How to introduce By The Way, the travel section of the Washington Post
We favor service journalism and the practical aspect; our readers fly coach. We also have a sense of humor, explain viral moments and explore the intricacies of travel. With very few exceptions, we’re not interested in a first-person travelogue of a place most readers will never go.
We’re looking for writers who can meet The Post’s editorial standards and teach readers something they can apply to their own travels. We are particularly interested in voices that are underrepresented in travel media.
Prospective writers can send pitches to Travel and By The Way editor Amanda Finnegan and associate editor Gabe Hiatt, or through The Post’s Talent Network. Please be patient if we don’t respond immediately. If we like your idea, you’ll hear from us.
The ideal pitch should be summarized in three paragraphs or less while giving us an idea of the tone, reporting requirements, sourcing, and experience informing the article.
- You have a plan to run a story about a place you live or know well, and you already have sources lined up to provide context.
- Your story is tied to a current event and could be spilled quickly.
- Your story helps readers plan better, spend smarter, or solve a common travel problem.
- Your story covers a trend that speaks to the broader culture of travel.
- Your story is very popular with American travelers.
- Your story shows readers something new about a popular travel destination; everyone already knows the Louvre.
- Your story explores how locals eat and drink and how a visitor can do the same.
- Got a travel hack or hot plug for our Upgrade series. You can submit it here.
We’ll probably pass if…
- You parachute into a place far from home.
- You have a personal essay that does not include a broader, relevant topic.
- Your pitch is focused on luxury.
- Your idea is based on a press trip. We do not accept gifts. Learn more about our standards below.
We’ll discuss length (ideally between 600 and 1,200 words) and payment. Our rates are competitive and negotiated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the writer’s experience and the scope of the assignment.
- We cannot accept coins that result from free trips. Free trips (or “press trips”) are free or discounted trips sponsored by organizations with a vested interest in the resulting stories: tourist boards, chambers of commerce and visitors’ bureaus, as well as airlines , hotels, cruise ships, outfitters, guides and other travel suppliers.
- We very rarely pay travel expenses for freelancers. Please do not toss articles in the hope that The Post will cover the cost of your trip.
- We buy first publication rights, so don’t submit anything that has already appeared elsewhere or is part of a multiple submission.
- We cannot accept stories that overlap with assignments from other publications. For example, if a publication sends you to Amsterdam to write about restaurants, do not submit an article about Amsterdam museums researched on this trip.
- You must disclose to the engagement manager any conflicts of interest or appearance of conflicts of interest relating to the engagement.
- Freelancers should not pose as Washington Post editors when reporting. They may, however, identify themselves as freelance journalists writing an article for the Travel Section of The Washington Post when interviewing subjects for the story.
- You must travel anonymously, unless otherwise agreed by your project manager. You should not inform hotels, restaurants, cruise personnel, etc., that you are writing or reviewing their business.
- When a pitch is accepted, the terms of your agreement with The Post are set out in the Writer Agreement through our Talent Network.
- Stories submitted that violate Travel’s submission guidelines will not be published and will not be eligible for the kill fee.