At The Sprawl, we strive to follow the guideline laid out by Bob Edwards in his Calgary Eye Opener newspaper more than a century ago.
The rule of good writing is this: Write in the fewest possible words, and when you have written it stop and don’t try to say it again. Write your stuff down and end at the end. (August 12, 1911)
Note how he broke his own rule. Nicely played, Bob!
But hold on—let's back up. How do you get a story into The Sprawl in the first place?
What we're looking for
Before pitching anything, read the Sprawl Manifesto. Poke around the site to get a sense of our style and voice.
In general, we're always looking for fresh angles on Alberta and its two largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton. We want to tell our readers stories they don't already know, stories they won't get elsewhere. Stories that cast a bit of new light on life in this place.
As such, we don't do hot takes. We don't do press release journalism. If it's a straight-up news story you'd read in the paper, it's probably not a Sprawl story. The Sprawl is for Albertans who want more than the daily news grind.
This can—and should!—take different forms. It can be investigative journalism that goes deep. Or maybe it's a personal story that illuminates an aspect of our civic life. Or maybe you want to unearth a long-forgotten story from Calgary's past.
There are plenty of other possibilities we haven't thought of yet, which is where you come in.
We want to hear from new and underrepresented voices. We're always experimenting with different formats, too. So far we've published investigations, podcasts, essays, comics, newsletters, videos and newspapers (okay, fine, *one* newspaper). We're open.
We pay all of our contributors decently and fairly for their work.
How to pitch
When you've given it some thought and are ready, email email@example.com. Please include the word "pitch" in the subject line and answer these questions in your email:
1) What story do you want to tell?
2) Why do you want to be the one to tell it? (Don't be shy!)
The more unexpected your pitch, the better. Like our readers, we want to be surprised.
At its best, The Sprawl helps people see this place with new eyes. If you're into that, let's chat!