Pitch an Article to The Urbanist and Get Paid To Write It

The skyline grows upward. (Doug Trumm)

The Urbanist had its first fundraising drive in August and now, thanks to the generous contributions of our readers, our budget has grown and we are launching a pilot program to pay new writers on a per-article basis. This will supplement our all-volunteer staff and hopefully encourage new people to contribute.

Here’s how it will work. We want you to write for our publication and we’re asking for your article pitches. What story isn’t being told in Seattle urbanism? Who isn’t being heard? What should be done to make our transportation system work better for all modes and users? What topic needs to re-examined in light of underappreciated research?

Make your pitch. It doesn’t have to be long but it should explain what story you aim to tell and how you’ll go about it. Who might you interview? What documents might offer guidance? Our editors will be happy to assist in the details once you’re in the writing phase. We welcome photography and videography work to accompany your storytelling. Email your pitch to editorial[at]theurbanist[dot]org. We’d especially welcome submissions from people who feel their voice isn’t well represented in urbanist circles.

We will be considering the following criteria in selecting the pieces:

  • Is the story new or untold in our community?
  • Does the pitch present a clear vision for telling that story?
  • Does it fit well with The Urbanist’s mission to improve cities and quality of life and is compatible with our values?

We will offer compensation per article competitive with other online publications. Selected writers can expect editing support from our staff to bring the piece to fruition. We don’t have a strict word limit and would encourage writers to go deep and aim for at least 500 words in their first draft. The guidelines for guest contributions have some useful tips to guide your work.

We will select pitches on a rolling basis, so keep them coming. We’re going to space out the winning pitches so the sooner you get your pitch in, the more likely the article will run promptly.

Thank you for supporting The Urbanist. We are proud of our accomplishments, but we want to continue to implement systems to get better. We want to broaden the dialogue around citymaking in Seattle and hope this program can be a step in that direction.

Author’s note: This pilot program ended in 2018 and we do not currently offer compensation for guest posts.

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Doug Trumm is The Urbanist's Executive Director. An Urbanist writer since 2015, he dreams of pedestrianizing streets, blanketing the city in bus lanes, and unleashing a mass timber building spree to end the affordable housing shortage and avert our coming climate catastrophe. He graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. He lives in East Fremont and loves to explore the city on his bike.