Dear Contributor,

Thank you for your interest in Utah Life Magazine. This is a big state that's diverse in both interests and geography. We value the talents, points of view and expertise from our many freelance contributors. To help you get started working with us, we've developed the following contributor guidelines and we invite you study them. Before you get started working with us, we first suggest you subscribe to our magazines and read them religiously. I look forward to working with you to explore the state of Utah.

Christopher Amundson
Founder, Publisher, Editor

We are always looking for talented writers and photographers to contribute their freelance work to the magazine. Get in contact with us today and figure out what role you can play in Utah Life Magazine. 

Table of contents

Stories We Publish

In each issue, we publish stories that span every region of the state with special attention to its wonderfully diverse environments, cultures and communities. Story topics run the gamut: colorful characters, communities, history, food, travel, nature, wildlife, photography, adventure, art, literature and photo essays. We do not publish stories on breaking news events, political opinions/issues, trends or investigative reporting. Our audience of subscribers and newsstand readers are Utahns and fans of Utah who want to know and understand their state.

How to Query

Writers and photographers are invited to submit proposal query letters via our query form. Query letters should be well developed and focused, one-page or less in length, with exemplary hooks that engage our readers rather than broad concepts or lists of locations. Please detail the story, the angle(s) you will pursue, the season and possible sources. Give us some anecdotes or sample photography from the story you are proposing.

If you are introducing yourself to us, include your background information, credentials and clips of previously published work with your query so that our staff can gauge your writing or photography style and abilities. Writers may suggest word counts for stories, and photographers may suggest number of photos for story, though final space allocation is subject to approval by the publisher upon acceptance.

We prefer to receive original content that has not been previously published in the same market as our magazine. We recommend reviewing back issues of the magazine to ensure we have not run a piece on the topic you are proposing. We prefer to give freelance assignments to those who also are subscribers and know our magazine beyond perusal of our website. Subscriptions to future Utah Life issues be purchased by clicking this link. We also invite you to subscribe to our sister magazines, Colorado Life and Nebraska Life to see how we do things.

Our editorial calendar is scheduled 12 months in advance. We make every effort to respond to freelance queries promptly; however, due to the large number of queries we receive, it may take 60 days or longer before we can review and reply to your query. Please direct follow-up messages to one of the following individuals:

Chris Amundson (editor)

Joshua Hardin (photo editor)

Text guidelines

We value vivid storytelling, lively anecdotes and factual accuracy. We use anecdote-based storytelling: We tell stories with stories. Please read our other magazines to see the technique of anecdote-based storytelling. Third-person is the standard point of view in our writing, though we do occasionally publish first-person stories. We appreciate brevity and concise use of words. Our text length ranges are: departments, 100-400 words; features, 400-3,000 words.

Image Specifications

Beautiful. That word sums it up. Photographers should strive to communicate a sense of place in photos submitted to the magazine. If you are preparing a feature query for us, think through the text and suggest how and who might accomplish that component of the story. Options include photographer written, staff written or freelance written.

We require an original capture at a resolution of 300 dpi at 8×10 inches in size (or larger) when opened in Adobe Photoshop. Generally, digital images of at least 6 megapixels are sufficient. We accept images in JPG (taken at the highest, finest quality setting) or TIFF format; however RAW images (such as Nikon NEF, Canon CR2 or DNG files) are most preferred. Photographers need NOT modify the color balance. Do not crop, clone, sharpen or otherwise manipulate submitted images from their original, captured state. Images will be corrected by magazine staff based on the specifications required by our printer. We prefer to see an entire photo shoot, rather than a small hand-selected number of photos. Low-resolution JPG images are acceptable for review purposes

In image metadata, make sure the name of the photographer or organization that owns the rights to the image is entered into the “author” or “copyright” field to ensure proper credit and payment. Also, provide as many details of the subjects photographed as possible in the “description” field in metadata, and/or as a text file included with your submission. Answer the questions of who, what, when and where in your captions. Proper names and spellings of people and places are essential to include in the description. We also appreciate having contact information for subjects in the metadata.

Model releases, property rights and permits

Model releases are generally not required for us due to the editorial nature of our magazine. We will contact you if we wish to use your photos for advertisements, which often do require model releases. Please respect property rights when photographing for us. We expect from you that images taken in locations that require special access, permissions or permits are done so in accordance with the regulations of the owners/operators of those locations.

Stock photo needs

We keep a contact list of photographers and periodically send stock image requests by email to these photographers. If you are interested in being on our
contact list, please email Josh Hardin at with your email and a link to your website containing image portfolios to review. Digital photos on CD/DVD sent to our mailing address are also considered. Send an SASE if you wish to have your materials returned.

Poetry guidelines

We look for poems that reveal the many facets of life in Utah. We don’t have a limit on style or number of lines (though poems usually range between three and twenty lines). There is also no limit to the number of poems per submission. Poems are printed to coincide with a theme announced in previous issues. Original work is preferred, though occasionally work published previously in anthologies, books or other sources may be considered. Poems may be submitted using our poetry submission form, preferably as a Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF file attachment so that the editor can see the poet’s preferred formatting. Published poets are sent a complimentary copy of the magazine showcasing their work.

We also occasionally publish books that are a fit editorially with the mission of our company. If you have a book idea you’d like us to consider, please query Christopher Amundson at Send an SASE if you wish to have your materials returned.