Contribute – insideWaterloo

Contribute

Submit pitches to newsroom[at]insidewaterloo.ca. Include “Pitch” in your subject line.

So, you’re looking to write for insideWaterloo? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

insideWaterloo is a publication based on the part of the Haldimand Tract known to settlers as Waterloo Region. We’re driven by a passion to provide space for voices that are often overlooked and ignored in the media landscape. We’re hyperlocal and believe that stories relevant to the region are connected to issues provincially, nationally, and around the world.

We see journalism as this collaborative effort with the community. Rather than just having you place your trust in us to tell your story, we want to give you the opportunity to tell it yourself. In doing so, we want to open up the doors to the newsroom. insideWaterloo will accept pitches from anyone: unpublished writers, seasoned freelancers, front-line activists or the average person. If you have a unique voice and a story to tell, we’re interested. 

We are prioritizing submissions from equity-seeking writers based in Waterloo Region, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized people. We specifically encourage writers with overlapping under-represented identities to submit to us.

Unsolicited submissions are welcomed, but please send us your pitch first in order for us to decide whether it would be a good fit for us. As we’re just starting out, we are still raising funds to make this work sustainable. We strongly believe in compensation, though if you are financially able to forgo payment, please do let us know.

We have two tiers for our freelance writers submitting to us.

Our standard rates of pay for unsolicited articles are as follows:

$80 – Short articles (1,500 words or less)

$120 – Feature stories (1,500-2,500 words) and photo essays

Solicited articles or ones based on current theme are as follows:

$150 – Short articles (1,500 words or less)

$500 – Feature stories (1,500-2,500 words) and photo essays

Guidelines:

Themes

There will be certain stories that we will be looking for and instead of having you read our minds, we will be announcing themes every two to three months. Be sure to check back here, or our social media feeds, to learn about current and upcoming issues we would like to cover.

  • Winter 2022 – Affordable housing and homelessness (deadline to pitch is December 5th)

Waterloo Region’s red-hot housing market is out of reach for many, and the number of people experiencing homelessness feels like it’s swelling every week. All our shelters are at capacity, with some closing their doors or are at risk of closing. People who live in tent cities are being demonized and criminalized.

How did we get here? How is this crisis impacting you and your community? What’s the solution? Our first issue of 2022 focuses on the theme of housing and homelessness. We’re keen to read long form pieces that delve into this topic through analysis or lived experience. Max 3000 words.

  • Spring 2022 – TBD
  • Summer 2022 – TBD
  • Autumn 2022 – TBD
  • Winter 2023 – TBD

Features

We publish investigative journalism and personal stories told in a variety of ways (i.e., long-form essays, podcasts, visual stories, data visualization, et cetera). We want to read stories that can make us laugh, make us cry, shed light on community struggles and triumphs, hold truth to power and so on. 

Ultimately, we want to read stories that will challenge us. Critical analysis and political commentary are welcome, and you can expect us to work closely with you to develop your story for publication. 

Features are to be no more than 2,500 words. Longer articles will be accepted on a case-by-case basis depending on the topic and skill of the writer.

As you prepare your pitches, please keep the following things in mind (this list is borrowed and adapted from Briarpatch, a publication we’re a big fan of):

  • Don’t pitch a topic so broad that we can’t pick out the driving argument. A pitch on “climate change” or “the history of Canada” won’t land.
  • Avoid jargon and insider terminology.
  • Don’t resort to tropes or predictable shock.
  • Make sure to keep your pitch to us under 200 words. Make a case for us, and in extension the reader, that this story is worth reading.
  • Be sure to explain why you’re the best person to tell this story.

Interviews/Roundtables

Sometimes the best way to tell a story is to go straight to the source. Have an expert in mind? Is there an activist stopping by that you would like to talk to? Or maybe you know a group of people with first-hand experience on an issue. Send us your pitch and we will do our best to help facilitate a meeting. Recordings are to be kept for transcript purposes. The article should be edited down for brevity and clarity.

Reviews

Arts and culture are very important to us and society at large. We publish short reviews of recent books, music and films. We’re looking for pieces that can give our readers a good idea of what the work entails in terms of plot, genre, themes or ideas. Recently published material will be prioritized along with small or independent publishers, Canadian publications, and/or by authors based in Waterloo Region.

Older works are also considered based on the pitch. It should ideally be a more reflective piece on the impact of the work on a societal or personal level.

Opinion

We hear you. You have strong feelings about a topic or issue in the community, and the talking heads keep repeating the same tired lines over and over again. Pitch us your take on the issue.

Other

Have an idea or project that you’re not quite sure we would publish? It never hurts to ask. This page can only cover so much, and we do appreciate out of the box thinking. Drop us a line and we will let you know if we’re interested. We can sort out details as we go along.

Fiction submissions: TBD

Poetry submissions: TBD