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Mission Statement / Editorial Focus
Launched in 2021, Pipe Wrench is a bimonthly digital magazine modeled on conversation, focused on underpublished voices, and committed to industry-leading freelancer policies. Each issue contains a historical-critical longform feature surrounded by interpretations and asides from a range of contributors — writers, artists, musicians, scholars, more — who read a draft of the feature and create something new rooted in their lived experience and expertise. The blend of depth and serendipity connects dots, helping us make sense of the world. Why is it called "Pipe Wrench"? A pipe wrench is a tool you use to take things apart so you can get inside them and see what’s gunking up the works. And then you use it to tighten the thing back up again and make it stronger than it was, so that the water flows faster and freer. We all need pipe wrenches, real ones and figurative ones.
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Editor in Chief
All available at https://pipewrenchmag.com/submissions/: We’re looking for: Longform nonfiction with a strong narrative and a critical lens. What does that mean? It means stories that are at least 4,000 words, that take us on a journey beyond the Who-What-When-Where, and that dig deep into the Why. Personal essay, researched essay, cultural critique, creative nonfiction, historical inquiry, narrative reporting — we’re open to all of it, as long as it tells a good story and interrogates its topic thoroughly. Stories that don’t have a natural home elsewhere. Writers: you know how you go on Twitter and ask “Who’s gonna pay me to write about [thing you can’t stop thinking about at the moment]?” We want to get as excited about your obsession as you are. Bring us those stories. Perspective, and point of view, and personality. Have a voice. Have a thesis. Have an angle. Readers should take something away from your story beyond “Now I know more about X.” They should still be thinking about it and grappling with it and questioning themselves days later. New writers, writers from perspectives and communities that have been underrepresented in media, writers who are not afraid of speaking truth to power and saying the things that need to be said, writers that are ready to interrogate both their topic and themselves. Given that, we’re not looking for: Reviews and opinion pieces. Profiles that don’t explore some larger issue. Memoir without a larger arc. News-pegged stories, unless they have a strong evergreen backbone. Conversation pieces This is where it gets fun. You’ll get a draft of the core story before it publishes, and time to read, sit with, and digest it. And then you’ll create something, based on whatever piece of it spoke to you (or provoked you!). Maybe your creation will follow the theme of the core story; maybe it won’t. Along with your creative work, you’ll write a paragraph or two explaining the thought process that led from the core story to your piece. We’ll be reaching out to people to commission these — by definition you can’t pitch them, since you don’t know exactly what you’ll be reacting to or what your response will be. That means we need to know who you are and what you do, so we know when to tap you! We want a wide range of perspectives, crafts, disciplines, and media. A novelist writing short fiction, a musician making a playlist, an essayist telling a personal story. A photo essay. A comic strip. A scene of dialogue. A Tik Tok. An original song. A reading list. A recipe. Activists, film critics, theologians, sociologists, poets, chefs, yogis, students. People we haven’t thought of yet. All ages. All backgrounds. You? You. Rates, contracts, and publication Core stories Rates for core stories start at $1500 and go up from there depending on the type of story, length, and research/reporting required. We’ll also reimburse basic research and reporting expenses like purchasing books/articles and local travel for interviews/research, but are unable to fund major reporting trips at this time. If we decide to work together, you’ll get a writer’s agreement outlining your rights that’s been developed in partnership with the Freelance Solidarity Project of the National Writers’ Union, and you’ll receive 50% of your fee upon signing. (Interested in our complete freelancer policies? Here they are.) For the story itself, you’ll work with a Pipe Wrench editor — heads up, we’re a hands-on bunch! — and your piece will be fact-checked before publication. Conversation pieces Rates for conversation pieces start at $150 and go up from there depending on the specifics — the length, the type of media, the work required. We’ll talk through the scope of what you’ll create to come up with an equitable fee. If we decide to work together, you’ll get an agreement outlining your rights that’s been developed in partnership with the Freelance Solidarity Project of the National Writers’ Union, and you’ll receive 50% of your fee upon signing. (Interested in our complete freelancer policies? Here they are.) Depending on what kind of work you do, you’ll either work directly with a Pipe Wrench editor, or with a partner that has specific experience in your medium. Nonfiction writing will be fact-checked before publication where applicable. How to pitch Core stories Send an email to [email protected] with the following: Your name and contact info. A link to your website, if you have one. A summary of your proposed story that includes its focus and thesis. A proposed word count. Core stories start at 4,000 words and get longer from there. A brief outline of any research, reporting, or interviewing you’re planning. Your answer to “Why am I the person to tell this story?” Your answer to “Why is this a story people need to read right now?” Anything else you think we should know about you. If you’re pitching the same story to other publications, let us know. If you’re pitching exclusively to Pipe Wrench before approaching other outlets, let us know that, too. We’ll be in touch within 30 days to let you know if we’re interested. Conversation pieces Fill out this short form! We’ll add you to our big ol’ spreadsheet of potential contributors, and will be in touch when it makes sense.
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