Does Charlotte have an identity crisis? Are we still the proud papas of NASCAR? Are we a progressive town in a conservative state? Or do we hang our heads in shame as the city that foisted Pat McCrory onto the national political stage?
We want to find out how our readers define the Queen City nowadays, and what better way to do that than (inspired by a 25-year tradition at our sister paper Nashville Scene) to host a contest.
All you have to do to enter is complete this sentence:
The best submissions will be printed in an upcoming issue of Creative Loafing for all of the city to see. Finally — an opportunity to share your wit with the masses. Remember to be as specific as possible — yes, we love our fried chicken, but so do the folks in that Southern town down the highway.
You’re so Charlotte if you’ve successfully learned how to navigate the Queens Road, Queens Road intersection.
You’re so Charlotte if you perpetually believe that THIS will be the year the Panthers finally win the Super Bowl.
You’re so Charlotte if you once wrote in Dale Earnhardt on the ballot for U.S. president.
Hit up the online form to submit your answers.
UPDATE: For real, you guys. Send your submissions via the the online form. Submissions left in the comments won't count toward the contest. The winner with the best YSCI entry will win tickets to our 2014 Best of Charlotte party, happening in October.
Do you follow local news but routinely spot gaps in local news coverage? Are you dreaming up great story ideas every day? Did you read the Cannon affidavit front to back? We have the gig for you.
Creative Loafing is looking for enthusiastic, serious and intelligent news bloggers and writers to contribute to our blog The CLog. We're looking for experienced journalists who are interested in writing about local politics, local news and culture. Moreover, we're looking for writers who understand how to do that for an alternative newsweekly. The "who," "what" and "where" are important, but we're also concerned with "why," "how" and "what's next?"
You must be based in Charlotte. You must know Charlotte. A love/hate relationship with Charlotte is preferred, though not required. Serious applicants, send a resume with relevant work experience and a brief cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider your cover letter your first assignment. Fail to catch our attention and you'll be tossed.
This is not a full-time position, nor will you get rich working for us. What we are offering, however, is the opportunity to have your byline associated with a media outlet that's not afraid to tell it like it is.
Sorry, folks - I should have thought to share this sooner.
Last week, we unveiled our annual Neighborhood Guide. This year's Neighborhood Navigator looks at 17 areas of Charlotte and beyond. More importantly, the edition listed 108 things you must do in Charlotte before you die - or move away.
I assumed many people would keep the issue for reference, but I suppose a newspaper just isn't as sexy as a printer-friendly list. So, here you go: A printable document containing our recommendations of 108 things to do in Charlotte.
WFAE's Charlotte Talks will feature a regular contributor to CL on Wednesday's show.
Ryan Pitkin and a few gang-prevention officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will talk to host Mike Collins about gang activity, specifically activity in Hidden Valley and the injunction imposed against the Hidden Valley Kings last year.
In November, Ryan wrote a story for us about the rise, fall and resurgence of the HVKs and how it's impacted the community. Read it here.
Tune into 90.7 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to hear our boy!
In the spirit of all these top (insert number) lists that are popping up online - don't worry, our own various 2013 retrospectives publish on Thursday - here's a compilation of the stories that published on our website this year you readers visited the most (not counting any event list-type posts).
1. Long live the Thirsty Beaver. Remember when that fence went up around one of Plaza Midwood's most beloved bars?
2. North Carolina no longer gives a damn. This edition of Erin Tracy-Blackwood's monthly column Trouble Hunter berates the General Assembly for passing a budget that stripped more than half a billion dollars from the state's public school systems.
3. 2013 106.5 Weenie Roast bands announced. This music festival brings a big variety of bands for a low price. No wonder it was so anticipated.
4. The stages of Lisa Ann. When Sarah Palin's porn star doppelganger Lisa Ann came to Mooresville, your interest was piqued. I don't blame you.
5. Look! Up On The Screen!: The best and worst superhero films of all time. Because who doesn't love a good superhero movie?
Do you have the literary skills to bust out a creative short story, complete with a fully developed narrative arc (including a climax), in 1,000 words or less? If so, we want you to enter our second annual fiction contest.
Our theme this year is pretty straightforward. We're simply looking for coming-of-age stories based in Charlotte.
Former editor Mark Kemp is saying peace out to Charlotte, y'all. He's been named senior editor, with a focus on music and the music industry, at the San Francisco-based Acoustic Guitar.
Kemp served as editor-in-chief at Creative Loafing from 2011 until he left earlier this year.
Best wishes to a fantastic writer/editor.
Creative Loafing brings you Filtered, our first ever - well, at least since I've been here - photography contest. We're looking for you, dear readers, to wow us with your photography skills and send us images that adhere to the theme of, "Old Charlotte versus New Charlotte." However you interpret the colliding worlds of the past and present of Charlotte - we want to see it.
We know that in the Instagram era anyone can publish a cool, creative photo. But we're not looking to post your photo on a social media site; rather, we plan to run the winner of our contest on a future cover of Creative Loafing and several finalists inside the issue. For thousands of people to see.
Aside from the immense glory you get from having your work plastered on the front page of an issue of CL, the winner will also receive $150.
So get to clicking with those smartphones or DSLRs. (Considering how high quality of resolution we're looking for, though, you may want to stick with shooting with your DSLR if you're trying to win first place.) You've only got three weeks to get 'er done.
To submit your photos to Filtered, visit www.clclt.com/photocontest.
Attention, any and all slackers. We've opened up all of our Best of Charlotte readers categories for any last-minute voting. Why? Because it's important to us that every single - I mean, EVERY SINGLE - reader gets the opportunity to share his or her opinions about what is the very best of Charlotte.
What, are my expectations too high?
Voting definitely, definitely ends Sept. 8.
In the meantime, here's a quick teaser video for our Best of Charlotte issue and party, coming out Oct. 2.
I normally don't get involved in little debates like this, and I want to preface…