Pitch an Article for Tofugu

    Published • Application due Indefinitely

    Thank you for your interest in writing for Tofugu! We are looking for high quality content on the topics of Japanese language, travel, and living. If you would like to write for Tofugu, please read the following to better understand our submission and editorial process.

    1. Before You Write Anything

    We are looking for articles that match or are close to the "Tofugu style." Please read some of our recent articles to understand what this means. Some general tips:

    • Have a deep understanding of the concept you are writing about. You should know it well enough to explain it to someone with a high school education. That doesn't mean making content "dumber." It means simplifying and explaining concepts in innovative ways.
    • Write in a friendly, mostly casual tone.
    • Be concise. Say what you need to say in as few words as possible. Don't repeat ideas.
    • Be passionate about your topic. Let it shine through your writing so the reader gets excited too.
    • Be useful. Be useful. Be useful! Tell the reader what they will get by reading your article. Then deliver on your promise.

    To get more specific, here are some of general topics we're looking for:

    • Japanese language-related posts: If your post has something to do with Japanese language, specifically how to learn and use it better, it has a much better chance of getting published. For examples of the kinds of language posts we want, check out these in-depth articles about the particle かな and the difference between on'yomi and kun'yomi kanji. They both cover a specific Japanese language topic in-depth and teach it in a way anyone can understand.
    • Posts that help people get to Japan: There are all kinds of hidden, secret, and obscure ways to get to Japan: government programs, scholarships, job opportunities, volunteering, and more. If you know a secret way to get to Japan, either short or long-term, write about it and explain step-by-step what you did so others can emulate your path.
    • Posts that help people have a better time in Japan: Once you're in Japan, there are all kinds of practical and cultural barriers to overcome. How do you handle hospitals? How do you interact with the elderly? How do you get a driver's license? What's the proper etiquette for working in a Japanese law firm? If you've faced difficulty in Japan and successfully overcome it, we want to hear what you did step-by-step so others can emulate your success. Help them avoid the pitfalls you faced.

    Now that you know generally what we're looking for, it's time to get your article to us. If you have any questions, or want to run any pitches by us, you can send them to We're more than happy to talk to you before you submit your article so you can have the best chance at getting an article published. We want you to be successful too (but we can't just let anything pass).

    2. Send a Completed Article

    If you have a finished article, you can send it to us ( for review. We accept articles via shared Dropbox Paper documents. In your email you should include:

    1. Some context: who are you, what are your credentials, what is the article about, why do you think it's a good match for Tofugu, etc.
    2. The share link to your article on Dropbox Paper.

    The Editorial Board will read your article. At this point they could…

    1. Decide to move forward with your article (nice!). We'll include an offer of payment. Standard rate is $250 for a completed article. More info in "Payment" below.
    2. Request changes or revisions before making a decision.
    3. Decide to not move forward with your article (don't worry, we'll still send you an email if this happens). Some typical reasons why articles don't get accepted:

      • There are too many spelling and/or grammar errors.
      • There's no clear premise. For example, we can't tell what you are trying to say, the purpose of the article is hard to detect, etc.
      • It's overcomplicated. If you can't communicate information in a way that high school level students can understand, it usually means you don't know enough about the topic.
      • It doesn't fit Tofugu's style. This could be your writing, tone, or even the topic in general.
      • The content doesn't align with our goals as a blog or company.
      • The information isn't useful. Ask yourself: are there actionable steps the reader can take based on the information in your article? Does the article help the reader?
      • The information isn't unique. Has your topic been written about many times before? You should do a Google search before you start writing and see what's already been done. Also, are you writing in generalities instead of being specific?
      • Your writing is too erudite (e.g. uses the word "erudite").

    When the article is accepted, and we don't need any more revisions, here's what happens:

    1. You will be assigned an editor. They will become your main point of communication.
    2. You and your editor will figure out a deadline. We can definitely negotiate a reasonable deadline for posts, but ultimately we need to make sure in-progress articles continue moving forward.
    3. Tofugu will provide you with a "Terms and Conditions" contract. You will sign it and return it to us so we can proceed.
    4. Tofugu will transfer your article to our Dropbox Paper account and add any comments/requests in that document. You will need to address the comments and requests by making changes inside this shared document.
    5. If all comments/requests are met, you have made it to the copy edit stage (editor may continue with some revision as well). But you're done! And you'll be scheduled for payment (see "Payment" below). We'll let you know an estimate of when we think the post will go up.

    3. Payment

    Some general information about payment:

    • Payment is decided and offered by the Editorial Board.
    • Standard rate for an article is $250, and scales based on complexity, experience, and how much you've written for us. You can still, at this point, choose to not take the offer and go somewhere else.
    • Tofugu pays writers via Paypal. Unfortunately, we cannot pay via any other method.
    • Payments are made on the fifth of each month for the previous month's work. For example, if you reach the payment stage for an article on February 12, you will be paid on March 5. If you reach the payment stage for an article on March 1, you will be paid on April 5.

    4. Perks of Writing for Tofugu

    There are a few perks for writing with us.

    As a Tofugu author, you get a bio page on our site. This page includes spaces for

    • Email
    • Twitter
    • Website
    • A short, written bio
      • We can also add an inline link in your bio. Links to personal websites, businesses, and personal projects in a writer's bio are added at the discretion of the editor.

    Shout-out on Twitter

    When you publish an article, remind your editor and Tofugu will try and give you an @ mention on Twitter.

    Other Opportunities

    Writers often end up getting offered other projects as well (depending on skills, time, and trust). You don't have to take any of them, but it's nice to be wanted.

    Work Toward Higher Writer Tiers

    After you get an article published on Tofugu, you are able to move toward a higher base pay. Authors who have written…

    • 5 posts: Article base pay becomes $275/article.
    • 10 posts: Article base pay becomes $300/article.


    We don't do this one automatically, but if you ask nicely we'll probably send you some stickers after your first article is published.

    Get in Touch

    Sound good? If you're still interested, drop us a line at and follow the instructions on this page. Talk to you soon.