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Call for pitches: Out There Podcast

Posted: October 19, 2020

Hello, radio family —

Out There Podcast is seeking stories that showcase outdoor experiences you don’t often hear about in mainstream media, and we’d love to hear your pitches!

With this call for pitches, we are prioritizing stories that reflect outdoor experiences of BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and/or people with disabilities. We are particularly interested in “happens to be” stories: stories that feature people who happen to belong to one of these communities, but where the story is not explicitly or solely about their identity, marginalization, or victimization. 

For example...

  • Were you a refugee who developed a connection with nature, as your family migrated to safety? 
  • Are you a native of Indonesia who experienced the 2004 or 2010 tsunami? What was your experience with the water and ocean before the floods hit? How did living through the tsunami change your relationship with nature? How did it affect your viewpoint of life? (These questions could apply to any natural disaster)
  • Do you have a disability that makes it more challenging to explore the wilderness than people with able-bodied privilege? Tell us about an outdoor experience that changed you in a meaningful way.
  • Are you a first- or second-generation African/Latinx/Asian immigrant who loves outdoor adventure? How have your experiences offered you a different viewpoint of nature than what your family raised you to have? 
  • Are you a native Quechua or descendant of the Incas who has a family story or tradition that's connected to Machu Picchu? 
  • Are you the first person in your community or family who has turned to nature to cope with an emotion, or a life decision?

These are just a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing; we’re eager to hear about your own personal journeys, emotions and experiences.

About us: Out There is an award-winning show that explores big questions through intimate stories in the outdoors. 

What do we mean by “outdoors”? Anything outside your door! We believe the outdoors is for all, regardless of where you were raised or the color of your skin, because if you've stepped outside your house for any reason, you technically have a connection to nature. We seek to celebrate those connections and amplify your stories, so that everyone will see themselves reflected in the narratives we tell.

What are Out There stories like? Here are a few examples:

  • “A Series of Unlikely Events” is a love story between a Black kayaker and a white rock climber, which explores whether you should take a chance on someone, even if things seem too good to be true.
  • In “The Tools to Thrive,” an Asian American hiker takes us on a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago and asks whether escaping to nature is actually necessary for an emotional reset.
  • In “Before It’s Too Late,” a woman with African American and Cherokee roots travels to Mongolia, in hopes of regaining the eco-literacy that her own family has lost over the past few generations.

What we're looking for: We want narratives that are deeply personal, and that also explore a broader question. Your story should have a compelling, thought-provoking plot, vivid scenes, and surprising moments of introspection. First-person narratives are especially appealing! 

The piece needs to have a connection to the outdoors, but it doesn’t have to be about wilderness adventures or feats of strength; some of our best stories involve the urban outdoors.

Length: 10 - 15 minutes

How to pitch:

If you’re interested in doing a piece, I’d love to hear from you. Just email me at [email protected], with "Out There Pitch" in the subject line.

Please make sure your pitch includes: 1) what your story is about — i.e. the basic storyline, character(s), outcome; 2) the big idea/question the piece will explore; 3) the overall takeaway; 4) what makes the story surprising/interesting; and 5) how your story amplifies voices/perspectives that are often sidelined.

In addition, please include some info about yourself, and point me to an example or two of your work.

Pay: $500 - $1500, depending on your experience and the complexity of the story.

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Cheers,

-Willow

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