Write for The Wisconsin Idea

The Wisconsin Idea is an independent reporting project of People’s Action Institute, Citizen Action of Wisconsin and In These Times. The Wisconsin Idea takes a closer look at the state of Wisconsin, featuring in-depth reporting on the issues facing the state’s rural communities. We are particularly interested in stories that demonstrate the relationship and connections between rural and urban communities. Areas of interest include industrial agriculture, education gaps, broadband access, climate, healthcare, labor, democracy reform efforts, immigration and more.

Pitching and submitting 

We offer competitive rates for 800-1500 word articles, and have a small budget for travel expenses as well. In addition to traditional features, we’re open to stories that lend themselves to nontraditional formatting: Q&As, photo essays.

The Wisconsin Idea aims to draw out the connections between rural and urban Wisconsin through accessible, well-researched reporting that avoids jargon and makes no assumptions about the political backgrounds of our readers. It is also a space for stories that inform and advance movements for social, environmental, gender, economic and racial justice. All pitches will be reviewed through this lens. 

How to pitch: Let us know what kind of feature you’re pitching (reported, investigative, analysis) and what your ideal word count would be. Give us a brief outline of any current developments/​​events you’d cover, and why such a topic is relevant and timely. Often, we’re looking for coverage of topics that the mainstream media has either overlooked, misunderstood or not fully explored. 

Send pitches, plus clips of your best work to ruralwiscnews@​gmail.​com, with the words STORY PITCH” in the subject line. Please note: We are eager to work and mentor with newer reporters, and know that there are plenty of non-journalists with vital knowledge and expertise out there — if you have a story in mind that fits our guidelines, please reach out. 

Submission details: An editor will review all submissions and contact authors directly if interested in working with you. With very few exceptions, we do not publish material that has already been published in print or online. If your submission has been published already, please detail exactly where and when. If this is a simultaneous submission, please let us know. Once your submission is approved for publication by a Wisconsin Idea editor, exclusivity going forward is assumed. (Exceptions are occasionally approved by the editor.)

Submissions will be considered for either the print publication or for publication on Inthe​se​times​.com/​t​h​e​w​i​s​c​o​n​s​i​nidea.

Women, writers of color, LGBTQ+ writers, Native/​Indigenous writers, and writers of all abilities are strongly encouraged to pitch and submit.

After reviewing our guidelines above, send pitches to ruralwiscnews@​gmail.​com, with the words STORY PITCH” in the subject line. Please include a phone number where you can be reached with your submission. Thanks in advance for submitting your work to The Wisconsin Idea.