Want to write for Gastronomic Salt Lake City? Of course you do, that’s why you’ve ended up on this page. GSLC is Utah’s longest running, biggest and boldest online food magazine. We write about anything food and drink related in Utah, and we’re always looking for talented contributors to add to the conversation. We’re not going to pay your mortgage, but we’re also not going to stiff you with that nonsense about exposure. We’ll actually pay you. Yes with real money. So, where to begin, ah yes…
Things to consider when pitching a story
Types of story we accept
To get your mind whirring, here are some recent stories published by our contributors:
- Did you know Utah has an all new Cuban restaurant?
- Utah peach season is here – don’t miss out
- Picnicking at the Yalla Kosher Food Truck
- House of Corn – traditional Mexican cuisine in Sandy
- Menus shrink as restaurants face a barrage of challenges
- Utah chef’s favorite dishes – I’ll have what they’re having
Ideas for articles include: recipes, local products, local makers or chefs, previews, first looks, profiles, features, roundups, histories and more. Basically…
What’s the Utah angle?
No matter how tenuous – there needs to be some Utah angle. You might want to write a rant about the nature of tipping, the incredulous use of brioche buns for burgers, or talk about your five favorite spoons. But. You’re going to want to link that back to the Beehive in some way. Where exactly do I buy those spoons in Utah?
What’s your point?
Have something to say, leave the reader in no doubt as to the point of your article.
Trad restaurant reviews are dead
Dead as a dodo. Many people contact me asking how they can get started as restaurant critic. The quick answer – not with this website. The last true reviews I wrote myself were years ago for the Trib. I dined anonymously, paid with my own cash, visited multiple times, and sometimes lost money on them.
I personally find old school reviews anachronistic; a weird after image from a pre-Internet world. These days you can quickly crowd source a feel for a restaurant via a combination of searches across websites, social media etc. Do you really need to know about the experience of one single diner’s experience across one or two meals at best?
That’s not to say we won’t publish stand alone features on a restaurant. Maybe the story is framed as a first look, what to expect, or similar. Perhaps there’s a unique angle for the city it’s located in, the cuisine served, the chef, whatever. An out and out critique of a restaurant top to bottom, ala Gold or Wells. Nah.
We’re not a bully pulpit
We have some considerable reach these days. In a given year we see 1-1.2 million page views, and across social media we’re followed by 23,000+ folks. Our stories appear in places like Google News, Newsbreak and more; quite often they attract the attention of other local press. If you write something for GSLC, it will get distributed and it will get read by a great many eyeballs.
We aren’t here to beat up businesses, crush a mom and pop’s dreams, nor shoot fish in the fast food barrel. If there’s something negative that has to be said, by all means, but do it intelligently, critically and thoughtfully. And it shouldn’t be the core of your piece.
Forget the press releases
I get all the press releases. And then some. If your story is built primarily off the back of a press release you received, I’ll probably turn it down. If there’s an interesting story therein, I’ve probably already churned it out in minutes; case in point – Bobby’s Burgers planned Utah beach head went from release arrival to post in less than 30 minutes. By all means, reference and quote from PR info, but it shouldn’t be the core of your article.
Similarly if a restaurant is doing the rounds on free meals, it’s probably going to be a no from me. It’s a definite pass if their offer comes with a, “you get a free taco if you promise to post a story” caveat.
Other items to skip
Anything of a timely nature, I am more than likely covering myself. Items such as breaking news or upcoming dining events are probably already on my radar. I’ve got a well implemented structure when it comes to the bread and butter of the site – but by all means ask away.
Payments and schedule
GSLC has one slot per week for a contributor article. We pay $100 per published article. We can send the check out right away, or after they’ve accumulated to a set level.
Technical bits and bobs
We will set you up with a login to our WordPress interface and you can write your story directly online. Don’t worry, you won’t get publishing rights, you can’t break anything. If you prefer you can also submit your story via email too.
Ideally we ask for supporting photographs that you’ve taken yourself. We’ll take care of editing the story and final layout, links and headline item. Bonus points: as a logged in user on our site, all those ads and popups will magically vanish.
The formal bits
If you do write for us, you agree and understand the following items:
- Content you submit is our property. It may subsequently end up on one of our partner websites in a content sharing agreement.
- After submission to GSLC, you may write a similar story for a different publication, provided it’s not an obvious near word for word duplication
- We don’t require any exclusivity, feel free to write for us and whomever else you like
- We might edit portions of your article, images, headline or otherwise as we think makes sense
Getting started as a new writer
If you’d like to contribute to Utah’s longest running and largest online food magazine, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. First and foremost I’ll need to see examples of your writing. This needn’t be food writing per se, but it’s preferable for obvious reasons. Mainly I want to see that you’re able to string three words together, hold a cogent thought and understand that pretty, nice and delicious aren’t adjectives we love around here.
Once approved we’ll need a completed Form W9 so we can issue any 1099s at the end of the tax year.
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with multiple local publications from Visit Salt Lake to Salt Lake Magazine, not least helped to consult on national TV shows.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for the better part of fifteen years. I’m largely fueled by a critical obsession with rice, alliteration and the use of big words I don’t understand. What they’re saying about me: “Not inaccurate”, “I thought he was older”, “I don’t share his feelings”. Want to know more? This is why I am the way I am.