aim at the patriarchal structures underpinning much of the sports coverage we see today. An interview is an interview and that’s absolutely ok. 

A few specifics: we only publish original work that has not already been published elsewhere unless otherwise agreed. Generally, we’re looking for between 800-1000 words. But we’re flexible if your idea demands more, or less. 

If you have any questions, or want clarification on any of these guidelines, you can get in touch at contact@sirensport.com.au

Part of Siren’s mission is to elevate women’s voices alongside other marginalised voices. Historically those voices haven’t enjoyed the practical advice, mentorship and support that has helped so many others before them. 

We want to change that. 

That’s why, alongside these contributor guidelines, we’ve put together some advice on and tips for pitching. If you’ve never pitched before or it’s something you struggle with, this will hopefully be helpful.

Pitching 101

Getting a pitch right goes a long way towards getting commissioned. A succinct and clear pitch will catch our attention. And spending the time to craft a good pitch will help you to refine your ideas. It’s a win win!

So, some tips. 

Know who you’re pitching. Have you read some articles on Siren and/or read a couple of newsletters and have a feel for the kind of work we publish and the stories we’re interested in? If not, do that now. Because if you know what we’re about then you can explain why your pitch is perfect for Siren. Tell us how your pitch fills a gap in our coverage or is an angle we haven’t covered. 

Pitch a story, not a topic. The pay gap is a topic. An interview with an athlete who also works as a scientist or builder because her sport doesn’t pay her enough to be full time is a story. Mainstream media coverage of women’s sport is a topic. A story about a broadcast channel cutting away from the middle of a broadcast of women’s sport and why this is a problem, is a story. 

Be original. Know what else has been done on this subject, at Siren and elsewhere. If the story has been done before, or is something that received or is receiving a lot of coverage,  explain how your angle is new and interesting. 

Questions to answer in your pitch could include:

  • What: What is your piece about?
  • Who: Do you want to interview anyone? Who?
  • Why: Why do you want to write this piece? Why is Siren the best place for this piece to be published?
  • When: How long do you expect writing and interviews to take? When can you send us a draft?

Including a short bio is fine, but put that at the end not the beginning. Include 1 to 3 examples of your work or a link to your website. Remember to include your pitch in the text of your email and not in a separate document.

Make your subject line a headline. For example: “Pitch: [Proposed Headline]”. The point here is to catch our attention right away. 

And finally, send your pitch to contact@sirensport.com.au

Please allow up to a week for us to get back to you.