Southerly publishes in-depth, thoughtful, accurate journalism about the relationship between people, places, and ecosystems in the U.S. South. We define the South geographically as: West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and East Texas. We are also interested in covering Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and how the American South intersects with the Global South.

We are dedicated to improving our newsroom and the journalism industry as a whole by working with people with backgrounds that reflect the U.S. South. We are committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds, gender identities, and ages. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to pitch us, including women, nonbinary folks, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities. We want to see these groups represented as sources in your stories, as well.

We currently pay:

$500 for up to 1,000 words

$750 for up to 1,500 words

We will negotiate rates for stories above these word counts, and based on experience level.

What we’re looking for:

In 2022, we’ll be focusing on three main topics, based on responses we’ve gotten from listening sessions, feedback on stories, learnings from other outlets and information sources, and surveys of our readers, staff, and board:

  • Disaster preparedness and recovery (inland and coastal)
  • Air, water, and soil pollution and its impact on public health (particularly around industrial sites, landfills,
  • The right to basic, functioning infrastructure (water, sewage, and other)

We are especially interested in how these issues are playing out in rural communities not often covered by the media.

If you have an idea for a longer investigative piece, feature story, series, or multimedia/data-driven pieces that doesn’t fall into one of the above categories but is important for Southern audiences, let us know. We’d love to hear about it!

If you’re a freelancer who has a story and grant funding for travel to help make it happen, but no place to publish it yet, please get in touch.

We consider all pitches, but preference is given to journalists living and working in the region. We’re excited to hear your story ideas. Email If you don’t receive a response within a couple weeks, feel free to follow up via email.