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One Year On

A year ago today, we opened the doors to The Unwritten and my life changed forever. I hope you understand that I’m going to gush for a little bit here and will probably cry.

When we launched, the site had a simple aim – to give disabled people a space to share their stories without reducing them to trauma or inspiration and to pay them fairly for their work.

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The Unwritten has an Award Winning Editor-In-Chief!

The team at The Unwritten is delighted to announce that Editor-In-Chief, Rachel Charlton-Dailey has won the highly coveted 2021 Georgina Henry Award for Digital Innovation at the British Journalism Awards.

Launched by Women in Journalism, this award supports the brightest new ideas in journalism in memory of the Guardian’s late deputy editor, Georgina Henry a former Women in Journalism chair.

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How You Can Support Us

While this is a space for disabled people’s stories, our priority is paying our writers for their energy and words. As an already marginalised group we could never and would never in good conscience ask disabled people to write for free.

However, as brand new and completely independent publication ran by a working class freelancer, we’re not there yet. So we’d love any support that you can give us.

All of your money will go towards paying writers and creatives to make this the best space for disabled stories. When we launch we will be paying each writer £75 per article, with the aim of raising it when we can.

You can support us on Patreon for as little as £3.50 a month, there are five different packages with lots of great perks.

If you’d prefer to give a one off donation you can contribute to our Paypal Writers Pot.

We understand if you can’t contribute, and we’d really appreciate any shares, RTs or follows on Twitter as well.

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We Want Your Stories

The Unwritten would be nothing without you, so we’d love to hear all about your amazing stories. We’re looking for stories on health, love, loss, success, struggles, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, no diagnosis, and everything in between. All stories are welcome, we won’t define or gate-keep what qualifies as a disability and we recognise self-diagnosis.

The basics

  • Word count: 700- 800 words
  • Pay: £75/ $100 (we’re hoping to increase this as the site grows)
  • Pitches accepted on an ongoing rolling basis, but this may mean your article isn’t published for a few months after pitching
  • We accept pitches from all over the world but be aware we only pay in GBP and USD.

How to pitch

Send an email to and include:

  • The word PITCH in the email subject
  • If your story is time sensitive or news related please mark as TIMELY but be aware that we have a limited budget.
  • A couple of paragraphs about you, your pitch and why you want to write about it.
  • Any clips, examples of your work, blog links or even social links. Don’t worry if you don’t have any published work.
  • If your pitch contains sensitive subjects can you please trigger warning it at the top of the email. A simple “TW: Domestic abuse” or “TW: eating disorders” is fine. If you’re unsure if you should trigger warn, do so anyway just to be safe. This allows our editors to practice self care.

What we want

  • Personal essays and opinion pieces about chronic illness, disability and health.
  • How your illness intersects with other aspects of your life sexuality, gender, race, religion, class, education, family and relationships – priority may be given to pitches where the author is part of another minority group.
  • Funny stories, perspectives and issues we might not have considered before.
  • Your opinion on political, social and topical issues that affect you as a disabled person
  • Stories of diagnosis or how you’ve struggled to gain a diagnosis.
  • We allow stories to be published under a pseudonym, no questions asked.

What we don’t publish

  • Inspirational stories of people “overcoming” illness
  • Stories written by non-disabled people about their disabled partners or relatives. Those are not your stories to tell.

Notes on tone

We aim to have a conversational writing style, like you’re chatting with your pals. With that in mind, swearing is allowed, but don’t go overboard. They should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Preferably if it’s in a quote, and starred out.

In the interest of inclusivity we use gender neutral language, so it’s always “people who have periods” or “people who menstruate”. We also always respect pronouns.

Our response

Please note that we are a two person team, both of whom have chronic illnesses and working other jobs, so it may take up to two weeks to reply to your pitch. We appreciate your patience.

We can’t wait to hear from you!