Contribute to Volume One
Volume One has dozens of contributors - people who write articles, take photos, create illustrations, and more - but they do this largely out of the goodness of their hearts and as a creative contribution to their community.
While our contributors are very much a part of the team and the lifeblood of our organization, they don't really have to work AT the Volume One office (though they're always welcome to, we've got space!). Mostly they work in the field and in the comforts of their own homes. However, we do bring contributors together in our office fairly often (see below).
Well before you fill out the form officially voicing interest (below), here are the different ways you can contribute and things to think about.
- Volume One has several areas of interest, including reporting, writing (both creative and journalistic), photography, illustration, and multimedia. Which best suit(s) you?
- Journalistic writing (the majority of what’s found in our magazine) is expected to be well-reported (with multiple sources like interviewed experts and official statistics) and accurate. Experience is highly encouraged.
- Those interested in creative writing (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, opinion pieces) have several options. Fiction and poetry can be submitted for consideration during specified times (look for notification online and in print). We will print pieces throughout the year, depending on quality and space. Due to space constraints, we are more likely to print something with a word count of up to 800. In rare cases, we will consider pieces of up to 2,500 words. (Poetry depends on the format and number of lines). Opinion writers can either submit to our Thinkpieces or Opening Letters, both around 700 words in length. Thinkpieces can be on any topic that local readers may have interest in, while Opening Letters must specifically be about a local topic. Submit pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, there is no guarantee we will print them and, if we do, it’s as space allows.
How Our Editorial Process Works
People who hope to contribute often ask, "So... how does this work? Do I pitch story ideas and run with them, or do you assign specific ones to me?"
It’s actually a little bit of both.
Volume One relies heavily on its body of contributors to let us know what's going on in the community. Everyone has their ear to the ground (in some way), and this operates as a kind of beat system. So when contributors and friends of V1 give us leads to stories, we sometimes deem them as important to cover and allow a trusted writer to move on them.
The more common process is as follows:
- Our magazine comes out every two weeks, so the first week of the cycle is when we plan the next issue and the second week is the deadline. (We finish an issue roughly five days before it comes out.)
- After the issue is planned, our managing editor starts seeking writers for the stories. Some are assigned to people who have an affinity/expertise on a specific subject, while others are of general interest open for anyone to write.
- Features, guides, and special sections operate on a totally different cycle that requires a starting date sometimes months in advance and completion dates at least a week before the issue deadline.
Become a part of the action, meet creative people,
and contribute to your community.
All contributors to Volume One are invited to these regular events:
Second Wednesday, every other month, in the Volume One Gallery
Editorial staff and contributors gather for free pizza, beer, soda and a general hangout. Plus a big conversation of ideas about the community, stories, projects, and more.
Free Beer Fridays
Third Friday, every month, in the upstairs V1 office lounge.
Sample some eclectic local and regional brews for free and hangout with V1 staff. Optional Faceball and Wii tournaments with prizes.
V1's Annual Holiday Fling
First Saturday in December (generally)
A seriously swanky and enormous private party on all three levels of V1HQ with live DJs, an amazing spread of free food and drinks, and a bunch of fun attractions including the legendary Lazy Drinker machine. Plus a private 20% off store-wide sale in the Local Store for guests only.
The Annual Contriby Awards Gala
Late January (generally)
Each year, we hand out several awards for the work accomplished by contributors in the last year (some are based on data, others on editor's choice, but most are voted on by current contributors). Then we present the awards in a fun night of ceremony ala the Oscars (but much shorter and with pizza). It's our way to recap and celebrate what contributors help us create – a fantastic local magazine that is a force for cultural good in the Chippewa Valley.