How to Pitch a Story to Apartment Therapy
Apartment Therapy’s goal is to help our readers create homes that reflect not just their style, but who they truly are. As part of that mission, we’re always looking to work with new writers who have fresh ideas and perspectives that help our readers have a happier, more beautiful home. If you have a story idea that falls within a particular vertical (see below), please feel free to directly email that editor (you can find all contact information here). If you’re not sure which vertical it falls under, or want to hash out a germ of an idea, you can email the editors that feel the most relevant, or the editor-in-chief and managing editor.
A few things to keep in mind when pitching a story idea:
- First, check to make sure we haven’t already published it. Our site search is pretty robust, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check by searching the topic on Google, as well. If we’ve published it before, let us know what you’d do to make it different/new/more timely.
- Describe what you’re aiming to write in a paragraph or less. As long as you have a headline (and an angle/frame), a description of sources and framework/outline it’ll follow, you’ll be in good shape! Remember: A good pitch will share what, why now, why you should write it, and why it should be written. Be as specific as possible, but please do not attach a full draft.
- And try to come up with a working headline. This by no means has to be what ends up getting published, but a working headline will give us an idea of the angle you’re hoping to take, and how you’d frame the topic (e.g. is it a list? A feature? An explainer? A Q&A? A how-to? Something else entirely? We’d love to know!).
- If you have clips of previous writing, a personal website, or author page, please share and link! The clearer idea you can give of how and what you write, the better!
The more focused and specific your idea, the better (and always include a few examples of what you would write about!). So, think on how you can turn an idea into a really great pitch that will get accepted even faster. For example:
- An idea: Aesthetically Pleasing Storage Ideas –> Really great pitch: These Cute $TK Organizing Bins Doubled My Closet Space
- An idea: What I Learned When I Moved in With My In-Laws –> Really great pitch: The Smartest Cleaning Lessons I Learned from Living with My In-Laws
Got all that? Great! Feel free to pitch to the appropriate editor; we can’t wait to see your pitches. If you want to get to know our verticals better and see what each editor is looking for, click on their section below!
And for more information…
Home Projects focuses on how to take care of and improve your home and garden, either through DIY projects or with help from the pros. (If it involves hot glue, a toolbox, or a shovel, it’s probably a Home Projects story; if you’re reaching for a mop, talk to Charli.) While stories in this vertical might be inspired by trends (like this one), most stories tap experts for advice on evergreen topics. Areas of coverage include: gardening, indoor plant care, renovation before and afters, DIY projects, hacks, home repairs and maintenance, repair/upgrade how-tos, IKEA hacks, and renovation tips. Here are some things that work well (but don’t feel limited by this list!):
- Service-driven stories with advice from bonafide experts, such as 3 Gross Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them, According to Plumbers
- Service-driven stories with advice from unexpected experts, such as TK Hacks to Use if You’re Downsizing, According to People Who Live in Tiny Houses
- Hot take stories that feature a strong stance on a particular issue related to DIY or renovation (ex: I’ve Renovated 4 Homes and I’ll Never DIY These 5 Things Again)
- DIY tips, tricks, and hacks that you have tried
- DIY tips, tricks, and hacks passed down from pros or found on the internet (ex: this TikTok Frame TV dupe)
- IKEA hacks you’ve found on the web or done yourself
- Home upgrade roundups with a strong angle, such as: You’re an Adult, It’s Time to Kick These 6 Things Out of Your Bedroom; 30 Tiny Transformations to Do This Month; TK Projects Under $100 to Do in Your Bathroom
- Houseplant care tricks and tips from pros
- “Love letter” to a particular DIY/plant product you’ve found that no one else seems to know about and you’re obsessed with — think the greatest-ever no-kink hose, a measuring device that helps you get gallery walls right every time, something that cleans your paint brush for you, etc. If you’re writing a love letter, this should be something you already own and endorse.
