We are currently looking for new contributors to Seventh Row with a passion for critical analysis that merges a deep focus on technical aspects of filmmaking (e.g. sound design, editing, structure) with a discussion of themes and broader social issues.
Note that because we follow an intensive and collaborative editorial process, we are looking for writers who ware interested in an ongoing editorial relationship with Seventh Row. If you’ve got an article that could go anywhere, or you’re just looking to expand the list of publications on your CV, it’s probably not a good fit.
Before sending us a pitch, please make sure that you’ve read our FAQs and that you are familiar with the publication (i.e. have read several articles and are aware of the kinds of approaches we take to criticism) and what we publish.
What kind of stories should you pitch?
We are always looking for new additions to our coverage of Directors We Love and Films We Love. We also seek essays comparing films or looking at the body of work of an actor, director, or craftsperson. You can find examples of these pieces in our essays section. Finally, we are particularly interested in pieces that that a closer look at certain aspects of filmmaking, including editing, sound design, structure, costumes, or a combination of these.
Because it usually takes at least a month to ready an article from a new writer for publication, and we plan our editorial calendar months in advance, please give us plenty of lead time for any time-sensitive pieces.
Due to the short timelines for festival coverage, regular reviews and interviews, we only work with our staff writers to produce these. If you’re pitching us for the first time, we recommend pitching something less time sensitive, which will fit into one of our series.
Send your pitches to contact <at> seventh-row <dot> com
What should you do to prepare your pitch?
Figure out where your piece belongs. Why is the piece you’re offering perfect for Seventh Row specifically? How does it fit in with the other work that we publish? How will it help us expand our areas of interest? Why will this article be of interest to our readers now?
Look for similar pieces on our site to get the feel for our style and what might be expected of you.
Unless you are doing festival coverage, which is always a total gong show, or reviewing based on a press screening, you should watch the film more than once so that you can offer a specific approach and thesis with specific supporting arguments based on evidence from the film.
What should your pitch look like?
We want to work with you to develop and craft a piece specifically and uniquely suited to Seventh Row. Because we value the editing process and our relationship with our writers, we do not accept submissions of pieces already written.
Your pitch should be concise, but clear and detailed. Although we are aware of the way an article often becomes something different during the writing and editing process, and welcome such developments, we want to make sure that we do start from a specific idea. You should strive to outline your piece and its arguments as clearly as possible. Be sure to include a concise thesis statement and an explanation of how you plan to support it with examples.
Before you set your pen to paper, our editors will exchange emails with you to make sure you have actual arguments, as opposed to a vague desire to write about a certain topic or film.
Send your pitch to editors [at] seventh-row [dot] com. Please use the subject line: “Pitch: [Title of your pitch]”
Please include in your pitch email a few clippings of other pieces you have written.
What is it like writing for Seventh Row?
Our editing process is purposefully intensive: every article goes through several drafts (though not necessarily complete rewrites, as it is sometimes understood) which explains the early deadline for pitches. Yet this editing process is not aimed at destroying our writers’ unique style and voice. On the contrary: we push our writers to push themselves, to fully develop their ideas and express them as clearly and concisely as possible, and to develop a writing style that is clear rather than flowery — to write articles which actually have something to say.
With the current precarious state of film writing, many outlets cannot afford to allow for much editing; when they do, the editor rarely consults the writer at all. Editing at 7R is a collaborative process — and we don’t bite! We do not want our writers to accept all our edits without saying a word: we expect them to push back when they disagree and to explain themselves.
Editing should be a conversation, so we need to know what you are thinking; our edits are a way to let you know what we are thinking. It might seem needlessly difficult at first — someone else at another publication wouldn’t edit at all — but this is how breakthroughs are reached, how a writer comes to untangle their thoughts, to develop self-esteem and a unique voice.
This is also a unique chance to develop a true relationship with an outlet and an editorial team. All our regular writers at 7R have their own, unique voice, which we’ve come to understand and see grow over time. Such relationships of understanding and mutual support are increasingly rare in the world of film writing, but precious in the construction of a writer’s specific voice. Writers selected through this pitch will be encouraged to write other articles for us, and hopefully to become regular 7R contributors.
We have put in place several tools to make the editing process as smooth as possible.
Although we are working on it, we are not yet able to pay our writers and editors a fee. However, if your article is selected to be included in an eBook for sale at the Seventh Row shop, you will be entitled to royalties in proportion to your contribution to the eBook. In the meantime, we offer the tools and the space for dedicated writers to improve on their writing, and a chance to develop a real relationship with a team of experienced, empathetic editors.