Write for us

Our team of investigative journalists dives deep to tell stories about Canada you can’t find anywhere else.

We have just two rules: 1) Follow the facts. 2) Tell it like it is.

We look to work with reporters who have strong journalism backgrounds and in-depth knowledge of the energy and environment beat. Our reporters are wary of dogma and care about helping readers make sense of complex issues.

Read about The Narwhal’s commitment to more thoughtful, inclusive journalism.

Freelancing for The Narwhal

The rapid growth of The Narwhal’s staff reporting team means our capacity to accept freelance pitches is currently extremely limited. Those interested in contributing to our publication in the future are encouraged to reach out with introductions to editor@thenarwhal.ca. We are especially eager to hear from writers who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour. Go here to read about our commitment to more thoughtful, inclusive journalism.

Before pitching, please subscribe to our newsletter and follow our work closely for at least a month to get a sense of style, tone and content. Please also be sure to review our Code of Ethics.

What we look for in a pitch

We welcome pitches for stories up to 2,000 words, as well as video and photo proposals. Please note The Narwhal’s reporting is primarily focused on the extractive industries — mining, forestry, fishing and oil and gas extraction — and large-scale conservation. Please include one paragraph about who you are and at least two pieces of previously published work with your pitch.

Beyond that, we look for pitches to answer the following questions:

  • How does your story either advance a constructive conversation on an issue or shine a light on a story that’s being overlooked by other media outlets?
  • Has this story been told before or are you proposing to tell a story a different way than it has already been told? If the story has been covered before, please detail where and when it was published and how your story will be different.
  • How will your story help readers make sense of what’s really at play?
  • How does your story question prevailing narratives?
  • Why tell this story now?
  • What is your experience with similar stories and with the subject matter?
  • Are there any multimedia elements to this story?
  • What is your timeline?

If your pitch is accepted, you will be expected to provide sources for all statistics, studies, etc. and contact information for all interview subjects for fact-checking purposes.

We work with some of the best energy and environment reporters in the business. Our rate is generally $1 per word for professional journalists working on features, and may vary depending on experience and assignments. The Narwhal pays per assigned word but may from time-to-time negotiate a project price during the assignment phase.

Please send your pitches to editor@thenarwhal.ca.

Due to a very large volume of pitches, if you do not hear from us in two weeks, please feel free to take your story proposal elsewhere.

Freelance photography rates

The Narwhal offers freelance photographers base rates of $250 for a half day (up to 4 hours) and $500 for a full day. For large or multi-day projects, or projects submitted on spec, we will arrange a project fee as appropriate.

Opinion submission guidelines

The Narwhal publishes opinion pieces that are original, timely and well written. We prioritize submissions from experts and marginalized voices.

Please do:

  • Review The Narwhal’s reporting on relevant topics. We are less likely to publish an op-ed that repeats our current reporting but will on a case-by-case basis consider submissions that complement existing stories.
  • Read through our Code of Ethics.
  • Limit your submission to a maximum of 750 words.
  • Expect edits. If your submission is accepted, our editorial team will work with you to improve a piece of writing for brevity, accuracy and clarity.
  • Consider what matters to the public. We exist to help our readers better understand the world.
  • Include hyperlinked sources for fact-based claims made in your piece. Like our readers, we want to know where you’re getting your information from.

The Narwhal only accepts submissions for consideration on spec, so we do not accept pitches for opinion pieces. We do not pay for opinion submissions.

Please email your submission to editor@thenarwhal.ca and include a short author bio and headshot.

Due to a very large volume of submissions, if you do not hear from us in two weeks, please feel free to take your piece elsewhere.

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Will you help power our journalism in 2024?