Narratively stories are defined by our style, a particularly immersive, active form of storytelling. We don't publish articles *about* a topic, instead we take readers inside another world, another life, through vivid scenes and compelling narrative arcs. 

The best way to get a clear sense of what makes a Narratively story is to read several pieces on our site. 

There are a few key factors that every Narratively story has:

-It’s untold. It’s original, fresh, and not already covered in other major publications. Think offbeat, unusual, beyond the news cycle.

-It’s human. Every Narratively story follows either one central character or a group of characters. We explore big ideas and topics, but always through the lens of human experience.

-It’s narrative. As you may have guessed from our name, we like stories with a narrative arc. That means that each Narratively story has a beginning, middle, and end, and that something changes over the course of the story. That also means that there are compelling, vivid, active scenes. Don’t just tell us about something that happened, bring us through the events and let us see, feel, and hear them unfold.

Please note that we don't publish fiction, poetry, or opinion pieces.


Submissions and pitches for extraordinary reported stories. We want the incredible, the unusual, the unheard of. We want in-depth reporting on worlds that readers might not otherwise have access to, with strong central characters and active scenes. 


Make sure your pitch meets the following requirements:


-It’s untold. It’s original, fresh, and not already covered in other major publications. Think offbeat, unusual, beyond the news cycle.


-It’s human. Every Narratively story follows either one central character or a group of characters. We explore big ideas and topics, but always through the lens of human experience.


-It’s narrative. As you may have guessed from our name, we like stories with a narrative arc. That means that each Narratively story has a beginning, middle, and end, and that something changes over the course of the story. That also means that there are compelling, vivid, active scenes. Don’t just tell us about something that happened, bring us through the events and let us see, feel, and hear them unfold.

Most of our stories fit into one of our main verticals:

Renegades: Profiles of fearless rebels who are doing things their own way — and changing the world while they’re at it.

Super Subcultures: Meet the people who build their lives around weird and wonderful obsessions.

Secret Lives: Stories that lift the veil on surprising and secretive jobs, pursuits and lives.

Most of our stories are in the 1,500-3,000-word range. 


For Hidden History stories, Narratively looks for larger-than-life characters who never made it into the history books, astonishing forgotten tragedies, heroes who never got their due, and stories that bring the past to life in full, vivid color.

The key to these pieces is that they haven’t been widely told elsewhere, and that you’ve uncovered something with your reporting that adds a new dimension to an old story. You’ll need to uncover enough detail to make these pieces just as vivid and active as the present-day stories that our reporters are watching in real time.

And this is important: these pieces need to make it clear why the piece of history you’re digging up is relevant today. What’s happening in the news or popular discussion right now that your story will help offer a new perspective on?

We are particularly interested in pieces about women, people of color, and anyone else whose incredible story has been unfairly obscured by history.

Some examples we love:

The Hidden Queer History Behind “A League of Their Own”

They Fought and Died for America. Then America Turned Its Back.

The Strange Life and Mysterious Death of a Panther-Trapping, Gator-Wrestling Wild Man

Narratively publishes first-person pieces in both our Memoir and Secret Lives sections.


Secret Lives stories spotlight surprising and secretive jobs, pursuits and activities. Memoir stories offer intimate takes on what it means to be human, often touching on family, identity, and personal growth. Either way, we want an honest glimpse into your life, and through that, into a world we’d never have access to otherwise.

As with all Narratively stories, first-person submissions should be made up of compelling, vivid, active scenes. Bring us into the story with you, and let us see it unfold – rather than just telling us about it after the fact.

There should be a clear narrative arc – a beginning, a middle, and an end – that shows you developing a new or different perspective by the end of the piece. That is, we need more than just an account of something wild that happened to you; we need to see the impact that experience has had on your life.

Most of our first-person stories are in the 1,500 - 3,000 word range. Please note that we don't publish opinion pieces or poetry.

Some examples of first-person pieces we love:

My Childhood in an Apocalyptic Cult

Searching for the Nazi Who Saved My Mother's Life

Secret Life of a Search and Rescue Volunteer

Secret Life of a Devout Christian Dominatrix

I Went to the Hospital to Give Birth... And Tested Positive for Meth



  

Narratively is always looking for photo stories that bring new perspectives and voices to accompany our catalog of human-centric storytelling. Please note that we publish photo essays as opposed to photo galleries – while great photography is the backbone of each piece, every photo essay must also have a story arc that is driven by both visuals and original reporting. 

Our photo stories usually have between 10 and 20 photos, with reporting presented via captions and accompanying text that informs the readers about the larger story as well as all of the details.

What to Submit: We review completed photo essays or works in progress. Each submission should include a headline that defines the unique focus of the story, along with a series of photographs and explanatory text. We collaborate closely with all contributors to edit the stories and prepare them for publication.

We are always looking for something new and untold. If the story has been done before, we want to see a surprising perspective or a new angle. Submissions should fall into one of Narratively’s primary channels:

Super Subcultures

Stories about people who build their lives around weird and wonderful obsessions. 

Examples:

http://narrative.ly/getting-hooked-weird-wonderful-world-body-suspension/

http://narrative.ly/welcome-to-moonlight-rollerway-where-nothing-has-changed-since-1956/

http://narrative.ly/the-jamaican-dance-style-keeping-brooklyn-kids-off-the-street/

Renegades

Profiles of fearless game changers who are reconstructing the world in their own unique way. 

Examples: 

http://narrative.ly/these-farc-guerrillas-are-trading-their-guns-for-cameras/ http://narrative.ly/government-killed-families-now-women-helping-survive/

Deep Dives

Ambitious projects that put a human face on an important and newsworthy issue.

Examples: 

http://narrative.ly/20-inmates-show-the-heartbreaking-cost-of-growing-old-behind-bars/

http://narrative.ly/the-camera-thats-flipping-stereotypes-of-fatherhood-upside-down/

Memoir

Photo series that provide an intimate look at a photographer’s life, with a concrete narrative.

http://narrative.ly/putting-my-camera-down-and-finally-mourning-my-parents/

http://narrative.ly/shooting-while-sleepwalking/

Narratively