Two publishing trends collide in this month’s publication: environmental writing and the Internet. According to the April 22nd issue of the newsletter Wooden Horse, publications are leaping onto the green bandwagon. I agree. I’ve seen church publications, local newspapers, and many others picking up the green banner. That’s happy news: more markets for us.
The Internet is the focus of the second trend. “All major print media are aggressively moving online,” said David Roberts, a writer at this month’s featured green magazine, in an interview by Heather Hart. Roberts continued, “In the next two to three years it looks as though their online operations will be more important than the traditional print medium.”
This month’s publication of choice is the award-winning Grist, a free, online magazine launched in 1999. Grist’s offices are in Seattle but they use over one hundred contributors from around the world. They count their readers at an amazing 700,000.
Describing their content as “doom and gloom with a sense of humor,” this environmental publication is published by a nonprofit organization. In addition to asking for donations, on their Web site you’ll see feature stories, a blog, commentaries and an offer of an e-mail update, if your inbox can stand it.
“Fresh, funny, intelligent voices,” is what they’re looking for, telling “untold environmental stories.”
“People get stuck in that old-fashioned, formal style of journalism,” said David Roberts, a Grist staff writer “and they can’t see beyond the inverted pyramid. There’s great value in that kind of traditional journalism, but it doesn’t always fit with online.”
What can you expect to be paid if you write for Grist? Katherine Wroth, Story Editor, advises, “Our pay ranges from zero (much of our blogging, for instance, is unpaid) to about $300-$400 for a feature story (those are fairly rare these days, and more likely to be assigned to a writer we know, I’m afraid.) As a non-profit, we don’t have the most competitive rates in the marketplace — just great exposure, to a monthly audience of about 700,000.”
Grist’s preferred contact for queries is e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, although snail mail is accepted. Their address is 811 First Avenue, Suite 466, Seattle, WA 98104. Send clips if you mail or links if you e-mail. They request that submissions be both pasted in the message body and attached, but see the Writer’s Guidelines online for full details.
No pay is available for photos, but they are “delighted to accept” them. The range of written work accepted includes investigative journalism, profiles, features, opinion, art reviews and essays, and cartoons. Currently (May 2007) Grist is seeking an Executive Editor, which means it could be a good time to become a contributor.
Photographer, editor, and award-winning writer, Susan W. Clark is an ardent advocate for sustainability. The Utne Reader applauded her article “Sustainable Revolution” from In Good Tilth magazine as “world-changing.” She is a regular contributor to In Good Tilth and Touch the Soil. Her work has appeared in the Capitol Press, Portland Tribune, Small Farmer’s Journal, and Permaculture Activist. She edits Salt of the Earth, the quarterly journal of Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust. Her observations about living within our ecological means are posted at http://susanwclark.wordpress.com.