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An award winning media company committed to sharing the perspectives of people of colour from marginalised genders

About Us

What is gal-dem?

gal-dem is a new media publication, committed to telling the stories of people of colour from marginalised genders. With our online and print magazine, we’re addressing inequality and misrepresentation in the industry through platforming the creative and editorial work of our community across essays, opinion, news, arts, music, politics and lifestyle content.


While gal-dem makes decisions on content based on relevance and quality, we also recognise the under-representation of people of colour in journalism and we welcome and encourage contributions from people with a lived experience of what it means to be of that demographic. The current journalistic landscape is 94% white and 55% male and gal-dem is actively trying to redress this imbalance in media more broadly through both our editorial and commercial work.

We believe that taking control of the way we are portrayed in the media is essential – but our end goal is not simply representation: our journalism and creative work can shape debates, shift discussions, create new ways of thinking and contribute to social movements. We empower and support the creative work of our communities through disrupting tired stereotypes and showcasing their work and thoughts as a vital part of discussions in a whitewashed media environment. You can support us and our work by becoming a gal-dem member today.

For more information on gal-dem please see our FAQs and our diversity policy.

Team

Meet the gal-dem

gal-dem is run by a team of commissioning editors, social media managers, creatives, and commercial staff.


Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

Editor in Chief

Diyora Shadijanova

First Person Editor

Kemi Alemoru

Culture Editor

Moya Lothian-Mclean

Politics Editor

Niellah Arboine

Lifestyle Editor

Tara Joshi

Music Editor

Shanice Dover

Social Media Manager

Karis Pierre

Junior Graphic Designer

Emma Gordon

Head of Brand Partnerships

Alysha Ali

Partnerships Manager

Yasmin Rai

Memberships Manager

Mariel Richards

CEO

Pitch to us

gal-dem's pitching guide

gal-dem is an online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from people of colour of marginalised genders. We are celebrated for content which supports and gives voice to our varied communities – and brings joy to them too.

Our focus is on the stories of marginalised communities and incorporates anything from social justice and institutional corruption to cultural touchpoints and wellbeing. Our vision is to become widely known as an editorial platform for original analysis and ambitious investigative reporting. We write in a tone of voice that is accessible, conversational, compassionate, progressive and punchy.

Our editorial aims:

• We will continue to share stories and perspectives that people cannot find anywhere else
• We will tell people-focused stories that represent the diversity of the human experience and spotlight unheard voices
• We will always seek the truth and apply journalistic rigour throughout our editing and publishing processes
• We will always prioritise quality content over clickbait
• We will continue to learn from others
• We will not be afraid to have fun!


Top tips

• gal-dem only accepts pitches via this form.

gal-dem receives a lot of pitches! Before you pitch to us please Google the topic to make sure it is completely original and not on a topic we have already covered on the site and that your pitch really highlights why this topic would be of interest to a wider audience.

• Please do not start writing your piece before it has been commissioned.

• If we accept your pitch we will send you an email including a submission deadline, some advice and ideas on how we’d like to see the piece and a word count. We have experienced editors with specific knowledge in the subjects we cover who will help you to develop your article.

• Please do not expect to hear back on your pitch immediately unless we decide to commission. We are rarely able to offer individual feedback but do send out emails with group feedback once every three months.

• Often the reason why we aren’t able to commission your pitch is due to capacity and budgets (rather than it being a “bad” pitch). Please don’t be disheartened and do pitch to us again!

• For some more generalised pitching tips, please see JournoResources and Nieman Lab.

 

Article formats

We have five sections to pitch within: First Person, Politics, Music, Culture and Life and there are roughly six types of article formats that gal-dem publishes regularly. These are:

• Comment pieces (opinion hooked to current affairs)

• Personal essays

• Multi-interview features (where you’re interviewing multiple people within an analysis or news-led piece)

• Profile interviews (where you’re interviewing a single person)

• Q&A interviews

• Listicles

 

Section guides

FIRST PERSON

The First Person section at gal-dem is looking to tell important stories from a personal perspective. Whether it’s a comment piece on the latest TV show everyone is talking about, a personal essay on a unique experience or a “hot take”, we’re always looking for nuance within storytelling.

When it comes to pitching comment pieces, it’s best to peg the idea onto a news hook or a conversation that’s been happening in your circles online or IRL. Ask yourself – why now? Also question whether your angle is suitable for our audience. Sometimes the argument you want to make may already be widely accepted in our community, or it may be a topic that has been well explored before – so make sure you’re bringing something new to the table. And if the pitch is about something specific, ask yourself what makes you the expert on the topic and what new knowledge you can bring. The best pitches tend to explain what themes the comment piece would cover and what points would be made.

With personal essays, the ideas that tend to stick out are the ones where it’s clear the writer is clearly passionate about the topic and it helps if the topic is universally relatable on an emotional level. You can pitch about anything – food, art, relationships, identity etc. The best pitches tend to explain what themes the personal essay would cover and what points would be made in the piece.

