Guidelines for Contributors
Oregon Quarterly is the successor to Old Oregon, the University of Oregon's alumni magazine founded in 1919. Although our readers consist predominantly of UO alumni, we endeavor to be a regional magazine of ideas, even as we tell the stories of the university and its alumni, students, faculty and staff.
We welcome queries from freelance writers, photographers, and illustrators who are interested in working for the publication.
Writers may send query letters to Matt Cooper, managing editor, at mattc[at]uoregon[dot]edu
Photographers and illustrators should contact JoDee Stringham, art director, at jodees[at]uoregon[dot]edu
Some thoughts on what we are looking for:
Unlike a traditional alumni magazine, the many 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. We are also interested in stories of various lengths that demonstrate the positive impact of the university on the state. The UO benefits from its involvement in these stories, not necessarily as their primary subject matter. Our goal is to reach a broad, well-educated regional audience, whether or not they have ties to the UO.
We want to be recognized for the quality of our writing, design, photography, and illustration. Photos should capture the personality of the subjects and offer a sense of the story they accompany. Illustrations should be both evocative of the subject matter and a delight to see. Good magazine features (for us, 1,500-3,000 words) should have shape and depth, and 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. In shorter pieces (100-1000 words), we also seek to engage readers, but we welcome a variety of approaches to storytelling including those, like infographics, that invite collaboration between writer and designer. Linear, longform journalism is not always required.
Most of the content in Oregon Quarterly is 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. For photographers and illustrators, a brief query with a link to an online portfolio is appropriate.
Payment varies depending on the scope of the assignment. 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.