derailleur is looking for freelancers!
Hello everyone! I, Kate Wagner, founder and editor-in-chief of derailleur, am pleased to report some exciting news: derailleur is now a company! This means that we can finally commission freelancers and manage commissions like any ordinary publication.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking often and fondly about all of the wonderful people who gave me my start in cycling journalism — Edward Pickering, Daniel Benson, and of course, and especially, the late Richard Moore — people who took a chance on me even though I was coming totally from left field, had no experience, no J school, and very little knowledge, just a desire to tell stories and apply my skills as a writer in a different genre than the one I came up in. If it is at all possible, I would like to pass this opportunity onto others.
Derailleur started as an experiment in long-form journalism and creative nonfiction as applied to the sport of professional road cycling. The kind of writers we are looking for are people who will carry on that vision.
We believe that cycling deserves the attention of poets, conversationalists, travelogue writers, historians, storytellers, illustrators, and critics. We don’t shy away from the personal, the political, or the difficult. Competitive cyclists are also encouraged to reach out, as are folks not typically represented in cycling journalism which historically (and presently) skews white and male. We are not credentialists, so if you’re still in school, don’t typically come from a journalism or a sports journalism background, the more the merrier. (Don’t worry, we fact check.)
For those freelancers already working in or who have a background in cycling journalism, derailleur is especially interested in improving our coverage of women’s cycling, juniors, and under-23 cycling. In short, our goal is to become the most diverse, interdisciplinary and eclectic web-based cycling publication out there.
In the interest of full transparency, the rates at which we will commission writers is comparable to the standard rates for web-based publishing in cycling journalism:
For now, all submitted work must be in English.1
Payments will be made in USD within a week of publication. (This may take longer with currency conversion.)
Starting rates for non-fiction pieces of 1200 or more words is $250, increasing with word count, up to a maximum of $400.
For illustration, poetry, fiction, and other non-standard written content, we will work together to come up with a fair rate.
Derailleur will begin with two freelancer pieces per month. Our goal is to raise enough funding to increase this to four or more per month.2
As funding for derailleur increases, so too will freelancer rates — after all, we want the best writers and talent to contribute to this project. If you, the reader, haven’t subscribed yet at the low rate of $6/month, $60/year, this is the best possible time to subscribe, as the amount of content will increase dramatically (especially with the grand tours.) For your convenience, a button:
If you, the writer, are interested in writing for derailleur please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title, Writing for derailleur:
A brief cover letter/introduction (i.e. why you want to write for us)
A short author biography
Samples of your work. These do not have to be previously published — they can be whatever you want them to be. They also don’t have to be cycling related, but bonus points if they are. Alternatively, if you are pitching, for example, an already-completed — we do not want you to work for free — single piece of written work, that is also fine, but please include the work in question. Fragments, pitches with excerpts, links to existing work, etc. are all acceptable. In general, we just need something to give us an idea of your writing/personal style. This is the most important part.
Ideas for further pitches/anything else you want to add.
To those who already subscribe: thank you so much for your contributions — they have helped pave the way for the incorporation of the publication (which is not inexpensive) and the creation of infrastructure for further growth.
We will resume our regular cycling coverage with this week’s Tour of the Alps.
Thanks once more — we look forward to hearing from you.
A possible exception comes for writers from Slovenia, as I work closely with two different Slovene translators.
Another note: Derailleur uses funding to purchase reference materials and to facilitate travel to bike races in order to produce coverage for the publication. I do not take (nor have ever taken) a personal paycheck from derailleur. This is why I continue to freelance for other publications.