HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO PUBLISH?

We accept quality work that sheds light on the world of mass incarceration. We prioritize timely dispatches, articles, reported essays, illustrated journalism and narrative poetry. WE DO NOT ACCEPT FICTION. As a general rule, wait for your story to be published before sending another. We cannot publish your entire output

PJP editors sort submissions based on priority. The pieces that are published the quickest are those that coincide with issues and topics that are relevant to people now (e.g. the spread of the omicron variant or a new criminal justice law). Or they might speak to a national holiday or an awareness month that is coming up. Then we look at stories about topics that PJP is specifically interested in (see PJP TOPICS in the Writing Prompts section) and stories with a powerful narrative. Stories with no time element are last.

I’M INTERESTED IN JOURNALISM BUT DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START.

Request a free copy of our PJP journalism primer. You can learn how to describe a scene, get the most out of an interview and compose an op-ed opinion essay. We are developing more training handouts as we expand our work. (Note: We cover postage for any material we send out. DO NOT SEND US SELF-ADDRESSED STAMPED ENVELOPES. WE CANNOT PROCESS THEM.)

WHO READS YOUR STORIES?

We think your news, information, and perspectives should be part of the public conversation about criminal justice, so we try to reach any reader who cares about social justice.

DO YOU PAY FOR STORIES AND ART?

We currently pay $50 for the best story of the week as selected by a rotating judge among staff, volunteers and others. In addition, if we co-publish your story with another publication that can pay for your work, you will receive 100% of that amount. PJP does not profit from your work. 

We aim during 2022 to begin paying for as many stories,  journalistic art, cartoon commentaries, and other work as possible. Stay tuned, but in the meantime, we believe there is value for our authors and artists from our training, editing, and distribution to a wide audience. 

HOW CAN I READ PJP STORIES FROM THE INSIDE?

We publish “PJPxInside,” a twice-a-year print newspaper with our best stories and writing tips.

WHAT IS THE CONTRIBUTING WRITERS’ AND ARTISTS PROGRAM?

It is a program for our best artists and writers that allows them to associate themselves formally with PJP. New contributing writers are vetted quarterly, and we extend invitations based on the quality of their work for PJP and their potential as journalists. There is no application process. If you would like to be considered, keep writing for us. 

COULD PJP SEND BACK STORIES, PHOTOS OR ART THAT I SENT YOU?

Due to the sheer volume of submissions, we cannot return your work. We cannot be responsible for work that is lost in transit. 

CAN YOU ADD MY NAME TO YOUR JPAY/CORRLINK/GTL ACCOUNT SO I CAN SEND MY WORK VIA EMAIL?

Yes! Send us a request, we will add your name. Please allow 3-4 weeks to process. 

CAN YOU SEND ME STAMPS AND WRITING SUPPLIES?

Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to do so. 

IT’S BEEN EIGHT WEEKS, AND I HAVEN’T HEARD FROM YOU. WHAT DO I DO?

We have a large backlog of works, most of which needs to be transcribed before they are edited. We also may not have received your work. Check in with us after 8-12 weeks. We appreciate your patience.

WHY DOES MY PUBLISHED STORY LOOK DIFFERENT THAN THE VERSION I SENT YOU?

We give your stories the kind of professional edit that outside writers and journalists receive from magazine editors and newspaper bureau chiefs. 

I DON’T LIKE THE WAY MY STORY WAS EDITED.

Because of the sheer volume of submissions, we cannot re-edit a story once it is published. If you would like your story taken down, submit a request and we will comply. If an error was inserted in the editing process, notify us with an explanation of the correction, and we will fix it.

Download a PDF version of our complete Submission Guidelines.