Pitch Guidelines for the VICE Life Desk

How to pitch pieces about health, wellness, self-care, identity, sex, relationships, drugs, alcohol, work, and money.
A transfeminine person smiling and using a laptop
Photo by Alyza Enriquez for The Gender Spectrum Collection

Who are we?

The VICE Life desk covers mental and physical health, wellness, sex, relationships, drugs, alcohol, and money. Our pieces explore identity, choice, connection, power dynamics, and social progress down to the level of the individual; we question and think critically about how and why we live the way we do. We cover scientific research, current events, trends, and individual perspectives in short-form blogs, first-person journalism, service-focused guides, and original reported pieces, as well as key franchise series that tap into the undercurrents of health, work, and relationships.

Our readers are vital, curious, funny, fact-driven, and pragmatic about the manifold ways that people live right now. We are here to provide the advice, information, and harm reduction that the young and delightfully reckless need and deserve.


What are we looking for?

We are primarily focused on mid-length (700–2000 word) original reports, reported essays and narrative features, and service journalism meant to help readers find their way through how we live today—specifically, guidance focused on how we relate to one another, the world, and ourselves. We love a good explainer (though we already have a pretty robust body of them, so we’d ask that you’d check whether your particular subject of interest has already been thoroughly covered by VICE). We also accept quick-turnaround blogs and longer features.

We welcome stories and journalism informed by personal experiences and insight (though in the case of a piece that focuses entirely on these elements, we urge the writer to carefully consider what makes this story unique, why they are the right person to tell it at this particular time, and why it should be told at VICE). Not all stories need to be pegged to current events, though a timely element can help distinguish a pitch. 

What subjects do we cover?

VICE’s Life desk explores mental and physical health, identity, well-being, sex and sexuality, gender, race, class, work, money, inequality, education, relationships of all stripes, friendship, love, dating, drugs, alcohol, sobriety, etiquette, partying, community-building, family, civic engagement, and the lived realities of sociopolitical issues (especially as they’re experienced by those they directly affect).

Here are some examples of successful stories along these topics.


Service journalism


Essays and commentary

In addition to one-off stories, we publish editorial series that freelancers are welcome to pitch into:


Best You’ve Ever Had: Advice on the finer points of having great sex. This series of service pieces covers the actionable aspects of hooking up, offering “how to”–style guidance to readers that’s conversational, inclusive, medically precise, and invigorating.

This Is How We Do It: A series about sex and stigma. This interview series speaks to people whose experiences of sex are often underdiscussed because of their embodiment, neurodiversity, or other conditions that inform how their sexuality is perceived in the wider culture.


How to Be Hot: It's not a set of rules—it's a state of mind. This light, freewheeling service series focuses on the myriad strategies there are for feeling less alone, more equipped, and foxier in mind and body (whatever a reader’s body and mind are like).


What are we not looking for?

  • Takes, e.g., uninformed and/or arbitrary opinion pieces that are not rooted in any kind of reporting or research
  • Anything that cannot be fact-checked
  • Write-ups that don’t offer additive analysis, or aggregation of any kind
  • General ventures into any of the following: weight loss, slut-shaming, or street harassment
  • Pseudoscience or most pop science, unless in the form of a critique (which we love)
  • Stories based on old, animal-tested, or thin studies without further context or corroboration
  • Oral histories
  • Interviews with “experts” generated by their publicists
  • Anything that supports or gives credence to TERFs
  • Stories about a given community or identity written by someone outside that given community or identity
  • Trend reports that don’t incorporate any sort of insightful, research-based cultural commentary, or that hinge on vague “people are saying”–style rhetoric in order to sidestep having to take a stance
  • Stories that stake their angles on “problematic” cultural products or practices without adding meaningful context or analysis
  • Medically uninformed approaches to sex (or any other topic area relevant to physicality)

How to pitch us:

Email and please include “PITCH:” in the subject line of your email, followed by a proposed headline. To give your idea the best chance of being considered, make sure your pitch includes the following: 

  • A sense of the sources you would speak to
  • What length of piece you envision
  • The date you’d be able to deliver a draft by
  • What time pegs, if any, we’d need to be aware of to make sure the story publishes at the optimal time
  • Links to relevant previously published pieces

Due to the volume of pitches we receive, we may not be able to respond to every email, but if your pitch feels like a potential fit, we’ll be in touch within a week (or sooner, especially in regards to timely pitches).

The image in this story is from The Gender Spectrum Collection, VICE's stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. Learn more here.