The basics:


Who works here?


Opportunities with WordRates and PitchLab:


Other common questions:




What is WordRates?


WordRates is a website for journalists, writers, and photographers to share information about the publishing industry and to rate their working relationships. You can think of it as a Yelp! for journalists.



What is PitchLab?


PitchLab is a new way for writers to pitch their work to magazines and newspapers that borrows from the traditional literary agency model. Writers with great ideas can submit pitches to PitchLab, which are then reviewed by our team of mentors. If the idea passes the review process, the mentor will then work with the writer to hone the proposal into a perfect pitch and then take it out to the marketplace to find an appropriate publication, just like a literary agent does in the book publishing world.  Mentors will work to find the best possible rate and contract terms for your story. Submitting ideas to PitchLab is free, but writers agree to a 15% commission for the life of the work.



Why should I upgrade my membership?

WordRates is a community of writers, journalists, photographers, and authors who want to transform the way that the freelance journalism business functions. While much of the website is free to the public, premium members have access to editor and magazine contact information, as well as contract comparisons that will help writers locate the best possible home for their stories. Upgrade today to help WordRates keep the lights on and support our ongoing initiative to fight for the rights of freelance journalists everywhere.

How much does a premium membership cost?

$35 for six months, $50 for a year. 

What is the "A-list"?

A-list publications are the select magazines, websites and newspapers that WordRates considers to be at the top of the publishing marketplace. They are the sorts of outlets that run stories that could land book, TV or movie deals and generally pay $1.50 or more per word. The staff at WordRates actively curates and tweaks A-list mastheads and contract details. A-list publications also receive search priority in the database.   

Who works here?




Scott Carney (Founder) is an award-winning investigative journalist and anthropologist whose stories blend narrative nonfiction with ethnography. He is the author of three books including The Red Market and A Death on Diamond Mountain and a former contributing editor at Wired. Other works of his have appeared in Mother Jones, Foreign Policy, Playboy, Details, Discover, Outside and Fast Company. He is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism and lives in Denver, CO. scottcarney.com


Siddartha Rao (Legal Counsel) is the founder of the Rao Law group in New York, which is a technology-focused business law firm with experience ranging from complex commercial litigation to international data privacy. He is the former general counsel at Guidance Software, the world leader in digital forensic investigations. Prior to that, he litigated multi-million and billion dollar patent, trade secret, trademark, and corporate fraud/white collar crime matters with a focus on the financial services sector. He is the executive editor of the Journal of Law and Cyber Warfare, and has authored articles on international patent law, cyber security, European data privacy, and electronic discovery. raolawgroup.com




Trevor Aaronson is the executive director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and a contributing writer at First Look Media’s The Intercept. He is also author of The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism, which he expanded on in a 2015 TED Talk. Aaronson's magazine work has been published in Mother Jones and Foreign Policy and his broadcast work has aired on Al Jazeera and NPR. He has been featured on CBS This Morning, NPR’s All Things Considered, MSNBC, and This American Life, among others.


Vince Beiser is an award-winning journalist based in Los Angeles. He has exposed conditions in California's harshest prisons, trained with troops bound for Iraq, ridden with the first responders to Haiti's earthquake, and hunted down other stories from around the world for publications including Wired, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Harper's, The Atlantic, The Village Voice, The New Republic, The Nation, Mother Jones, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. Vince's work has been honored by Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Columbia, Medill and Missouri Graduate Schools of Journalism, the National Mental Health Association, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, and many other institutions. He has also twice been part of a team that won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence, the magazine industry's highest honor. vincebeiser.com


Erin Biba is a New York based journalist, WIRED Magazine Correspondent, Popular Science Columnist and the Science Correspondent for The Mythbuster's Tested.com. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Modern Farmer, and LadyBits. erinbiba.com


Tequia Burt is the former editor editor of FierceCMO and a seven-year veteran journalist covering B2B marketing and media for Crain Communications’ BtoB and Media Business magazines. Tequia received her MSJ from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and BA from Grinnell College.


