What We Do

Meeting the Need

Directed by an Associated Press–trained newsman and former magazine editor, Laird Townsend, Project Word seeks to advance writers and pieces that would otherwise have been too risky or burdensome to develop but are potentially valuable to public understanding in a rapidly changing world—a cornerstone in our goal of media diversity.

Project Word is predicated on the needs of editors. We provide any necessary developmental editing of proposals to help the writer anticipate your needs. We vet writers as well as queries or articles. We support writers’ related expenses or arrange necessary photographs where possible. And we make introductions where appropriate.

With occasional exceptions, Project Word works with long-form feature stories or narrative journalism. Articles address a range of related issues—racial and economic justice, human rights, community health, environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty, and biocultural diversity.

Project Word is funded by individual donors and foundations. We charge only for assignments or requests initiated by editors; other services we offer free of charge. We operate as a nonprofit editor at large. We arrange, vet, and help deliver the work, allowing you to contract directly with the writer (or photographer) as normal. We ask for courtesy credit. In providing any necessary developmental editing, we raise the obvious questions, anticipate the likeliest objections, and help the writer address them. But in this way we also test writers and pieces, recommending only those who would merit your attention and time. Read on to find out more about how it works for editors.