Apartment Therapy’s Living vertical speaks to all of the things you do inside your home — in short, how you live your life. We put a premium on celebrating and uplifting cultural traditions, tapping a diverse mix of experts on every topic, and honor the fact that someone’s identity informs their habits and home life as a whole. Our stories speak to the ways in which readers can live more mindfully at home, as well as the habits, tricks, and tips they have carried down from their friends and family members along the way.
Stories do not ignore broader cultural issues, and lean into solutions when and where possible. This can include touching on things like financial literacy and health, mental health, interpersonal relationships, working/studying from home, disability, and more. It also helps to tap an expert — either someone who is formally versed in the field, or an “unexpected expert,” such as how a bartender observes Dry January.
Not all pitches need to feature a first-person point of view. Pitches do benefit, however, from a distinct point of view: That is to say, please showcase why you’re the right writer to take this on, and how your story will add to or move the topic forward in some capacity.
Our primary vertical tentpoles include:
- Mindful living, which speaks to how readers can be more intentional about the things we’re doing at home. How to make a new habit stick, reasons why starting a “reverse grocery list” changed your life, and other everyday routines are all up for grabs
- Wellness, which includes fitness at home, mental health, chronic illness/disability/adaptability, COVID, and astrology
- Family living, which touches on multi-generational households, children, significant others, and/or roommates
- Green living, and eco-friendly choices and habits that avoid and maybe even combat greenwashing
- Money issues, such as career moves from home, budgeting hacks, saving and investing. (Please note: Saving for a house is a real estate topic!)
Given the pandemic, pitches about travel and entertaining from home should not present the false promise of “how to do it safely,” and always defer to the guidance of medical experts. Any kitchen-related pitches should be about habits, tools, and time spent, rather than recipes and/or cooking.
News & Culture
We publish timely, trending stories through our News & Culture team. These stories are a mix of fun, social-driven stories with a twist, as well as longer features that explore who we are and how we are at home and in our communities. You’ll see everything from the newest IKEA collection and that covet-worthy piece spotted on a celeb’s Instagram account, to TikTok home tips and the shows you’ll want to queue up after you finish bingeing the latest viral Netflix series.
What News & Culture is looking for (and what we’re not):
- Specific one-off angles rather than roundups
- Celebrity home-related content that is serviceable (eg. a smart kitchen design element or a cool rug and where to get it, sourced either from their IGs or interviews)
- Studies related to sleep, pets, and habits/behaviors that are timely (as in recently published or have a timely hook)
- Personal essays on how/why you celebrate a holiday at home, a unique home ritual, or another story only you can tell
- Unique home-related angles on TV, movies, and entertainment
- No need to pitch us the latest collections and launches, or lifestyle news that everyone else is covering.
Organize & Clean
Apartment Therapy’s Organize & Clean vertical is about giving readers the resources they need to maintain a home that’s healthy, calm, and in-control. We help readers at every stage of homekeeping prowess to find cleaning tools and solutions they can trust, maintain routines and schedules that keep their homes humming, and avoid the pitfalls that make cleaning a home more tedious than it has to be. And when it comes to organizing, we want to help readers discover habits and storage solutions that support the life they want to live, whether they’re a minimalist or a maximalist, living in 300 square feet or 3,000. If it’s a story about a cleaning tool you love, a maxim that helped you declutter your stuff, or a laundry trick you wish you had known earlier in life, Organize & Clean is the place for it.
Here are some topics our readers can’t get enough of:
- Cleaning tips, advice, or routines passed down from a family member or a trusted pro.
- Cleaning tools or solutions you can’t imagine how you lived without, like a cloth, a dish rack, a favorite window cleaner, or a setting on your washing machine. (Bonus points if they’re weird, old, or solve a specific problem.)
- A simple habit or lifestyle shift that helped you maintain a perpetually tidier home, like keeping an empty box in the closet or hanging a hook by the stairs.
- A rule or trick that helped you say goodbye to something you needed to declutter, or stay on top of everyday messes.
- Things most people do wrong when it comes to cleaning or organizing, like wiping away disinfectant or storing things that don’t belong in the kitchen.
