gal-dem is an online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from people of colour of marginalised genders. We are celebrated for content which supports and gives voice to our varied communities – and brings joy to them too.
Our focus is on the stories of marginalised communities and incorporates anything from social justice and institutional corruption to cultural touchpoints and wellbeing. Our vision is to become widely known as an editorial platform for original analysis and ambitious investigative reporting. We write in a tone of voice that is accessible, conversational, compassionate, progressive and punchy.
Our editorial aims:
• We will continue to share stories and perspectives that people cannot find anywhere else • We will tell people-focused stories that represent the diversity of the human experience and spotlight unheard voices • We will always seek the truth and apply journalistic rigour throughout our editing and publishing processes • We will always prioritise quality content over clickbait • We will continue to learn from others • We will not be afraid to have fun!
• gal-dem receives a lot of pitches! Before you pitch to us please Google the topic to make sure it is completely original and not on a topic we have already covered on the site and that your pitch really highlights why this topic would be of interest to a wider audience.
• Please do not start writing your piece before it has been commissioned.
• If we accept your pitch we will send you an email including a submission deadline, some advice and ideas on how we’d like to see the piece and a word count. We have experienced editors with specific knowledge in the subjects we cover who will help you to develop your article.
• Please do not expect to hear back on your pitch immediately unless we decide to commission. We are rarely able to offer individual feedback but do send out emails with group feedback once every three months.
• Often the reason why we aren’t able to commission your pitch is due to capacity and budgets (rather than it being a “bad” pitch). Please don’t be disheartened and do pitch to us again!
When it comes to pitching opinion pieces, it’s best to peg the idea onto a news hook or a conversation that’s been happening in your circles online or IRL. Ask yourself – why now? Also question whether your angle is suitable for our audience. Sometimes the argument you want to make may already be widely accepted in our community, or it may be a topic that has been well explored before – so make sure you’re bringing something new to the table. And if the pitch is about something specific, ask yourself what makes you the expert on the topic and what new knowledge you can bring. The best pitches tend to explain what themes the opinion piece would cover and what points would be made.
With personal essays, the ideas that tend to stick out are the ones where it’s clear the writer is clearly passionate about the topic and it helps if the topic is universally relatable on an emotional level. You can pitch about anything – food, art, relationships, identity etc. The best pitches tend to explain what themes the personal essay would cover and what points would be made in the piece.
Political stories at gal-dem can come in many forms; mostly we’re looking for reported features, profiles/interviews, longer investigations or op-eds. At their heart, they will have human, emotive narratives. Forget what you know about ‘political writing’ and just think about stories that show what it means to be a person of colour navigating the various social systems we are faced with. Broadly, politics stories should slot recognisably into three tiers of coverage. Local: Stories that shine a light on specific local communities and the daily lives of people across the UK, such as this piece on the radio station serving diasporic communities in Southampton. National: Stories that look at the broader impact of UK political policy/events through a gal-dem lens, like this piece exploring how the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is faltering in communities with past medical trauma at the hands of institutions. Global: All of the above – but stories from outside of the UK that give insight into the lives of PoC around the world and the politics that impact them, like this piece examining how fluid gender norms in Igbo culture.
Uplifting stories that shine a light on overlooked communities are most welcome. Timeless local stories – ones not specifically linked to a news hook – are also particularly wanted. These types of features should be bringing to the fore the voices, issues and work of PoC in towns, villages and boroughs around the UK that get left out of mainstream conversation.
gal-dem culture articles should feel young, fresh, and relatable. We cover all the things that make this life bearable: film and TV, theatre, books, subcultures, internet culture, pop culture, art and photography.
TOV needs to be similar to that of a friend, a balancing act between defiant, witty, humorous and urgent. It’s a place for discovery, where you can find shit hot analysis that gives you food for thought, new voices and perspectives. We want to create an affirming space that reflects our lives and loves and isn’t stuffy.
Our section covering all things music, celebrating songs and artists we love but also making space for discourse and interrogation. Think topical and fresh, but also personal! We’re open to all genres, and our focus tends to be shining a light on BPOC talent, especially those from marginalised genders. With that said, we are open to widening this when it comes to personal stories (e.g. we have run stories about writers’ experiences growing up as Black and brown fans of Paramore and My Chemical Romance).
Written-through artist profiles and Q&As spotlight new talent as well as celebrating established names. When it comes to pitching these, consider why this person or group is relevant to be interviewed at this moment in time – e.g. think about release dates for their music or something topical that’s brought their name into the discourse. Check to see whether we’ve already covered the person you want to speak to – if so, what has changed for the person since the last time they spoke to gal-dem?
There are multi-interview features examining trends happening in music. When pitching these, explain the trend you’ve noticed and tell us which voices you would want to chat to in order to shed light on the subject.
We also take first-person pieces exploring personal relationships with music, e.g. pieces that wax lyrical on how an artist or album impacted you – again, think about “why now?” when pitching these. Is there an anniversary of a release, for example? Opinion piece pitches are also welcome, reacting to and interrogating music news, but ideally in a way that feels instructive.
The Life section at gal-dem should work as a restpite for the somewhat heavy aspects of identity-related journalism. Lifestyle is fun, informative and highlights creative, nuanced and dynamic stories as well as reflecting aspects of the lives of our audience. It’s inclusive and accessible in tone. Life covers wellbeing, beauty, travel, food, hobbies, fashion, nature and relationships.
When pitching profiles or Q&A’s to Life, think about interesting and new talent (sports stars, chefs, models, designers, makeup artists, gardners etc.) like designer Shriya Samavai Manian,. Ideally this person would have something active happening in their career – such as a a new cookbook or a show coming out.
Multi-interview features within life are for deep dives into interesting and unusual topics, such as food trends, like this piece on black food businesses during Covid-19. You should think about who your case studies might be, usually including at least one expert voice to help solidify your point. Sports and food pitches always catch my eye because we get the least of those.
While we do accept personal essays and first person pieces in Life, if it doesn’t directly link to the topics listed it may actually be better suited in the first person section. Well researched and sparky first-person pitches stand out, such as this piece on Primark’s ‘modest fashion’ range.