 

POLITICS

Political stories at gal-dem can come in many forms; mostly we’re looking for reported features, profiles/interviews, longer investigations or comment. At their heart, they will have human, emotive narratives. Forget what you know about ‘political writing’ and just think about stories that show what it means to be a person of colour navigating the various social systems we are faced with.

Broadly, politics stories should slot recognisably into three tiers of coverage. Local: Stories that shine a light on specific local communities and the daily lives of people across the UK, such as this piece on the radio station serving diasporic communities in Southampton. National: Stories that look at the broader impact of UK political policy/events through a gal-dem lens, like this piece exploring how the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is faltering in communities with past medical trauma at the hands of institutions. Global: All of the above – but stories from outside of the UK that give insight into the lives of PoC around the world and the politics that impact them, like this piece examining how fluid gender norms in Igbo culture.

Uplifting stories that shine a light on overlooked communities are most welcome. Timeless local stories – ones not specifically linked to a news hook – are also particularly wanted. These types of features should be bringing to the fore the voices, issues and work of PoC in towns, villages and boroughs around the UK that get left out of mainstream conversation.

 

CULTURE

gal-dem culture articles should feel young, fresh, and relatable. We cover all the things that make this life bearable: film and TV, theatre, books, subcultures, internet culture, pop culture, art and photography.

TOV needs to be similar to that of a friend, a balancing act between defiant, witty, humorous and urgent. It’s a place for discovery, where you can find shit hot analysis that gives you food for thought, new voices and perspectives. We want to create an affirming space that reflects our lives and loves and isn’t stuffy.

I’m looking for ideas that spotlight exciting emerging voices like a new and exciting photographer or an actress who you’ve noticed in a number of new and interesting projects; profile heavy hitters that are household names dear to our hearts; analytical pieces looking at trends and tropes in media or culture at large (they can even be real life archetypes like woke pixie dream girls or Mr Cuff em Quick); and of course themed lists – whether that’s books that get you through a break up, the best K-dramas to binge during lockdown, 10 WoC Scottish artists that we need to be paying attention to etc.

 

MUSIC

Our section covering all things music, celebrating songs and artists we love but also making space for discourse and interrogation. Think topical and fresh, but also personal! We’re open to all genres, and our focus tends to be shining a light on BPOC talent, especially those from marginalised genders. With that said, we are open to widening this when it comes to personal stories (e.g. we have run stories about writers’ experiences growing up as Black and brown fans of Paramore and My Chemical Romance).

Written-through artist profiles and Q&As spotlight new talent as well as celebrating established names. When it comes to pitching these, consider why this person or group is relevant to be interviewed at this moment in time – e.g. think about release dates for their music or something topical that’s brought their name into the discourse. Check to see whether we’ve already covered the person you want to speak to – if so, what has changed for the person since the last time they spoke to gal-dem?

There are multi-interview features examining trends happening in music. When pitching these, explain the trend you’ve noticed and tell us which voices you would want to chat to in order to shed light on the subject.

We also take first-person pieces exploring personal relationships with music, e.g. pieces that wax lyrical on how an artist or album impacted you – again, think about “why now?” when pitching these. Is there an anniversary of a release, for example? Comment piece pitches are also welcome, reacting to and interrogating music news, but ideally in a way that feels instructive.

 

LIFE

The Life section at gal-dem should work as a restpite for the somewhat heavy aspects of identity-related journalism. Lifestyle is fun, informative and highlights creative, nuanced and dynamic stories as well as reflecting aspects of the lives of our audience. It’s inclusive and accessible in tone. Life covers wellbeing, beauty, travel, food, hobbies, fashion, nature and relationships.

When pitching profiles or Q&A’s to Life, think about interesting and new talent (sports stars, chefs, models, designers, makeup artists, gardners etc.) like designer Shriya Samavai Manian,. Ideally this person would have something active happening in their career – such as a a new cookbook or a show coming out.

Multi-interview features within life are for deep dives into interesting and unusual topics, such as food trends, like this piece on black food businesses during Covid-19. You should think about who your case studies might be, usually including at least one expert voice to help solidify your point.  Sports and food pitches always catch my eye because we get the least of those.

While we do accept personal essays and first person pieces in Life, if it doesn’t directly link to the topics listed it may actually be better suited in the first person section. Well researched and sparky first-person pitches stand out, such as this piece on Primark’s ‘modest fashion’ range.

There may be multiple people you might want to spotlight, such as in this listicle piece on PoC to follow during the pandemic. If you have a talent and want to share it you could do a how-to style article giving practical advice, such as this piece on growing your own food.

INVESTIGATIONS

We are also looking to expand the number of long-form investigative projects we embark on. Please pitch these projects directly to our EIC, including plenty of detail.

 

Upcoming writer’s events

We do not currently have any writer’s events in the diary. Check back here for future dates!