Charles Graeber is the author of the New York Times bestselling and Edgar-nominated non-fiction book, The Good Nurse (Hachette/12Books, 2013), a Contributing Editor for Wired, and contributor to publications such as The New Yorker, New York Magazine, GQ, Outside Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, National Geographic Adventure, the New York Times, National Geographic Adventure, and MIT Technology Review. He is the recipient of an Overseas Press Club award for Outstanding International Journalism, a 2012 New York Press Club prize and several National Magazine Award nominations, and anthologized in collections including The Best American Crime Writing, The Best American Science Writing, The Best American Business Writing, The Best of 10 Years of National Geographic Adventure,  Extraordinary Writing About Birds, The Best of 20 Years of Wired, and the Best American Magazine Writing. He currently serves on board of governors for the Overseas Press Club of America and the board of The Writers Room. He also likes pina coladas and getting lost in the rain. charlesgraeber.com


Jonathan Green is an award-winning investigative journalist and author. He has written for numerous publications including Men’s Journal, Virginia Quarterly Review, GQ (UK), the New York Times, The Sunday Times Magazine, Best Life, Esquire (UK) , Town and Country, Garden and Gun, Men’s Health, the Guardian, Fast Company, and the Financial Times Magazine among many others all over the globe. His award-winning book, Murder in the High Himalaya, is endorsed by the Dalai Lama and actor Richard Gere. He has reported from Sudan on jihadist militias, the high Arctic on global warming, the guerilla-controlled jungles of Colombia on the cocaine trade, corruption in oil-rich Kazakhstan, and the destruction of the rainforest in Borneo. He has exposed human rights abuses in the gang-controlled slums of Brazil, Africa, and Jamaica and in the thin air of the high Himalaya, among many other places. He is a keen adventurer and writes regularly on the outdoors. More about him at jonathangreenonline.com


Jon Lackman has written for The New York Times Magazine, Wired, Harper's, The New Yorker, Slate, Popular Science, and Art in America. He has also completed a PhD in art history from NYU and a fellowship at the MacDowell Colony, where he worked on a collection of short stories and a novel. He's represented by Edward Orloff of McCormick & Williams. jonlackman.com


Robert Levine is a journalist based in New York covering business and finance.


Jason Miklian is a Senior Researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway. Jason has written feature pieces on blood diamonds in Africa and iron wars in India, and connected international beer conglomerates to a war in Congo. He has a PhD in Development Studies from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics. His work has appeared in the New York Times, BBC, The Economist, Agence France-Presse, Foreign Policy, France 24, NRK (Norway), The Hindu (India) and National Public Radio (New York), and he has published over 30 academic journal articles. For WordRates, Jason will focus on writers with academic backgrounds who are looking to find a mainstream audience for their work. More about Jason at Academia.edu.


Luke O'Brien is an award-winning journalist who writes regularly about business, crime, and sports (sometimes in one assignment). His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Fortune, Details, Rolling Stone, Fast Company, ESPN, GQ, Boston Magazine,The Washington Post Magazine, and Slate, among other publications. His stories have been anthologized in the Best Technology Writing and noted in the Best American Sports Writing. Luke got his start in print journalism at a daily paper in Clovis, New Mexico, and has worked as a writer for National Geographic Television, SF Weekly, Village Voice Media, Wired News and Deadspin. He is currently the senior correspondent at POLITICO Magazine. lukeobrien.com


Neal Pollack is the author of several best-selling books of fiction and non-fiction, including Downward-Facing Death, Jewball, and Alternadad. He also writes for lots of magazines and websites. He’s the lead singer of The Neal Pollack Invasion. And a certified yoga instructor. And a roller-derby announcer. And a Jeopardy Champion. www.nealpollack.com


Stephen Randall was most recently deputy editor of Playboy Magazine, where he worked for over 34 years. He oversaw the Playboy Interview, 20 Questions and much of the magazine’s major non-fiction, working with such writers as Jimmy Breslin, Betty Friedan, Jeff Greenfield, Bill Maher, Camille Paglia, E.L. Doctorow, Neal Gabler, Ray Bradbury, Deepak Chopra, Bill Zehme, Jerry Stahl, Tom Shales, Al Franken, David Sheff, Eric Bogosian, Buck Henry, and Ken Kesey.  Prior to joining Playboy, Randall was articles editor of Los Angeles Magazine and staff writer in the Los Angeles bureau of Women’s Wear Daily. He has written for a variety of publications, ranging from the L.A. Times to Parenting and is the author of the best-selling novel, The Other Side of Mulholland, which was named one of the best books of 2001 by the L.A. Times Sunday Book Review section. He has also edited five anthologies of the Playboy Interview. He currently serves as editor-at-large for Playboy.


