An America feature article is a smart, Catholic take on a news event or historical/cultural trend, one that is of universal interest to the educated Catholic conscience or imagination. An America feature article is characterized by its general excellence, topicality, balance and originality.
Articles normally incorporate a Catholic perspective but need not do so directly. We eschew stories that are, on the one hand, overly “churchy,” (e.g. pious “chicken soup for the soul” approaches) and, on the other, entirely devoid of religious insight. While a story need not always be explicitly Catholic or Christian in language, it should address issues in which the religious imagination is engaged and further that engagement.
America is looking for narrative works of reporting and/or analysis on topics at the intersection of the church and the world. Authors are asked to submit a developed pitch outlining their approach to the topic and any reporting they plan to do for the piece. Please also send links to your previous writing and a proposed word count and timeline. We no longer accept unsolicited full length feature manuscripts.
What should be in a pitch?
A pitch need not address each point below explicitly, but they should be considered.
- The hook: Why do our readers (and others) need to pay attention to this? What’s the headline or blurb that’s going to jump out of a social media feed?
- The summary: What’s the story, and how do you plan to structure it?
- The insight: What’s unique about this story? Why should it be told in America?
- Especially if there are similar stories in the secular media or other Catholic media, how does this America take get heard above the noise?
- The positioning: If it’s not already evident above, how does this story relate to the church/world intersection, and from what angle?
- The details: Timing—especially if the story needs to hit by a certain date to be effective
- Proposed word count
- Additional resources: anything else necessary to make this story work. Art, illustrations, opportunities for accompanying video, any multi-platform considerations. Any reporting or travel budget needed.
- The next steps: If the pitch is approved, what questions do you particularly need editorial input on?
Previous work: Please include a link to previously published work, if available.