Here are some tips to help you become a valuable member of our team:
• Pitch stories. Our most prized contributors are those who come up with their own story ideas. If you wait around for us to hand you assignments, you will be soon forgotten and lost to oblivion.
• Pitch interesting stories. We are not a community newspaper. We are not a business journal. We are not the daily paper of record. We are not a celebrity ’zine. So, don’t pitch us stories that would be appropriate for those types of publications. We are an alternative weekly. We want fresh, cutting-edge content. We want stories with drama and conflict. We want stories that explore new trends. We want stories that no one has ever read before. And, say, that reminds us: Search Google News and local publications' archives to find out if your angle's been done already.
• Don’t pitch topics. If you pitch a story about community farms or street gangs, we’ll ask you: “What about them?” If you pitch an interview with a public figure, we’ll ask you what, exactly, that person has to say. Anticipate questions about specific angles so that we can skip that step. If you’re interested in a story that’s been reported elsewhere, we’re not interested unless you can shed new light on it or explore a new angle.
• We’re not really in the market for opinion. What we need most is third-person, interview-based, narrative journalism. Opinions are a dime a dozen. You’ll stand out if you can demonstrate that you can write about people, places and things that exist outside of your own head.
• Deadlines, word count and pay: We can’t give you a deadline or a word count until we know what deadline you think you can hit and what word count you think is appropriate for your story. You tell us. As for pay, unfortunately, we’re not a wildly profitable operation. You won’t make a living writing for us, but we can help pay your utility bills every once in a while. We pay better than small community papers and far less than popular magazines. If pay is your prime motivator, we’re probably not your best fit. If you want to hone your skills, tell compelling stories and make a difference through journalism, we’re a match made in heaven.
Whom to contact:
For news pitches: David Rolland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For music pitches: Jeff Terich (email@example.com)
For arts and culture pitches: Kinsee Morlan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Currently, we're not looking for the following: columnists, restaurant reviews, film reviews or theater reviews.