Submission Guidelines

You don’t need to be a sports fan to pitch to Only A Game, but you should be an experienced narrative-style radio reporter with excellent writing and technical skills and a conversational delivery style.

We use sports as a lens to tell stories about the world we all live in. Our features are plot-driven. We are not looking for game reports or team profiles. If it’s the kind of thing you’re likely to hear about on a traditional sports program, it’s not going to work for Only A Game.

Some examples of stories that work for us…

- The unexpected success of a sports team that may or may not be linked to the re-burial of an English king.

- The unknown story of the first U.S. woman to officially complete a marathon.

- The unlikely link between a popular 1990’s television show and one athlete’s record setting performance.

Only A Game stories should feature complex characters, surprises, challenges, a turning point (or points) and some sort of resolution. It’s not about who went home with the trophy. We need to know what our characters learned or what greater truth they uncovered.

Many of our listeners don't consider themselves to be sports fans. Ideally, all stories should lead to an idea or insight that resonates beyond the world of sports.

How to Pitch:

All pitches should be sent via email to oag@wbur.org. Please title your email “Story Submission” to keep it from being lost in the sea of spam. Your pitch should answer at least some of these questions:

  • Who is your main character? Has that person agreed to talk to you?
  • What is the plot of your story? We need a clear sequence of events.
  • What’s the point? Why should we care about this story? All pitches should be accompanied by a two to three links to your recent radio stories. This is not optional.

When to Pitch:

We book freelance stories at least a month in advance.

Our stories need to stay fresh for an entire weekend. So we're especially interested in stories that acknowledge a big sporting event without being dependent on that event's outcome. Anniversary or historical lookbacks and personal remembrances can work. Stories that speak to social issues in sports are also good candidates.

Payment:

Rates can be discussed with OAG’s senior producer after your pitch is accepted.

Payment will be made through Boston University, and is subject to the university’s employment procedures. You will receive instructions on how to submit a W-9 and an invoice. You should expect to receive your check within four to six weeks of submitting your paperwork.

Expenses:

We pay reasonable travel expenses. ("Reasonable" is also defined as staying reasonably close to home. Please don't ask us to send you to California if you live in Florida!) Expenses must be pre-approved.