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The LEVEL Pitching Guide

Welcome to Medium’s new publication for Black and Brown men. Tell us your stories.

Photo: Andrew Neel/Unsplash

Our mission and our readers

  1. “Men” is a broad descriptor, and we intend to reflect that breadth. If we run a piece about sex or relationships, the piece will, whenever possible, not presume the sexuality of you or your partner(s). Similarly, the voice and stance of the publication won’t presume that the reader has always identified as male. We’ll cover explicitly LGBTQ+ issues as well, but even when we’re not, we want all our readers to see themselves in as many stories as possible. (The obvious exception is first-person pieces; after all, a personal essay can only reflect the experience of the person writing it.)
  2. “Black and Brown” is similarly broad, and while it includes folks from Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures, we’ll be focusing primarily (though not exclusively) on the African diaspora and Latinx cultures.
  3. One more thing, and this is important: Our audience is primarily men in their thirties, forties, and fifties — in other words, mid-millennials and Gen X. In other other words, this is some grown-ass shit. Our readers are intellectually curious, creatively and professionally ambitious, and emotionally mature.

What we cover

  • What We Don’t Want: Recaps. Lists. Press-junket interviews with artists just because they have a new project. Treating tweets like news. Hot takes. Caping, uncritical stannery, or any other worship at the altar of celebrity.
  • What We Do Want: Thoughtful analysis. Asking (and answering) questions that nobody else has thought to ask. Teasing out the hidden connections between things that seem unrelated. Deep conversations with people who make interesting, challenging things—and who have something to say.
  • What We Don’t Want: Outdated workout tips. Robb Report-style luxury shopping.
  • What We Do Want: Voicey, knowledgeable, well-sourced service journalism that helps you level up your palate and your experiences. Rigorously reported trend coverage. Personal essays that range from honest and vulnerable to hilarious.
  • What We Don’t Want: Thoughtless contrarianism. Unfocused rants. Jargon-laden academic writing.
  • What We Do Want: Incisive critiques. Investigative projects that drag misdeeds into the light of day. Commentary that demonstrates a thorough grasp of policy.

How to pitch

  1. A slug or a sample headline that distills the idea into a few words
  2. One or two paragraphs that unpack the idea and give us a sense of both your grasp of the story and why you’re the person to write it. If it’s an essay, let your voice shine through. If it’s a reported story, who would you talk to? If it’s a profile, do you have access? That little bit of pre-reporting is often the difference maker between a pass and a green light.
  3. The proposed word count and treatment you imagine. Is this a written-through piece? A Q&A? A profile? A feature? (The majority of our stories will fall in the 1,000 to 1,500 word range; once you get past 2,000 words, that’s feature territory)
  4. If this is your first time pitching, tell us a bit about yourself and—and this is important—include links to some of your favorite stories you’ve written. (Yes, even if they’re self-published.)

The logistics

The waiting game



Higher Learning. A publication from Medium for the interested man.

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