The Urbanist is actively seeking writers to contribute to our publication, and toward that goal we’ve revamped our Write for Us page. To learn more, you can check out the newly updated page or read on.
At The Urbanist we are committed to covering a diverse array of stories related to our mission of improving cities and quality of life. That’s why we actively promote guest contributions. A lot of our most interesting content comes from readers like you. No, not SEO companies or product promoters — actual readers.
We publish many different forms of pieces related to our mission of improving cities and quality of life through the tradition of advocacy journalism. While we are based in Seattle and focus the majority of our coverage on the Puget Sound area, we are open to publishing work that extends beyond that geographic area in instances where the topic aligns well with our vision and values.
How to pitch us
We encourage writers to contact our editors with a brief article description to get feedback before jumping in too deep. If we think the proposed article is a good fit, we will work with you to get it edited and published with your name in the byline.
Here are some examples of the specific themes we are seeking pitches on at this time.
- Op-eds: Do you have an issue or topic you feel passionately about? Are you seeking to inspire change or raise awareness about challenges facing today’s cities? Op-eds are one of the primary ways in which readers share work and we publish dozens of them every year. Example:
- Spotlight on Solutions: These articles or essays highlight the work of organizations and individuals who are actively working to improve our cities and offer readers a strong dose of positivity and inspiration. Engaging descriptions of forward thinking public policy are also welcome here too. Examples:
- Urbanism 101: We are seeking articles that use accessible language and vivid examples to break down urban planning and policy concepts and terminology for a general readership. Example:
- Student Showcase: Rather than let your term project or thesis get dusty in (digital) archives, why not share it with an engaged community readers? We can work with you to transform your academic work in urban planning, public policy, public health, environmental studies, and more, to an engaging article that communicates with a broad audience. Example:
- Community Profile: Do you live in or have experience with a community that you want readers of The Urbanist to learn about? A community profile can highlight a neighborhood or city that has not been featured previously in The Urbanist’s coverage. The profile should share what makes the community unique and notable for urbanists. Example:
- Photo Essays: In your daily life or travels, have you made observations about cities, policies, and society that you’d like to share? Pitch us your photo essays related to our areas of coverage that offer compelling insights and observations. Example:
- Why I’m an Urbanist: The term “urbanist” is a broad one, and it can mean different things to different people. In an effort to represent the diverse spectrum of people who identify as urbanists, we accept personal narratives that share what it means for people to call themselves urbanists. Example:
A note on volunteer and paid contributions
As a small nonprofit organization, volunteer contributors are essential to the ongoing success of our publication. Each article contribution by a volunteer furthers our advocacy work and is greatly appreciated. The op-eds and narrative articles we publish are submitted by volunteer writers.
For original reporting using primary sources, we have a limited budget to invest in paying freelance writers. If you are seeking compensation for a reported article, be sure to specify this in your pitch. We currently use a tiered system for compensating writers in which depth of research, originality of sources, and timeliness are all taken into consideration.
Feeling inspired? Reach out to us at editorial [at] theurbanist.org. Learn more detailed information about what we are looking for in submissions in our writing guidelines. Following them will increase the chances we accept your article for publishing.
Natalie Bicknell Argerious (she/her) is Managing Editor at The Urbanist. A passionate urban explorer since childhood, she loves learning how to make cities more inclusive, vibrant, and environmentally resilient. You can often find her wandering around Seattle's Central District and Capitol Hill with her dogs and cat. Email her at natalie [at] theurbanist [dot] org.