Gary Rivlin is a former New York Times reporter and the author of six books, including most recently, Katrina: After the Flood.” He is an investigative reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and the winner of two Gerald Loeb awards for distinguished business reporting. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atavist, and Wired, among other publications. garyrivlin.com


Paul Tullis has written for more than 50 print, digital and broadcast media outlets including The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Bloomberg Businessweek, Columbia Journalism Review, The New Yorker, New York, Los Angeles, Wired, Fast Company, Scientific American Mind, Salon, Sierra, Men's Journal, Bon Appétit, Psychology Today, Pacific Standard, and many others. He has worked as a senior-level editor at award-winning national consumer magazines and as a news commentator on NPR's "Morning Edition" and MSNBC. He produced daily news for public radio as part of the team that won the 2004 LA Press Club Award for Best News Bureau; he won the 2014 LA Press Club Award for Best Newspaper Feature; he edited the story that won the 2105 ASJA award for Best Dramatic Narrative. His work has been anthologized in six books from major publishers, including the Best American Science and Nature Writing series and the Best of McSweeney’s (humor edition). He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, who is a policy analyst at UCLA, and their two daughters, aged 11 and 7. Paultullis.net


Joel Warner is a Denver-based staff writer for International Business Times. Previously on staff at Westword, Denver's alternative newsweekly, his writing has also appeared in WIRED, Men's Health, Men's Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland, Vice.com, High Country News, 5280, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and other publications. Formerly an adjunct journalism professor at the Community College of Denver, he's an instructor at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver. He's also co-author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon and Schuster in 2014. joelwarner.com


Affiliated Literary and Film Agencies:


Kuhn Projects is a full service literary agency, representing a wide variety of authors and cultural figures for book projects, magazine articles, and their attendant film and television rights. kuhnprojects.com


Judi Farkas Management is a film agency and management company based in Los Angeles.


Developers and Designers:


WordRates.com is managed by the Boulder, Colored based Lime9 Web Services, who prides themselves on great web services for small business. They offer e-commerce web services in Boulder, Colorado, hassle-free managed hosting for small businesses, and Wordpress web hosting for sole proprietors. We think they're the best managed web host for a small business like ours, and helped us with crucial web services like accept credit cards on our web site for our subscriptions. The site was designed in conjuction with the Pakistan-based Ejuicysolutions.



Opportunities with WordRates and PitchLab


How do I become a mentor?

Mentors are established journalists who have extensive experience working with the top magazines in the world. They routinely earn at least $2/word for their articles and have experience analyzing and negotiating publishing contracts. Most mentors have also published books with mainstream publishers. In addition to these qualifications, mentors must want to help change the way that the publishing industry works and be willing to help other writers get better deals on their contracts. If this sounds like you, PitchLab would love to hear from you. Send an email to info@wordrates.com with "Mentor Program” in the subject line and let's get the conversation going.


Can I become an admin?

In order to ensure that the data in WordRates is as accurate as possible we need a few volunteer admins who want to help the site function. Admins are usually journalists who want to be more involved with the site and are willing to dedicate about 1 hour a week to approving and rejecting changes. It’s a great way to help support the site and be a more active member of the community. If this is you, please send an email to info@wordrates.com with "Admin Program" in the subject line.


I want to help WordRates and PitchLab expand to another country.

Freelance journalists all over the world need help navigating the journalism business. There are ways that foreign reporters could help sell reprints of PitchLab articles, add to our global database, and open up American markets to reporters in their home country. At the moment, the only thing limiting WordRates from expanding abroad is access to the right information. Please encourage reporters, photographers, and writers in your home country to help build up our database. Once that aspect of the site becomes more robust, we will need country liaisons who will act like mentors for their region, earning a commission in the process.


I’m a literary or film agency looking for partnership opportunities.

Literary agencies that partner with WordRates will have an inside look at our magazine publishing pipeline that will give them an advance look at stories that are about to come out in the national media. This can help literary agents get a head start on the competition and be a reliable source of excellent ideas that can become books or movies. If you are interested in finding out more send an email to info@wordrates.com with "Literary Agency Inquiry" in the headline and let’s have a discussion.


Other Common Questions


I submitted a change to a magazine or editor, but I don’t see it online.

In order to maintain the quality of our database, every change submitted to WordRates needs to be approved by an admin before it appears on the website. Rest assured that your information has been received and we are working to get it live as soon as possible.


I’m an editor and would like to claim my profile.

We’re glad that you’re here. Editors who are mentioned in the WordRates database may claim their profile and add an “editor statement” and respond to comments on their profile with a green check mark next to their name. In order to become verified, you must first sign up to become a member and then go to your editor profile and click the button to claim the profile. This will give you an encrypted key code. Take that code and send an email from your work email account to info@wordrates.com. Once sent, you can update your profile and statement, but the changes will not go live until we have verified the code in our admin queue.


What commission does PitchLab charge for representing a writer's work?

PitchLab charges an industry-standard 15% commission on all of the work that it represents.


These great features are for premium members only. Updrade your account today for access to the entire site. 

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