CATALYST is a newsprint magazine that has served as Salt Lake City's resource for creative living since 1982. We’re always on the lookout for great local writers, both to take story assignments from our editor as well as to present us with stories and story ideas. Please note: We are primarily looking for writers to approach us with story ideas they would like to write. Typically, we only give out story assignments to writers that have worked with us previously. (In other words, please don't email us saying, "I want to write for you, please give me an assignment." Rather, come to us with an idea for a specific article you'd like to write.)
We are most interested in pieces on the following topics:
- Environmental Issues
- Progressive Politics
- Healthy/Organic Food
- Transportation (alternative, etc.)
- Gardening/Food Security
This list is not comprehensive, but for the most part is what we need at the moment. We are looking for writers who are flexible, have good research and interviewing skills and can meet deadlines.
Writer's Guidelines: CATALYST advocates a healthy, peaceful and sane environment — locally and globally. The enemy in the quest to attain this goal is not a person or nation, but rather a lack of information and insight. CATALYST's role is to present our readers with the best information available in a fashion that inspires the reader to act — along with suggestions as to how, when and where. In other words, the purpose of CATALYST is to be a catalyst.
How to approach us with a story idea:
Along with your query, please include:
- where you have published before
- clips of stories you have written
- Send these items as well to Pax Rasmussen.
We are more than happy to consider unpublished writers, but please send examples of your writing. Articles are accepted on spec. Unfortunately, we cannot offer kill-fees for on-spec assignments.
Check out the web address below for good recommendations for writing queries:
Be familiar with our magazine:
This is extremely important. Our complete magazine is published online as far back as August of 2003. Please use this archive to familiarize yourself with our publication. It can also be found at many of the coffee shops, stores and boutiques around Salt Lake City. We receive queries and submissions frequently of a topic, genre or style that doesn't even come close to matching our magazine. We take a much more notice if it is clear that you know our publication and can consider what our readers are interested in.
Style and Length:
The CATALYST style is friendly and to the point. We value fresh ideas and thoughtful reporting: captivating leads, solid research (and original research, if possible), well chosen quotes, anecdotes, description and satisfying conclusions. Please familiarize yourself with the publication by carefully reading past issues.
Our feature stories generally run 2,000-4,500 words. We use two or three per issue. A shorter story with several sidebars is preferred over a longer story.
Shorts & Occasionals:
These smaller stories usually run between 600-1500 words and are usually less formal, often about interesting things happening around town.
Assign your story a working title. It helps keep your story focused as you write. It may or may not be the title used for publication.
Conclude your story with one or two sentences, third person, about yourself. If you have an expertise or affiliation associated with the story subject matter, please mention it.
All articles are edited. You may be asked to revise or expand upon portions of your piece, or review the copy if editing has been extensive.
We pay $.10/word, upon publication. Some in-depth, research-heavy articles will be paid at $.12/word.
CATALYST buys first American serial rights.
Manuscript Presentation (electronic submissions only):
Proof your copy for typos, misspellings, and to double-check facts. Include phone number and address on first page of story. It's also sometimes helpful to include phone numbers of major interviewees. We accept submission of stories by email only. Please do not copy and paste your work into the body of the email: it is extremely difficult to clean up in a manner to make it fit for print. We can use Microsoft format, but save to RTF or "text only" if using WordPerfect or another word processing program. Please single space, no hard returns at the end of lines. Make only one space between sentences (not the two they taught you in typing class). Please do not indent paragraphs.