The Iowan
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Our statewide magazine is built almost entirely with freelanced work. The Iowan would not exist without the interest, skills, and storytelling passion of our contributing writers.

We publish six issues each year: January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, November/December. Each issue offers readers a collection of “shorts” — articles of 500-750 words — that cover timely issues, current trends, interesting people, noteworthy work, enticing food, historical and historic moments, captivating arts and culture, beckoning recreational opportunities, and more. Tackling a smaller piece is a good way to introduce yourself and your skills to us, and to try your hand at speaking to The Iowan’s audience.

Features generally range from 1,000–1,500 words (some longer, depending on subject matter and depth) and cover every topic imaginable with only two primary rules: 1) solid storytelling and 2) great photography potential.

We request that freelancers submit a full query (not completed work) that includes:
•    An overview of the proposed story idea (including angle, likely sources/voices, proposed timeline, and envisioned length)
•    An explanation of where, when, and why it fits inside The Iowan
•    Suggested image possibilities

Providing clips (preferably digital ones) of previously published work is encouraged so we have a better sense of your writing style, voice, eye, and capabilities.

Please familiarize yourself with our publication before making a submission. The Iowan is sold on many newsstands throughout the state and on our website, where content of current and some past issues is available.

We accept unsolicited ideas at any time but generally review the large volume we receive only a few times a year. We begin crafting the editorial calendar 9-10 months ahead (in the early spring). The Iowan cannot guarantee a response to unsolicited queries, and we are unable to return unsolicited material.

Submit article queries via email to

Due dates for contracted work vary depending on topic, time sensitivity, and photography needs. In general, a first draft is due two months before the issue publishes. NOTE: Should story direction change during the research and writing phases, contact the editor to discuss.

All written work must be submitted in digital form (Word doc or RTF) with a separate source list (that includes phone and email contact information needed for fact checking) and, if different, a mailing list (full addresses for individuals who should receive a complimentary copy of the magazine).

The editorial process includes feedback from the editor, responding with comments, questions, needed clarifications, and/or requests for revisions. While writers may need and want to clarify information with their sources, draft stories should NOT be shared.

Payment for accepted work is scheduled at 60 days from invoice approval or publication date, whichever comes first. Some assignments may involve expenses, which must be pre-approved by the editor.

The Iowan buys exclusive periodical reproduction and distribution rights for a period of 60 days from publication, rights to reproduce the article in an online version of the magazine, and nonexclusive reprint and resale rights. Rights granted by the writer are fully outlined in the Writer’s Agreement issued annually with Assigning Letter(s).

The Iowan cannot guarantee a response to unsolicited queries, and, due to the high volume received, we are unable to return unsolicited material. Do not send anything to us that you need returned. (Note: The Iowan cannot be held responsible for the loss or damage of unsolicited materials.)

All content © 2017 The Iowan/Pioneer Communications, Inc., and may not be used, reproduced, or altered in any way without prior written permission.