Write With Us

Hi there!

We’re so excited that you’re interested in pitching to The Chicago Genius Herald! Before we get to the fun stuff (what your pitch should include), we’ve got a couple of things you should keep in mind as you pitch with us. Following these isn’t a guarantee we’ll take your pitch, but it is a guarantee that we’ll take your pitch more seriously and be able to give you better feedback for future submissions.

  1. Keep it local (or evergreen): We’re a Chicago-based comedy collective, and that means we’re looking for pitches that lampoon the parts of the Windy City you’d have to be “in the know” to joke about, while still making them accessible to a wider audience. Evergreen pitches are also welcome.
  2. Punch up, not down: Come from a relatively privileged socioeconomic background and never taken the Red Line further south than Sox-35th? Excellent! Consider then that your perspective on Englewood might not be necessary or fruitful to an ongoing discussion. At Chicago Genius, we’re committed to showcasing a Chicago that goes beyond the buzzwords and dog whistles of a lot of media coverage the city gets, so if your joke hinges on hurtful stereotypes of protected classes (or you spend a lot of time hand-wringing about “SJWs” online), it’s not going to be a good fit for us.
  3. Only pitch things you can see as full articles: When pitching, make sure you have a clear idea of where your joke will “go” and how you can heighten it within the world you’re creating—currently any accepted pitch will be expected to be made into a full, ~400-word article.
  4. No concurrent submissions: Due to what we’re calling “a lot of complicated legal bullshit,” we at The Chicago Genius Herald only ask that you not submit article ideas to us at the same time you submit them to other, better known outlets with bigger legal teams (Hard Times, The Onion, Reductress etc.). We barely know what a DMCA takedown request is, let alone how to contest one, so having to figure that out would put a lot of undue stress on our already hangdog legal counsel, Ralph.

Now what you know what we expect from you, here’s what you can expect from us:

  1. You own your work: We don’t claim any of your content that appears on our site in perpetuity. We want The Chicago Genius Herald to be a platform to host Chicago-specific humorous writing online, but we make no claim to your work outside of providing it a home. Got some work sitting on a private blog you’d love rehosted? Send it our way and we’ll tell you if it’s a good fit.
  2. No major changes: We might make small edits for house style and clarity, but we’ll never make large changes to the content of an accepted submission without your express prior consent to do so.
  3. Please resubmit: If we don’t accept your work, don’t despair! Humor is subjective, and we’re always going to be excited to see submissions from repeat contributors. We don’t judge, and we don’t add people to blacklists. Ever.

Ready to pitch? Excellent. Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Your name
  • Your contact email
  • Five (5) headline pitches you can see becoming full articles on the site, including at least one (1) Chicago-specific headline. If necessary, feel free to elaborate in a parenthetical as to what you think the thread of the article will be
  • Links to existing work (applicable)

Got a talent for audio or video? We love it! We’re always looking for video and aural submissions as well. Something even weirder than that? Pitch us and we’ll go from there!

And that’s it! Women, writers of color and anyone who’s not normally represented by the powers that be in comedy are especially invited to submit. White dudes are invited to submit too, but let’s face it—y’all need less encouragement to do so.

We’re looking forward to hearing from you.