Introducing the Indigenous-focussed issue
CALL FOR INDIGENOUS WRITERS
The Native Students Union and the Martlet are planning a collaboration for early April 2022, with funding from the University of Victoria Student Life Grant and Anti-Racism Supplement. After some unforeseen circumstances in January, we are re-opening the pitching for this issue now. Indigenous students and community members that do not have extensive writing experience are welcome to pitch their ideas.
Even if you only have a rough idea of a story, send it to us and we will help you develop it further. We also have a couple pitches interested writers could write about. In your pitch, try to include a topic, the angle at which you would like to approach the story, and an idea of who you would interview (again, we can help develop this further). There will be financial compensation ($150) for eight selected contributing writers and one cover artist!
All pitches and pitch ideas can be sent to the Indigenous-focussed issue’s editor, Boston Laferté, at email@example.com and CC’d to the Martlet Editor-in-Chief, Isabella Kennedy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full articles (approximately 1000 words) are expected to be submitted by March 24th. Support will be offered throughout the process and a brief training workshop. Any writer can request to meet with Boston Laferté and/or Isabella Kennedy at any point along the way. The Indigenous-focussed issue will be distributed throughout Victoria and on our campus in early April. The NSU and the Martlet are able to offer eight Indigenous writers $150 for their stories, thanks to funding from the Office of Student Life.
This project was heavily inspired by Briarpatch’s Land Back issue.
ABOUT THE INDIGENOUS-FOCUSSED ISSUE
The first Indigenous-focussed issue was published in 2021 by the Martlet and the Native Students Union. This is the second instalment!
This project will highlight Indigenous news, stories, and artists from the W̱SÁNEĆ and Lək̓ʷəŋən people, and Indigenous peoples from other nations that are living and working on the lands called Canada. Selected writers are expected to spend time developing stories and relationships within a community to ensure proper representation of stories, or building off relationships they may already have. This may involve, for example, having informal chats before and after the actual interview.
For this issue, we are open to publishing pieces not written in English. If you would like to write a piece partially or fully in an Indigenous language, we would welcome it. However, pitches for all pieces must be in English, so that our editors have a clear understanding of what the story is about. We will also ask that you find two volunteer editors (could be a community member, elder, or fellow student) that are willing to learn about the Martlet’s editing protocols, learn about editing for legal purposes, and edit the piece with these parameters in mind.
The issue aims to only feature stories authored by Indigenous students, the cover art will be a commissioned piece by an Indigenous artist, and the entire project is overseen and led by Boston Laferté, the communications coordinator at the Native Students Union, and Isabella Kennedy, the former Journalist – focus on Indigenous stories at the Martlet. Where necessary, other Martlet staff may offer mentorship and editing assistance.
HOW TO PITCH
First of all, thank you for your interest in our Indigenous-focussed issue. This is an exciting opportunity, and we are looking forward to seeing the stories come together. If you get stuck at any step along the pitching process, please reach out and we can discuss your ideas with you (we even have a couple if you’re stuck!). The NSU and the Martlet are able to offer eight Indigenous writers $150 for their stories, thanks to funding from the Office of Student Life.
Before pitching, please ensure that you have done some research into your idea and how you might approach your story. Pitches should be about 150-300 words. Here are some elements a pitch should include:
- A proposed headline and proposed wordcount
- Basic information about the story, such as where it takes place, who is involved, and what the main crux of the story is. Also specify which section you think the story is a good fit for (see The Martlet’s sections below)
- The angle or perspective you plan to take when writing this story.
- Is there a local connection to the story?
- Why you feel this story is important
- How you will get more information to build your story, and whether that is through research or interviews.
Again, if any of these questions become hurdles for your pitch, please reach out to us and we can help you hone your ideas.
Stories should be approximately 1000 words. However, we recognize that there is strength in working together. If you would like to partner with another Indigenous writer or a photographer on a story, you can write a feature-length 2000+ word story. If accepted, you would both be paid $150 for your work.
The Martlet’s sections are as follows:
- News – this typically includes articles about current events or explainers. These stories are usually written in the inverted pyramid style. They should strive to include multiple perspectives, research, and usually involve 1-3 interviews. Here is an example: Secwepemc set up new camp in hopes of halting TMX construction, leads to five arrests
- Opinion – this is where writers can voice their own perspectives in an essay-style piece. The best opinions are well-researched or speak to your personal experiences. For example: Confrontations at 1492 Land Back Lane bring some glaring colonial hypocrisy into light or see all of the articles written for the News Unsettled column.
- Feature – Feature articles are 2000+ words. These articles can be profiles or delving into a particular subject in-depth — think of features as a long news or culture article, expanded. Example: Why Kolin Sutherland-Wilson can’t stay quiet
- Culture – The culture section is great for any arts-related articles or articles about pop culture. They typically loosely follow the inverted pyramid style. Other culture articles might interview an artist, review a set of different movies or books, or involve highlighting a community group. Example: New Legacy Art Gallery exhibit aims to revitalize traditional W̱SÁNEĆ fishing practices and Indigenous-owned Massy Books is more than just a neighborhood bookstore
- Sports / Lifestyle – The sports section is self-explanatory, and the lifestyle section is really anything that has to do with lifestyle. We’ve published tips for dealing with landlords, essays on coffee and anxiety, and listicle-style articles about virtually any topic. This is also typically where we might feature profiles about a person or about a professor’s research. For example: Meet Autumn Peltier, the 15-year-old “Water Warrior”
- Humour – the spot for satire!
Please let us know if you have any questions about the Indigenous-focussed issue or the pitching process.