The Washtenaw Voice is an award-winning twice-a-month newspaper with a subscription base of 5,000 serving Washtenaw Community College and the surrounding community.
While we welcome freelance contributions from writers, photographers and artist/graphic designers, we do not accept applications. Rather, we seek commitments. We’re looking for students who want to make a difference in their campus community by contributing to the pages of the best community college newspaper in Michigan – and one that has been recognized as one of the best in the nation.
We’re always looking for great news and feature stories, personality profiles and in-depth investigative pieces for our paper. We’re much less interested in fiction, poetry and opinion articles, although we will occasionally accept timely and well-written opinion pieces. Stories should adhere to the highest standards of journalism (and if you’re not familiar with these then we suggest you consider enrolling in one of our journalism courses). They should be well reported (researched) fair and balanced, telling as many sides of the story as necessary, using several sources. Please see our contributor guidelines.
You usually carry your camera equipment wherever you go. Put it to use capturing great news and stand-alone feature photos. We’re always interested in 3-5 photo feature stories, with cutline/copy-block information (the words that explain what the pictures are about). Cutlines must include first and last names of everyone pictured in the photos, along with ages, hometowns, titles if applicable, and, if they’re students, what they’re majoring in.
Designers and artists
The Washtenaw Voice strives to showcase original graphic art and illustrations, including editorial cartoons, on its pages. On occasion, those artists who have had work published in The Washtenaw Voice may be commissioned to create a graphic design to accompany a news or feature article.
The Voice pays for published contributions. Typically, writers will earn $15 to $25 for a news or feature story. Photographers usually receive $15 for the first photo and $5 for each additional photo in a standard news or feature package. Artists and designers receive $15-$25 per piece, depending on how and where it’s used.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Contributors can expect to be paid after their third contribution has been published. Our goal in helping you get your work published is to develop talented people who have a serious interest in working in the news media and who may want to become a paid (part-time) member of the newspaper staff one day. By contributing regularly, you’re developing your skills, building your portfolio and showing us how serious you are about helping to keep The Washtenaw Voice among the very best community college newspapers in the country.
So how do you get started? If you come in to fill out an application (we still prefer to call them “commitments”) and expect us to call you with an assignment, you’re going to be disappointed. Journalism is an enterprise activity. It attracts self-starters who are motivated to publish material that informs, explains, entertains and, quite often, changes their communities. Your best calling card when you walk in to inquire about working for The Washtenaw Voice is a story you’ve already written. Or, if you’re a photographer, some photos. If you are a graphic designer, show us your portfolio. At the very least, have an idea – or several – regarding stories (or photos/graphic illustrations) we might be interested in publishing. Pitch your idea. Tell us why we should print it, or better yet, why readers would (or should) be interested in what you want to write about.
If this all sounds good to you, contact Keith Gave, adviser, at email@example.com. Every other Monday, we begin with 12-24 blank pages. Some of that space could be yours to start building your portfolio.