Contributor Guidelines

Writer Guidelines

Since 1933, Our State: Celebrating North Carolina has been the most comprehensive source of information on the people, places, culture, and history of North Carolina. We publish well-written, high-quality articles on subjects of interest to those who live in, visit, or simply love the Tar Heel state. We work with a variety of freelance and in-house writers who are among the best in the state. All of our writers are professionals who have been published in reputable print or online outlets, and we’re always looking to add new talent. Please read these guidelines completely before submitting pitches or other materials.

Read about upcoming editorial themes in the 2024 editorial calendar.

Approach and subject matter

  • The editorial focus of Our State is celebrating North Carolina. We accept pitches that highlight North Carolina history, people, places, food, culture, and nostalgia.
  • We expect thoroughly researched, original, literary-quality work from professional writers.
  • Please research past stories on our website. We generally do not cover similar topics within a short time period.


  • Our average feature article length is about 1,200 words. Departments run 500 to 800 words.


  • If you’d like to write an article for Our State, we ask that you send 1-2 paragraphs on each story query to Please do not send completed manuscripts.
  • Writing samples may be requested with first-time queries.
  • Due to the volume of queries we receive, we cannot return unsolicited materials. Please do not send original copies.
  • We will send confirmation that we have received your pitch within 1-2 weeks. After that, only pitches that our editors are interested in will receive further communication.


  • Stories are assigned six to eight months before the issue month; please submit pitches for specific issues accordingly.
  • Due to our production schedule, we do not cover one-time events or news stories.

Copyright, usage, and payment

  • Unless otherwise indicated, Our State purchases the following rights to the work: (1) all First North American Serial Rights; (2) exclusive publication rights for 30 days after the newsstand off-sale date of the issue in which the work is published. Additionally, Our State retains exclusive rights to the edited form of the work, all or in part, for promotional, reprint, or electronic (digital) use. Any editorial changes will be made at the sole discretion of the editors.
  • Payment for articles is made on publication. Fees will be agreed upon at the time a story is assigned. Payment for published articles is made during the third week of the month in which the article appears.
  • We do not pay kill fees for unsolicited articles. Kill fees may or may not be paid for assigned stories that are not used, at the discretion of the editor.
  • Stories may be archived online, in their edited form, at

Sample issues

  • Sample copies of Our State are $8 each. For a copy, please contact the circulation department at
  • Each writer will receive one complimentary copy of the issue in which the article is published. 


Professional Photography Assignments

The photography in Our State magazine is obtained primarily by freelance assignment. Assignments are made by our art team and are based on the photography needs of each issue of the magazine.

If you are a professional photographer and are interested in working with Our State, please email for more information and include a link to your website and social media.