Writers' Guidelines

Notre Dame Magazine is published quarterly by the University of Notre Dame for more than 150,000 readers, most of whom are graduates of the university. The magazine covers alumni activities, institutional events, and people and trends. It also examines a broad spectrum of cultural issues reflecting the university’s wide-ranging discussion of science and the arts, society and its structures, the spiritual and the human. Because many of its readers are Catholic, the magazine often addresses topics of interest to a Catholic audience.


The editors are always looking for fresh story ideas. However, the caliber of the magazine and limited times of its publication dictate that the writing meet high standards. The editors value articles strong in storytelling quality, journalistic technique and substance. They do not encourage promotional or nostalgia pieces, stories on sports or essays that are sentimentally religious.


Reprints, poetry and fiction are not accepted.


It is imperative that those interested in writing for Notre Dame Magazine actually read the magazine. The vast majority of our content from the past 20 years of issues can be found on this site, but writers may also request a sample copy of the magazine at ndmag@nd.edu.




The magazine has four departments, including campus news and an alumni notes section. A third section, CrossCurrents (formerly called Perspectives), contains three to four essays per issue. Often written in first-person, these pieces range in length from 750 to 1,500 words and deal with a wide array of issues — some topical, some personal, some serious, some light. Feature stories, generally 2,000 to 4,000 words, comprise the major part of the magazine. These, too, address a variety of issues appealing to college-educated readers who take an active interest in the contemporary world. Across all departments, we typically follow AP style.




A majority of the magazine’s CrossCurrents and Features sections are written by freelancers. For FEATURES, the editors require a QUERY LETTER with clips of published articles. Less experienced writers may be asked to write on speculation. For CrossCurrents, it is appropriate to submit complete manuscripts. We buy first serial and electronic rights. Payment (comparable to fees paid by some national publications) is made upon acceptance. All copy is subjected to rigorous editing.


CrossCurrents submissions and assigned stories may be emailed to ndmag@nd.edu in either Word, Word Perfect or RTF format. (Word is the preferred format.) If for some reason you cannot email them, the magazine’s postal address is Notre Dame Magazine, 500 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556.


Art Submissions


The magazine seldom buys photos from writers. Photos and illustrations are assigned to professionals chosen by our art director.


Web Submissions


The editors are always eager for pitches and submissions of stories to be published exclusively online. Web exclusives generally fall into three categories: personal essays (in the style of CrossCurrents), reported short stories on some element of the Notre Dame experience, and pieces tailored to a recurring web series such as Cool Classes. To pitch a web exclusive or submit a completed personal essay for consideration, email web editor Jason Kelly at jkelly30@nd.edu.