I haven't been the editor for long, but one of the questions that comes up a lot, whether in person, over the phone or via email, is how someone can get their work in the Tucson Weekly.
One misconception people seem to have is that we have open full-time writing positions that we're looking to fill. While it would be great if we could expand our staff (maybe), in these lean-and-mean journalistic times, the opportunities to actually work here are rare, so if we're not advertising for a specific position, we're not hiring. Best of luck to you, intrepid and enthusiastic journalist, but don't send me your resumé.
However, since we do run quite a few freelance pieces, there are still opportunities to make it in the paper (or online). We have a great existing network of contributors, so your work will have to be really good and you'll need to have some understanding of the sort of work we generally run (which, surprisingly, a number of the writers who contact me don't). Also, with only the rarest of exceptions, you'll need to be in Tucson.
So, let's say you're a great local writer. A regular reader of our paper and you get the alt-weekly voice (whatever that means). Don't email me a list of your clips asking if we have work for you. If I have a story idea, it's going to go to a writer I know, someone I know turns in solid work, on time. If you want to write for us, you're going to need to pitch a story. Think about something we're missing, a story you have a unique ability to cover. Something that would fit perfectly between pieces by our award-winning writers. Something we haven't covered already. Then (and hopefully only then) email me your pitch: how you're planning on covering the story and an idea of what you'll accomplish when you're done. Don't call, because I'll tell you to email me anyhow.
I want to expand our list of contributors and I want to include stories that have previously fallen through the cracks of local media. Just help me out by following the process.