Your guide for requesting an assignment for KLC’s civic issues magazine

Have a story idea that you want to cover in The Journal? We are now accepting pitches from freelancers for paid assignments in Kansas and beyond.

Pitching a story to The Journal is an opportunity to contribute to a publication that is nationally recognized for its commitment to highlighting important civic leadership issues.

The Journal, published by the Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita and found online at, is dedicated to building a healthy 21st-century public square for all to lead. By focusing on in-depth reporting, investigative journalism and innovative storytelling through various mediums, including writing, graphic design, photography, multimedia and public discussions, The Journal aims to educate and inform readers about critical issues from multiple perspectives.

The magazine is currently focusing on seven topic areas widely affecting Kansans, although these categories do change. They are:

  • Immigration
  • Community
  • Rural
  • Solutions
  • Health
  • Economy
  • Justice

Here is a list of suggestions for pitching us created with the help of our existing team of freelance correspondents.

Craft a Compelling Story Idea:

Develop a story idea that meets The Journal’s criteria. Ensure your pitch energizes, calls people to action, instigates, and inspires readers. Consider the following elements when formulating your idea:

  • In-depth: Aim for a story that delves deeply into a topic, providing comprehensive coverage and analysis.
  • Long-form: Tailor the length of your story to what the narrative calls for. Remember that it can always be trimmed later. Additionally, consider if your idea lends itself to sidebars or a series format.
  • Forward-thinking: Frame your story in a way that explores future possibilities and trends, offering a fresh perspective to the readers.
  • Illuminate challenges and explore solutions: Identify a significant challenge or issue and propose how your story will shed light on it. Be prepared to discuss potential solutions or showcase communities experimenting to make progress.
  • Context and history: Demonstrate your understanding of the topic by incorporating relevant context and historical background. This will provide a solid foundation for your narrative.
  • Identifies obstacles: Highlight any obstacles or barriers that the story will address, emphasizing the complexities involved.
  • Intimacy with sources: Emphasize your commitment to spending ample time with sources, conducting thorough research, and incorporating diverse perspectives into the story.
  • Broad impact: Consider how your story will resonate with communities and have a significant impact on a larger scale.
  • Explore opposing views: Show that your story is based on the understanding that there are often more than two sides to an issue. Highlight your intention to explore different perspectives and present a balanced narrative.
  • Solutions-oriented approach: Whenever possible, propose covering solutions or showcasing how communities are experimenting to make progress in the face of challenges.
  • Visual interest
  • Spark deeper engagement and dialogue

Prepare Your Pitch:

Once you have a well-developed story idea, it’s time to prepare your pitch. Keep the following advice in mind as you write:

  • Be concise and engaging: Clearly and succinctly convey the essence of your story idea compellingly. Grab the editor’s attention from the start.
  • Show your passion and commitment: Communicate your enthusiasm for the topic and dedication to delivering a high-quality story.
  • Highlight your expertise and qualifications: Mention any relevant experience, expertise, or unique access that will enhance the story.
  • Demonstrate your understanding of The Journal: Incorporate elements from your research to show you are familiar with our publication’s style and audience.

Submitting Your Pitch:

Please submit your pitch using an AirTable form online. You’ll be asked to share your name, email, phone and a 50-word or less pitch of the story. 

Story pitches will be reviewed on a regular basis. Please allow time for your submission to be reviewed, but if you haven’t received a response within a few weeks, consider sending a follow-up inquiry.

The Journal pays between 50 cents and $1 per word depending on the nature of assignment. A standard print magazine story runs 2,500 words while an online-only story might run 800 to 1,500 words. However, when warranted, the magazine publishes articles of significantly longer lengths.  

We hope pitching and writing stories to The Journal will stretch you as a writer and provide you with a fulfilling reporting experience. Remember to embrace the challenges and moments of doubt, knowing that committing to complicating the narrative will ultimately create value for the reader.

We look forward to hearing your story proposals for The Journal! If you have any questions, please contact the Executive Editor at