Submissions are currently closed for 2023! The window for 2024 will begin at some point in December. Thanks for your interest.
Hello, my name is Diego and I’m the founder of Into The Spine. Hope you are keeping well and staying safe.
One of the first things I thought about when creating the site was the possibility of building a new place for writers from all over the world. I want contributors to talk about the stuff they love and tell stories about games, from indies to AAAs. Since 2018, we have established ourselves as a site that hosts diverse voices, along with supporting new folks in different ways both during and after publication. Folks over at Patreon have been a huge help along the way, too.
Keep in mind that we’re particularly looking for atypical, niche angles – there’s already many other sites where you can take your longform reporting or criticism (we can’t afford those!). And please, don’t pitch us extremely timely ideas, since our schedule varies month per month and we can’t guarantee an immediate response either.
Pitches: Ideas should presented in a short manner – sometimes one paragraph is more than enough, and we’re happy to work with you to finish developing an idea or angle. And please, don’t forget to add a brief introduction about yourself. Also, include some links to your previous work (if you have them), either from a site or a personal blog, links to socials or your portfolio, and don’t pitch us reviews. For any additional details, refer to our freelancing guide.
Note: Spine is accepting pitches for the Stories and Opinion sections again, in addition to Fragments, but with some changes. Details below.
This section follows upon the foundation of our end of the year roundups. This means shorter pieces between 150 to 300 words, with a focus on specific moments both inside and around games.
We want to hear about a sequence, a line of dialogue, or even a song that made you stop in place and reflect on something. An unexpected twist, a cutscene that’s been stuck in your head, or a lesson that will follow you throughout the rest of your life. In summary, the format is yours to choose, and there are tons of examples on the site to refer to.
Flat rate is $25 at the moment. Since Spine is on a weekly schedule, we’ll likely publish two Fragments per month. This should give you a broad idea of how long it might take until your piece is live on the site. Don’t worry, though, as we pay ahead of publication.
The kickstarter for Spine. Personal essays and stories ranging between 500 to 700 words.
Stories can be about the meaning of home, the cycle of grief, about meaningless beauty and tropes as tradition, about learning to dance, or white space, about playing games in single player and being “not like other girls,” and about social anxiety or that one shade in Hades, to name a few examples.
Flat rate is $50 at the moment. Since Spine is on a weekly schedule, we’ll likely publish one Story per month. This should give you a broad idea of how long it might take until your piece is live on the site. Don’t worry, though, as we pay ahead of publication.
A catch-all term for criticism. Thoughtful perspectives and sharp writing about games big and small, ranging between 500 to 700 words.
Opinion hosts criticism about virtue in mundanity, what gamification does for capitalism, gothic protagonism, mocking succession, the invisible hand, intimacy, essential workers, video games’ short memory, escape systems, and threatening gender norms, to name a few examples.
Flat rate is $50 at the moment. Since Spine is on a weekly schedule, we’ll likely publish one Opinion per month. This should give you a broad idea of how long it might take until your piece is live on the site. Don’t worry, though, as we pay ahead of publication.
A curation told in 56 screenshots. Examples include examinations of Ghost of Tsushima, Goldeneye, and The Last of Us Part II. We’re more keen on interesting angles or sections rather than a collection of screenshots.
Flat rate is $25, although this section is more of a wild card of sorts. If we receive a pitch we’re particularly interested in, we’ll find a slot for it in the weekly schedule.
As general guidelines: No UI, no text, and preferably taken with a photo mode for better results.
Deadlines are usually within two weeks after accepting a pitch, but can be flexible on a case by case basis. Oh, and always send the draft on a Google Doc, please!
Depending on the number of pitches, we won’t be able to fulfill every request. Response times may range from a couple days, a week, or a few weeks, depending on how many pieces we’re already working on at the moment. There’s currently one person behind the site, but if anything, don’t be afraid to follow up. Just be mindful of our time, please, as everything is done on a volunteer basis!
People of color as well as LGTBQIA+ folks are more than encouraged to pitch, and our contributors’ list reflects that. As for the country you reside in, we accept folks from all over the world, as long as PayPal is an eligible option for you in order for us to process payments.
I want for Into The Spine to be the place I’ve always wanted to write for when I started freelancing. Plurality of voices and backgrounds are, and will be, the source of this. I want to present people with a voice, an identity in each piece. Having the freedom to get your personal or niche ideas published, while building a portfolio and improving your skills at the same time is key to us, and we’ll make sure to direct you towards the right paths for you to continue working upon that.
Please, forward all pitches and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to contact us on Twitter or at email@example.com for any questions.
Best of luck out there.