GU Office Hours: The Official Girls United Pitch Guide

Happy pitching!

Picture this. You’re a journalist eager to grab a Girls United byline. After seeing a pitch call out, you’re filled with many ideas and rush to email us. You wait a few days and don’t receive a reply, or you finally get a response stating we’ll pass. What now?

Girls United receives an inbox full of pitches all year, but unfortunately, an idea is too broad, already completed, or super unclear. Ahead of 2024, we’ve put together the ultimate pitch guide to help you better achieve your goal of a published work with us. From email format to franchises and topics, you’ll be prepared to pitch to us and any publication you’re obsessed with reading. Open up your email tab and get pitching.

About Us

Essence Girls United is the digital destination for young multicultural individuals, offering community, mentors, perspectives, resources, and opportunities to support them through their life’s milestones. Our editorial division covers various topics, including pop culture, fashion, beauty, entertainment, news and politics, business, and entrepreneurship. GU also doesn’t shy away from opinion pieces and controversial articles with a strong point of view. We aim to be a hub for thought-provoking stories for our readers to engage and take action within themselves or their communities.
Please contact:

Danielle Wright: dwright@essence.com

Kenyatta Victoria: kenyatta.victoria.guwriter@essence.com

Overall Content Direction

Girls United’s primary focus is to bring a strong POV to the editorial landscape. Having a strong and confident voice in your writing is the main characteristic we’re looking for in each writer who enters the GU chat. Feel free to pitch outside-of-the-box listicles, reported pieces, interviews, features, etc. When thinking of ideas, ensure we haven’t already covered the topic on GU. Let’s keep everything fresh and unique.

Reminder: When pitching talent, please make sure you already have access to the talent, and if not, don’t be afraid to get creative with the angle (i.e., Dear Megan Thee Stallion, It’ll Always Be ‘Real Hot Girl Sh-t’). 

Email Format

Before you pitch, looking at the Girls United website is critical. Get familiar with the type of stories we publish and what stories have been published. The team will likely have it covered regarding breaking and timely news and mainstream trending content. Think about your idea and ask yourself why Girls United should be the home for your Pitch. What would be the benefit for the Girls United audience? How can I dissect this Pitch to make it clear to the Girls United Team and their readers? Is my idea worth reading? Once you’ve figured this out, it’s time to compose your email. 

Every Pitch begins with an email, so it’s essential to double-check that it has everything we’re looking for. We’ve even created a template to guide you to success.

Subject Line: Girls United *Month* Pitch: Story Headline or Girls United *Month* Freelance Pitches

– The first headline is perfect for those submitting one idea.

If it’s timely, add that to the beginning – TIMELY Girls United *Month* Pitch: Story Headline.

The second headline is for those submitting multiple pitches. Please only send up to five.

Body-ody ody ody ody 

If it’s your first time writing for Girls United, we want to get to know you before diving into your idea. A few sentences about where you’re studying, who you’ve written for, and your preferred beat (fashion, music, beauty, etc.) are helpful. Be personable and friendly, and use an active voice. We are hella Gen Z.

“Hi GU Team,

Nice to e-meet you! My name is Danielle Wright, and I am a graduate of Texas State University. I’ve written for BUST Magazine and Houstonia Magazine and am a freelance writer for Essence with specific beats in fashion and beauty.”

– Next, you’ll transition into your Pitch. Saying, “I hope to interest you,” or “I’d love to submit a few great pitches,” is perfect. 

-In your Pitch, give us a rundown of:

What is it?

Why it’s important?

Who is it for?

When did it happen?

If you’re proposing one Pitch, we’d prefer paragraphs. If you’re submitting more than one, we prefer bullets. 

To enhance your Pitch even more, provide potential sources you’d be talking to.

One Pitch Example: “I want to interest you in a story regarding the recent Sticky Bangs trend going viral on TikTok. Non-Black users have attempted to redefine laid edges by creating elongated swirls and naming them sticky bangs. This is, unfortunately, another episode of appropriation that needs to be addressed. With Girls United being a platform for Zillennial women, as a Black Zillennial and beauty writer, I’d like to utilize my voice to bring awareness to this issue as it affects my culture. For this story, I’d like to speak to the creator of Sticky Bangs and fellow beauty writers for their input.”

Multiple Pitches Example: “I have a few pitches. Ideas I’d like to submit:

  1. Sticky Bangs Is Viral Appropriation
    1. Non-Black users have attempted to redefine laid edges by creating elongated swirls and naming them sticky bangs. This is, unfortunately, another episode of appropriation that needs to be addressed. With Girls United being a platform for Zillennial women, as a Black Zillennial and beauty writer, I’d like to utilize my voice to bring awareness to this issue as it affects my culture. For this story, I’d like to speak to the creator of Sticky Bangs and fellow beauty writers for their input. 
  2. Is New York No Longer Respected For Fashion Week?
    1. With all the buzz surrounding the September fashion week in New York, it is entering a new era. Legacy designers no longer show; there’s not much variety, and it was a week of disappointment for some. As a fashion writer, I’d like to investigate if New York is hanging by a thread with fashion by talking to designers, stylists, and fashion writers for their input. With Gen Z becoming the next generation in fashion, this could be useful to readers who anticipate attending, or should they?”

Close:

To end your email, you can add links to your work and any preferred deadlines for timely articles. We want to see two of your best stories to get a feel for your writing.

“With Sticky Bangs being a relevant trend, I’d love to submit the story by Friday, December 15th at 9 AM. Please read a few of my works below, and I hope to hear from you soon,

Danielle Wright

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Don’t’s

Please refrain from sending direct messages to personal social networks or the Girls United profiles. While wanting to connect and introduce yourself to the Girls United team is okay, your Pitch may take time to be seen. 

Do not send your pitches in a Word Doc, PDF File, or Google Link. It’s more work for both of us.

Please don’t send us a preview of a story. You never know if your story will get accepted. While it’s excellent for working ahead, use your hard work wisely.

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