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Writers' Guidelines 2011

The Prairie Messenger is a 16-20-page tabloid newspaper covering local, national and international religious news and current affairs.

Two pages are regularly devoted to international news, most of which comes through our international news services. Five pages are devoted to Canadian and local news.

We have regular writers for news features for much of the paper and therefore accept very few freelance items. We carry no fiction and little poetry, and any material we use must have relevance to a Prairie readership.

Given those limitations, we are interested in well-written and tightly written human-interest stories that we could carry on our feature pages. These could be about a person, program, place or experience. They should be no longer than 850 words, and should be accompanied by several good photos.

At times we have an ecumenical page and comment and analysis or feature pages. We would consider the occasional freelance item for these pages if it is relevant, well-written and no longer than approximately 950 words.

Seasonal material, features relating to Christmas, Easter and so on would be considered but, again, they must be tightly written and of relevance to a Prairie readership. We accept very few of these.

On rare occasions we carry centrespread features, and these can be on a wide range of issues or topics. They are usually done by journalists here or by our writers in the local regions, but if you have several smaller items or one larger one — 2,500 words maximum — that you believe would be of real interest to a Prairie Catholic readership you may wish to submit a suggestion or proposal to the editor. These items also require a good selection of related photos.

We also accept good feature photos and pay $25 per published photo.

Poetry submissions are accepted. We pay $25 per published poem.

We pay $60 for well-written comment and feature items, $85 if accompanied by a good photo. Reprinted articles are paid $25. News articles and very short features are paid $3.00 per column inch (11.6 pica column) — less if extensive editing or rewriting is required. For photos we pay $25 per print.

We respond to material mailed to the office only if accompanied by a stamped (Canadian) self-addressed envelope or an international postal note. We respond to faxed or emailed material only if we accept it for publication.