Critical Read is Looking For Writers


Thank you for your interest in Critical Read. We are always happy to hear from writers and will consider pitches at any time.

What we do: Critical Read brings the stories of the fine, literary and performing arts to a wide readership.  Our stories emphasize that the arts are all around us, and that we’re living in connection with art history.

We accept personal essays year-round. 

Please use Submittable to pitch us and to submit personal essays.

Critical Read is a nonprofit organization supporting the promotion of the arts and culture in the United States. By ‘art’ we mean nonprofit arts including but not limited to ballet, drama, classical music, opera, jazz, performance, installation, visual art and more. We will consider pitches for stories that touch on works of obscure or vintage pop culture and Americana. Your pitch should not be tied to the publicity  cycle.

What we aren’t looking for:

  • Stories about how much you hated the arts until you saw [X] or read [Y] or had [Z] teacher.
  • Appreciations of rock musicians or commercial film actors/directors
  • Reviews

We accept pitches for Artwork Biographies year-round.

Artwork biographies. These titles establish the facts of the work of art within a narrative framework. They balance opinion with research and reporting, but their emphasis is on storytelling. 

Artwork biographies are typically assigned at 4,000-5,000 words. We pay up to $1 a word for these stories.

To pitch an artwork biography, please send a paragraph telling us which work of art you want to profile, explaining the central conflict and themes of the story you want to tell. If we are interested we’ll ask you to submit a formal pitch, including the following: 

  • Your CV/resume and relevant clips
  • A brief analysis of why is this work of art important – ~250 words
  • A draft outline of how you would treat the subject
  • A list of the major books, commentaries, and films on your subject, if any. Tell us why your take on this work of art will be different – ~250 words
  • A sample introduction to the work — ~500 words
  • A list of events this title could tie to, e.g. upcoming exhibitions, retrospectives, or revivals
  • Date you would be able to deliver your draft

What we aren’t looking for:

  • Stories about commercial film, fashion or television
  • Stories about food and chefs
  • Stories about artisanal production
  • Reviews
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