University of Oregon
Writer’s Guidelines

Oregon Quarterly is the successor to Old Oregon, the University of Oregon's alumni magazine founded in 1919. Although our 100,000 readers consist predominantly of UO alumni, our editorial approach has evolved in the past few years from a traditional alumni magazine to a regional magazine of ideas. To highlight this change, we now describe ourselves as "The Northwest Perspective from the University of Oregon."

Unlike a traditional alumni magazine, the majority of our features are not about the UO as such. Instead, we generally address topics of state and regional interest (ideas, issues, and personalities) using the resources of UO faculty and alumni. The UO benefits from its involvement in these stories, not as their subject matter. Our goal is to reach a broad, well-educated regional audience, whether or not they have ties to the UO.

As a magazine, we want to be recognized for the quality of our writing. Good magazine stories should have shape and depth. They are closer in conception and execution to a thoughtful essay than to a newspaper feature. They should involve the reader, awaken the imagination. They require some effort to write, but they are much more a pleasure to read.

Most of our stories are contributed by freelancers. If the topic has a contemporary regional interest, and if UO involvement can be demonstrated (through faculty or alumni participation), we'd like to hear about it. We prefer a brief query letter (with SASE) that show the flavor of the proposed article and your writing style. Submit clips that demonstrate your ability. If you don't have a story idea but would like to be considered for assignments, submit clips with a cover letter explaining your interests and experience.

We invite queries for features and UO alumni profiles. Our features generally run 1,500–3,000 words; short subjects run about 400–1,000 words. Pay varies depending on subject matter and writer’s experience, with department stories usually ranging from $100 to $350 and features significantly more. We pay on acceptance (after requested revisions), plus reasonable expenses (with receipts), provided they are cleared by us in advance. For contracted stories we do not accept, we pay a kill fee of 20 percent the contracted amount. We generally follow the Chicago Manual of Style.

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