Freelance Writers FAQ’s

Apple Butter News Submission Guidelines

We are always interested in establishing relationships with new freelance writers and photographers.

The Apple Butter News is a Free Independent Monthly newspaper covering Utica – Rome NY and surrounding areas. Founded in 2017, the Apple Butter News reaches a diverse audience of readers throughout Utica Rome and surrounding areas via free copies distributed each month throughout the greater Mohawk Valley.  Our readers are as diverse as the city itself. Our readers are typically older with a significant portion in the baby-boom generation, more highly educated and more ethnically diverse than most of the mainstream.

We publish both Letters to the Editor and longer guest commentaries from readers and the general public.

If you are writing in response to a particular story, please include the headline and issue date.

Express your views on local issues. You won’t get paid, but you will get your name in the paper and the chance to present your views to our readers. Submissions should be about 500 words and cannot have been previously published; timely, topical and, of course, well-written pieces will get preference, but we do edit as needed. Send to

We’re always on the lookout for exposés of wrongdoing, insightful analyses of issues affecting the region, stories that reveal trends, compelling profiles and feature stories, as well as wacky or irreverent features.

We are interested in timely stories about current issues; local personalities; lifestyles; local history; healthcare; education; politics;  profiles of local business and their owners; advice from successful freelancers and entrepreneurs; news and info affecting the environment; science and technology; local real estate and development; arts and culture; local sports and athletes, etc.  

We leave hard news coverage to daily newspapers and 24/7 websites. However, we are interested in analytical pieces that bring a fresh or deeper perspective to the news and local newsmakers. We’re looking for stories you won’t find in other local publications and unconventional angles on the current scene.

In our Healthy Living Section – we welcome restaurant reviews of venue that serve or claim to serve healthy food. Profiles on local farms, gardens and gardeners, recipes using locally grown/raised foods, healthy alternatives to pharmaceuticals and other chemicals we use every day, and the like.  

We are also interested in creative writing pieces and book excerpts from local authors.

Profiles are typically 700-1,500 words; full-length feature stories run 2,000-3,000 words. Creative writing pieces are generally around 800 – 3,000 words, and a brief 100-300.

Payment covers use in both the print and non-exclusive web rights (the right to archive the story on our website).  Payment is normally sent out within 30 days of the receipt of an invoice. We generally pay .02 cents per word on accepted articles, or an exchange of advertising of equal or greater value; and .05 cents per word or more on assigned articles (Contract to be determined prior to the commencement of the assignment.)

• E-mail is the preferred method of communication. Phone calls are strongly discouraged.

• Tell us your story idea, why it is right for our paper and why you are the one to write it. You can query with a small sample of your previously published work. Don’t overwhelm us with clips (two relevant clips will suffice) or long pitches. Less is more. PDF attachments or web links to prior articles are acceptable.

• Before pitching, read several issues of the magazine—or at least spend time on the website. If you think your idea would work in a specific section, say so.

• Be patient. We receive many queries. It can take us as long as 1-2 weeks to respond. (Hint for prospective writers: The squeaky wheel gets the grease, we get a lot of email, if you do not hear from us, resend,)

• If you must submit your query by mail, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for our reply. We cannot respond to queries not accompanied by return postage. Please allow two – three weeks for a response. Also, we do not accept hand written manuscripts; it must be typed and preferably submitted in a digital format (fax or email).

Patricia Hamilton