Global Sisters Report is a project of the National Catholic Reporter, an independent Catholic newspaper. Global Sisters Report started in 2014 and is funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. We are an online-only publication.
At Global Sisters Report, we have three goals:
- Educate: A major part of our mission is to educate people around the world about the work that Catholic sisters are doing.
- Engage: Sisters have a vast wealth of knowledge gleaned from decades of experience running projects in challenging locations on very limited budgets. Although there are unique cultural concerns in every region, many of the challenges and successes that sisters experience are the same across countries.
- Inspire: We hope that young women who are considering becoming sisters find our website a useful resource to understand more about what it means to be a sister.
Before you pitch or query:
- Contact us first before you report your story or write your commentary. We do not accept unsolicited pieces. We could already have a reporter working on the story, or a columnist writing about the same topic. We don't want you to waste your time.
- Has GSR written about it before? Check out what we have already covered. Use the search function on our site, or Google: [your topic] site:globalsistersreport.org. GSR has been publishing stories about sisters and columns by sisters since 2014, so there's a wealth of information that can add context to your story idea.
- We do not accept material that has appeared elsewhere or that has been submitted elsewhere for publication.
- If you work for the organization you're writing about, or are paid to promote its efforts, you'll need to pitch the story elsewhere.
- Most pitches will receive a response within two weeks.
How to pitch or query:
- Send all pitches or queries to managing editor Stephanie Yeagle at: email@example.com.
- Explain clearly what you want to write about and why, with a lead paragraph or nut paragraph of what the story would be about.
- Explain why GSR – and not another publication – should run this story.
- We're a newspaper not an academic journal, so write accordingly. Keep in mind that you are writing for a broad global audience. Don't use jargon. Use current events as a stepping point to make your larger point. Some resources: Sacred Writes and The OpEd Project.
- If you haven't written for us before, send a resume and sample articles (PDFs or URLs).
- Any outside expenses expected to be reimbursed by GSR, such as travel or parking, should first be cleared with the assigning editor.
How to pitch or query a news/feature story:
- Sketch out the sources and research you will use. We encourage sources that reflect diversity in gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic background, age, geography, etc. Be sure to interview others for the story – we don't usually accept one-source stories (except for Q&As).
- Find a unique angle. For most publications, a straight profile of a sister's or congregation's project is enough for an article. However, because we cover sisters' work every day, all day, we need articles that go deeper. We need articles that examine the context of sisters' work, historically and culturally. We want to know the reasons why sisters are working on a specific project.
- Tell us how many words you think you will need to write your story. News and features typically run 1,200-1,500 words. Tell us when we could expect your story to be done, or the deadline.
How to pitch or query a column:
- Column pitches should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Global Sisters Report rarely publishes columns by those who are not a sister or member of a women religious congregation.
- We are looking for pieces that will stand alone on the website as columns of commentary, your thoughts on a particular issue. Length varies, but 800-1,200 words is a good target. Columnists receive a set amount per piece.
- In cases in which the piece is more analytical and may include multiple sources of information, please discuss with your editor, particularly length and style/sourcing questions.
- We will work with writers on format and editing, and bringing the voices of women religious to the larger community is part of our core mission. But we can't guarantee in advance that a piece will be posted.
- We know many of you may draw on your published work. It is fine to rework or expand on a piece you have written, but Global Sisters Report is really looking for fresh commentary. Please let us know the background of a piece if much of it has been published elsewhere. We use a plagiarism-checking software, and if we find that you have copied and pasted text from your previously published content, or another source without quotation or attribution, we may not publish the column.
Global Sisters Report generally doesn't review books and the sheer number of books published by Catholic sisters makes it challenging to acknowledge all of them. Any publishing company or congregation can fill out a Community News notice about a book that was written by a sister. For freelancers proposing a Q&A or further story, see guidelines above.