- Advice that pointedly helps readers understand and solve for common pain points, like if your home doesn’t feel clean when you clean it, or your bedroom is always dusty. If you want to pitch a story like this, share the problem you want to investigate, and the types of experts you think can help you solve it.
- Unexpected ways to use common cleaning or organizing products. (The sorts of products everyone has at home, or you always see in the grocery store cleaning aisle.)
- Cleaning or organizing hacks that are going viral online that you want to try at home (or ask an expert about).
- Reported features that investigate cultural or social phenomena within the world of cleaning and organizing, or through a cleaning and organizing lens.
AT Real Estate is all about where to live and how to make that happen, from buying and selling a house or condo to renting a new apartment. It also covers the spaces in between, like moving, neighborhoods, cities, and towns, as well as architecture and preservation. It can touch on design and other trends through the lens of real estate agents, home stagers, mortgage lenders, landlords, and similar experts.
Stories can be (but are not limited to)…
- Service-driven pieces with expert advice/quotes from real estate pros, like realtors and home stagers (Ex: TK Things Making Your Bathroom Feel Smaller, According to Home Stagers)
- “Magic bullet” hacks/tips/tricks/habits (Ex: The One Thing a Realtor Wants You to Know About TK)
- Personal essays related to home buying, selling, moving, renting, etc.
- Newsier market reports related to supply/demand, moving trends, and more
- Explainers, tips, and tricks related to mortgages and other home financing topics
- Roundups of places to live/move, homes to buy, or real estate-related products, like tiny house kits
- Explainers on complex/lesser-known real estate terms, home styles and features, or architectural themes
Style stories are focused on home decor inspiration, decorating trends, stylish storage solutions, shopping guides, as well as expert tips and hacks for dealing with small spaces, interesting layouts, the lack of natural light, and reusing old items. This vertical also covers how to design on budget and publishes redecorating before and afters as well as designer projects and tips.
Stories can be (but are not limited to)…
- Service-driven pieces with expert advice/quotes from designers and design experts (Ex: 7 Little Details You’re Overlooking in Your Small Space, According to Designers)
- Inexpensive decorating tips/tricks/hack stories (Ex: If You’re Not Using a Towel Bar in Your Kitchen This Way, You’re Missing Out)
- Pro projects from designers or DIY styling makeovers that include decorating service tips
- Home decor trend explainers and/or trend market roundups
- “Love letter” stories to your favorite decorating item or an unexpected but game-changing decor find that you already own
- Personal essays related to decorating or a hot take story that features a strong stance on a particular decorating trend
- Explainers on decorating styles or lesser-known/classic home furnishings
Apartment Therapy isn’t just looking to feature gorgeous homes; we’re on the hunt for incredibly unique homes, like tiny houses, converted vans, and homes made from shipping containers, old barns, grain bins, and more. We also look for homes with inspiring ideas, like how color and pattern are used, or if it’s full of clever DIY projects, furnished on a budget, or incredibly organized or tidy. We especially love rental homes that feature tons of renter-friendly ideas. And as always, we look to feature the greatest diversity of people, home types, and ideas that we possibly can, so if it’s something you’ve never seen published before, be sure to point that out!
When sending a tour lead, please provide the 1) home’s location, the 2) approximate square footage, and a 3) few scouting images (social media links are fine). And if you’d like to consider your own home for consideration, you can do so here.
This vertical works with a separate freelance contributor pool. If you have strong interior photography skills and are interested in also being considered for inclusion in that pool, or if you have a lead or suggestion for a unique house tour, you can reach out to email@example.com.
What happens next?
If an editor wants to move forward with your pitch, you will receive a follow-up email, usually within a week or two. This email will include the offered pay rate, expected deadline, brand/voice guidelines, and any adjustments to the format, length, or scope of the post. Unfortunately, due to the volume of pitches, we cannot always reply to pitches that we are not moving forward with. If you haven’t heard back in two weeks, you can assume it’s safe to move on to another publication. If your story is timely, feel free to let us know when you are going to start pitching elsewhere.
We look forward to hearing from you!