For freelance writers, there’s no shortage of opportunities for writing short blog posts. In recent years, startups like and have emerged to connect companies that want to dabble in content marketing with writers who can quickly churn out 400-800 words.
But outlets that pay for long-form work, particularly those that pay well, are few and far between. That’s why creative writers and journalists alike are excited to hear about former New York Times Executive Editor ’s next venture: a startup that will pay writers an advance of up to $100,000 to “produce stories that will be longer than long magazine articles but shorter than books,” according to .
Abramson announced her plan to launch the startup in collaboration with journalist at the Journalism & Women Symposium’s annual Conference and Mentoring Project, Poynter reported. While the project doesn’t yet have a name, she has been brewing up the idea for quite some time, and said it will include “one perfect whale of a story” each month. She envisions a subscription model.
Here’s a quote from Abramson via :
“We are actually pitching a startup that will be, not unsurprisingly, very ambitious, killer journalism,” Abramson said Monday night, according to WBUR. “We’re talking to some investors who are sounding very interested, and we are going to do great stories and offer great journalists actual money that they can live on to write something wonderful for us.”
Wait … $100K for ONE story?!
$100,000 for a story is a far cry from what these days, and we figure that’s exactly why Abramson wants to pay six figures: to attract top-tier contributors who will produce fabulous long-form pieces.
While only a small number of writers are likely to benefit from her startup, we appreciate the message it sends: that high-quality journalism is worth paying for. The gig economy offers lots of reasons to , but that has come at a cost, both for the creators of quality content and for the people who consume it. Initiatives like this one help push the bar — both for content and for pay — back up again.
The world of publishing has changed drastically over the last few years, often resulting in less compensation for writers. But the emergence of new platforms like the one Abramson is planning might be the silver lining. Experimenting with new models of revenue and distribution — and embracing the technology that makes it possible — might be the only way to reimagine how writers create, share and get compensated for their work.
What do you think of Abramson’s idea to pay writers $100,000 for an article?