1. Who we are:
2. Types of freelancers needed:
Like most alternative weeklies, Salt Lake City Weekly could not exist without the contributions of freelancers. Three types of writers typically contribute to the paper:
Regular contributors : These are our columnists, with whom we have set fees and regular publication schedules.
Regular contributors with no definite schedule : Freelancers with whom we have a relationship and whom we periodically assign to write stories.
Occasional contributors : These are freelancers whose contributions are either irregular or new. In this last group, freelancers are expected to suggest their own story ideas, as it would be unlikely that we would assign stories to unknown freelancers.
Freelancers write cover features as well as arts and entertainment features. Word counts for the most commonly freelanced articles include:
Cover feature: 2,500 words
Feature articles: Arts & Entertainment - 650 to 800 words, Music - 650 to 850 words
Note: We usually do not seek freelance submissions in the following areas:
News stories : Freelancers rarely contribute news stories because news stories are labor intensive and sometimes are not published after a great deal of work has gone into them. Since we only pay for stories that we print, we rarely ask freelancers to pursue stories that may not, in the end, pan out.
Poetry and fiction : With the exception of our annual literary issue, Salt Lake City Weekly is not a literary magazine. Therefore, we ask that you not send unsolicited works of fiction. Poetry of short length is accepted for the "Poets Corner," in the Classifieds section of Salt Lake City Weekly. Short poems should be submitted by mail (no e-mails please) to Salt Lake City Weekly "Poets Corner," 248 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.
3. How to approach us with a story idea:
Pitching your story idea. First, ALWAYS send a query by mail, e-mail or fax to email@example.com to see if we are interested in your idea. Unsolicited manuscripts will be considered at our discretion. We will not return any item unless it is sent with an accompanying SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope). You may find it helpful to use this form as a guideline in organizing your story pitch.
Know Salt Lake City Weekly. Your chances of selling an article idea to us will be improved if you do your homework. Study our paper. Get a sense for the kind of articles we're looking for before sending in your query. Consider our readers, who want to read about local issues, people and places. Then tell us why your idea would be a great story for our paper, why you're the one to write it, and what kind of resources you will use to report the story. Get to the point. If it is your first time contacting us, include a resume and three clippings (can be copies of clips and/or e-mail links to publications that have your clips in their archives) as well as a daytime phone number and e-mail address.
Defend your story idea. Be prepared to answer questions we may have about your story idea, such as: Is it new, or at least a new angle on an old topic? Has it been written about locally and recently? Is it interesting, timely and appealing to our readers?
Spec submission. If you are an untested new writer, and we accept your story proposal, we are likely to ask you to submit your article on "spec" the first time or two. That means that we will reserve the right not to publish the story if we feel it does not meet our standards and subsequent editing will not salvage it in a timely fashion.
Associated Press style. We don't always adhere to the AP Stylebook but knowing when to fall back on it when you are uncertain will give your work a professional quality.
4. Matters of style and the editing process:
Style. Every publication has a distinctive tone that sets it apart. At Salt Lake City Weekly we aim high, writing for smart readers. When it comes to reporting, our guiding principles are accuracy and fairness. While our content is newsy, our style of writing is magazine style, not daily newspaper style.
Editing. Editing is a process of give and take. Editors aren't always right, nor are writers, and we welcome vigorous discussion over a piece and how to make it better. The goal is publishing the best writing possible within our pages. The editor has the last word, but it rarely comes to that. Working against a deadline puts pressure on writers and editors, so we expect both to check their egos at the door when it comes to editing. If you believe that your prose is deathless and cannot benefit from another set of eyes, then you may wish to publish your work elsewhere. The reality is that everyone needs an editor.
Format. After you are assigned the story and have it ready for submission, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail attached as a MS Word document. To ensure we receive the copy intact, also include the text in the body of the e-mail. Be sure the text has been spell-checked. At the top of your article, provide a word count as well as a possible headline and subheads.
Photo and art suggestions. Include suggestions as to whom or what should be photographed, with contact names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Discuss with the editor in advance which images are necessary to your story. We have photographers and artists who can be assigned to your story if needed.
Deadlines. The journalistic landscape is littered with the resume corpses of promising writers whose careers were short-circuited by gaining a reputation for blowing deadlines. It is unprofessional and inconsiderate and could place the publication in a production bind. If you aren't willing to commit to a deadline, don't agree to it. Be realistic from the start.
Having said that, we recognize that a lot can change in the course of writing an article, especially if it relies on many sources or if an unforeseen issue makes later publication more meaningful. It is your responsibility to tell your editor as soon as you suspect a problem. It is then your editor's option to extend your deadline.
Salt Lake City Weekly has a pay schedule, but there are exceptions. Our rates are comparable to those at other alternative newsweeklies. The best rule is that payment, including kill fees, vary and will be negotiated individually. We pay at the end of the month following the month of publication.
Freelancers can work for anyone they want. But newspapers have an interest in developing a stable of regular contributors. If you want to be considered as a regular freelancer for us, we ask that you give us the right of first refusal of your story ideas that might be of interest to our readers. If we don't agree to use them in a timely manner, you're then free to sell it to another newspaper or magazine.
Salt Lake City Weekly buys first-time rights to your work, plus the right to post your work electronically on our copyrighted Website. You retain the rights to all subsequent publication, with the proviso that such publication appears with a credit line stating that your story first appeared in Salt Lake City Weekly. All terms of publication are spelled out in detail in our contributor's agreement, which you must sign and return to us before your work can be published.
Salt Lake City Weekly is always interested in reaching out to freelance photographers. But the vast majority of our needs are news- and feature-related-that is, it is meant to illustrate a story. Art photography, while of aesthetic interest to us, is of little practical use.
To be considered as a news/feature photographer, send an e-mail to email@example.com. Include a resume and no more than five representative samples of your photography in jpeg format at between 200 and 300 dpi. If we like what we see, we'll schedule a meeting to discuss the opportunity in more detail. All terms of publication are spelled out in detail in our contributor's agreement, which you must sign and return to us before your work can be published.
City Weekly is currently accepting applications for its internship program. While these internships are intended for school credit, it is the student's responsibility to determine if a City Weekly internship will qualify for academic credit.
Student applicants/candidates should have interest and ambitions in journalism. However, the internship is not strictly for journalism students. The internship's main objective is to teach students what goes on behind the scenes in an alternative news organization. They will learn what's involved in producing a weekly paper, from pitching a story idea, reporting and story development to editing, layout and proofing by working with and observing our reporters and editors. Interns play an active role and will be expected to assist with ongoing weekly duties.
Up to three interns will be selected each season. Interns will work at City Weekly's Main Street office in downtown Salt Lake City.
Office hours will vary. The estimated time commitment will range between 15 and 30 hours/week, with a standard schedule to be established for Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. A half-hour editorial meeting is held Mondays at 1 p.m.
Dates of Internships:
Interns are expected to attend weekly editorial meetings and develop/pitch story ideas along with the rest of the edit staff. Interns will write one article per week through the course of the internship, i.e., News, A&E, Music and Opinion features. Interns may also write cover features with the editor's approval (cover stories count as three weeks of writing assignments). Note: Writing stories does not guarantee publication. Often, it is necessary for interns to revise and even rewrite stories.
In addition to writing, each intern will be assigned ongoing weekly duties that may include:
Interested students should mail or e-mail a cover letter, resume and references to City Weekly at least one month prior to desired internship. Prospective candidates will be contacted for an interview.
248 S. Main
Salt Lake City , UT 84101