Select Page

We need top quality, independent editorial content and so do weekly newspapers across Canada. If you are a professional (or produce like one), you likely need new markets for your content. Let’s work together. Here’s where you’ll find answers to your initial questions about the syndkt.

 

It syndicates editorial content to Canadian community newspapers. Every week the Syndkt circulates about half a dozen editorial items to the 800 weeklies across the country. Those editors buy content items from the Syndkt that they think their readers will find interesting. The items they purchase are printed in the newspapers and often included on the website of the publication.

No one compels the editors to buy content.

They do not pay fees to preview the content nor is this a subscription service.

The combined circulation of the community/weekly (these terms are used as synonyms in this business) newspapers in Canada is about 13 million plus whatever pass-along readership rate figure you chose to believe.

At the moment, Dispatches Syndkt does not supply French-language editorial. We hope this will change soon so that we will have a truly pan-Canadian service.

We accept pitches from content creators like writers, photographers and cartoonists. If we like your initial idea, we’ll hone it together, sharpening the angle/concept and then you’ll get an assignment. You will produce the first draft by deadline and work with us through the editing process to produce a finished item.

Your final item – with your byline and bio/pix – is included in our weekly email to the newspapers. We call this the go-live date (always a Sunday). That email gives editors a chance to review all the content and decide which items they might want to publish in their pages. Any items they want can be purchased immediately using a credit card or PayPal account. Once that sale is complete, the content they purchase is downloaded and then goes into their page layout process. Purchasers publish the content in the pages of their printed newspapers and often include the content on their website.

All content is live for three weeks. At that point it goes into the Dispatches Syndkt archives (except for material that has stale-dated). About a month after your item’s go-live date, we’ll send you a sales report. In that report you’ll find out which newspapers purchased your content, see the estimated circulation, total sales and your net payout. At the same time you receive that report, your proceeds will be deposited directly into your bank account.

We’re looking for lively, topical, engaging editorial content. We’re curious about Canada and the world and we know our clients are too. So intrigue us with your idea(s). Keep in mind that the clients of our clients (i.e. the readers of community/weekly newspapers) are found across Canada so your idea needs to be general enough to appeal to most everyone but not so generic that it feels canned.

We accept pitches for:

  • feature articles
  • op/ed pieces
  • investigative articles
  • service journalism
  • reviews (independent assessments of products and/or services not artistic reviews)
  • backgrounders
  • think pieces
  • photo essays
  • cartoons

Be mindful that once your item goes live, it needs to stay live for at least ten days so watch out for topics and situations that change too quickly.

Most articles are between 600-1,200 words. Cartoons are single panel. Photo essays… let’s talk.

Try to think like the editor of a weekly newspaper and imagine what kinds of topics and subjects will captivate, educate, challenge and delight typical Canadians.

And look ahead. if you have a great new angle on something to do with Christmas or Valentine’s Day or… start pitching early.

We need to have an exclusive to your idea or angle. Since the potential readership of our clients is so huge, there’s really nowhere else for an idea to hide if it’s coming out at the same time as something that moves through the Syndkt.

We can’t accept fiction or poetry – sorry. We also don’t accept sponsored editorial or ideas. We think advertising is an important form of communication and we value its role in our client’s platforms and in ours but we also believe that a healthy distance between editorial and advertising is vital for the integrity of both. Dispatches Syndkt is an independent editorial service. There is more detail on this site about what we value.

You can find our guidelines here: writers | cartoonists | photographers

Send us a short query and include information about who you are.

You don’t need to be Canadian to pitch or produce for the Syndkt, but assuming we work together, you will be paid in Canadian dollars and your work has to be mindful of the Canadian readership.

You don’t need to be a professional journalist to pitch or produce for the Syndkt but you need to work like one and act like one. That means delivering on topic, to length and on time with no conflicts (i.e. you can’t work for a company you are writing about). You need to be available during business hours to handle questions. You need to be impartial, balanced and bring wisdom and gravitas to your work.

You can be a full time freelancer to pitch or you can also be working. We welcome pitches from journalists employed by media outlets elsewhere but it’s up to you figure out if your employer will allow you to produce an assignment for the Syndkt. We’re not partial to using pen names so make sure you can take on an assignment before you pitch it.

When honing your idea, remember that our clients are spread across the country so your work must be able to interest a reader in the Yukon or southern Nova Scotia, Kuujjuaq and Tofino and it needs to be topical.

Tell us why you should be the one to produce this piece.

I’m worried you’ll steal my idea, are there grounds for concern?  The short answer – no. The fellow who started this company has freelanced for years and never had an idea “stolen”. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen but – believe it or not – the Canadian media business is a fairly honourable profession and idea theft is uncommon. Speaking for us, we don’t steal. But to be clear, you may not be the only person who has a particular idea or angle. If we get the same or similar pitches submitted, we’ll be open about that and if we assign a piece but not to you, we’ll explain why. That’s not theft. That’s duplication.

What are you looking for in a pitch? Give it to us in about 250-400 words. Write it well and then give us the Cole’s Notes on who you are and why you should be the one to do this assignment.

How long do you consider a pitch before responding? That depends on volume but we’ll try to get back to you in a couple of weeks or less.

You can find our guidelines here: writers | cartoonists | photographers

Send pitches/queries to pitches@dispatches.ca

Return to the Creators main page.