Creative Loafing Charlotte is always looking for that next great story. We’re a small staff, you see, and much of our print and online editions are supplemented by freelance writers who can craft an interesting read, whether that be in the form of a profile, investigative piece, polemical essay or a well-reported story about a local institution.
What are we NOT looking for?
Straightforward news, fiction, poetry, travel pieces, stories we've already written (be sure to search our site), stories other publications have already written (unless you have a substantially different angle), national stories without a local angle, or service journalism about 12 great places to get dessert after midnight (that’s what Yelp is for).
Are you a critic?
We also publish reviews of movies, theater, the visual arts, music, books, video games and dance. Reviews range between 500 words and 1,000 words in length. Don't be discouraged if you see the same bylines in the arts pages week after week. We're open to new writers in every section of the paper.
What about illustrations and photographs?
Interested artists should send samples to the art director. We currently do not have a staff photographer, so we’re always looking to get new folks in the mix.
How much do you pay?
The pay scale for freelance work varies widely, but we generally start off at 10 cents a word in print. We can pay anywhere from $10 for a blog post to $500 (maybe more) for a complex, high-enterprise cover feature. We also pay more for well-written stories that don't require days of editing on our part. All freelance pieces are accepted on spec, though we sometimes pay kill fees. Creative Loafing buys only first rights. Following our first publication of the work, you will have the right to republish the work with our written consent and provided that it does not appear in a publication or website that is competitive with CL. A full description of the rights we are buying and your rights after first publication are included in the freelance contract.
Should I send a pitch?
Please do. Well-developed query letters are welcome via email, and if you've been published elsewhere, it can't hurt to submit clips of your work along. A reminder: We're looking for stories, not topics. That means if you can't sketch out a brief narrative arc for your idea, you may need to flesh it out some more before it's ready to pitch. Of course, if you have a draft of your story ready, that's preferable.
And by the way...
Please do not pitch stories for which you have a conflict of interest. That means you may not write about institutions or people in which you have some financial stake. Also, we must carefully review pitches that concern your close friends or family. In such cases, disclosure can mitigate any possible conflicts to our satisfaction, but we must know such things in advance.
Feel free to email an editor if you have specific questions, but if you're one of those freelance writers who has only the vaguest of intentions to write for us, please don't bother.