Inside Look at U. Magazine

The Internet Writing Journal, December 1997
U. Magazine is the most widely read lifestyle and entertainment magazine among 18-24 year-olds and is the only national magazine that is written for college students by college students. Distributed at nearly 350 college campuses around the nation, U. Magazine covers news from the nation's campuses as well as stories about emerging lifestyle trends, changes in higher education, college sports, entertainment and more -- all in an informative yet
UMagazine.com graphic
irreverent tone. A showcase for the nation's best student journalists, photographers and illustrators, U. Magazine is the only national forum specifically showcasing their work.

Editors at U. Magazine work with student journalists, photographers and artists at more than 400 college campuses around the nation. Priding itself on its original content, U. Magazine hires new Assistant Editors fresh out of college each year. The magazine reflects the diversity of college life by covering all types of colleges -- huge research institutions, small liberal arts colleges, historically Black colleges, religious colleges, athletic powerhouses, academic havens and every other type of college or university across the United States. Publisher and Editor Frances Huffman came to U. Magazine by way of U.C.L.A. and N.Y.U. She talked to us about the magazine that has its finger on the pulse of today's college students.



How did U. Magazine come into being?

U Network graphic "The National College Magazine was started 10 years ago as a forum for student journalists and as a vehicle to allow students to find out what's going on at colleges around the nation."

How has the electronic revolution affected college life?

"Technology has radically altered every aspect of college life - from registering for classes to finding a date. Many schools require students to have their own personal computer for admission."

What do you look for in freelance writers?

"Since U. Magazine is written for students by students, we can only publish work from writers who are currently enrolled as full-time college students.
"We are looking for freelancers to help with these web sections: concert reviews, video game reviews, book reviews, CD-ROM reviews."
All stories must have a college focus and should be relevant to our audience. All stories must include quotes from students at four-year colleges and universities around the nation. Since this is a national magazine, most articles should include quotes from students in various regions of the U.S., not just from one college. U. Magazine is written in 'college speak.' The tone is conversational, lively, engaging, smart, hip and a little irreverent. Write articles as if you were talking to your friends at school. U. is a magazine, not a newspaper - no inverted pyramid stories, please! Magazine style requires a punchy intro that grabs the reader, a compelling main body and a witty walk-off."


What are the biggest mistakes you see in submissions to your magazine by freelancers?

"We don't publish first-person stories, yet we receive many submissions that are written in first person. We will not publish a story that doesn't contain student quotes, yet submissions often contain no quotes at all. Our tone is very lively and irreverent, but some submissions are dry and dull."

Can you give some tips for writers looking to get published in U. Magazine?

"Send in some clips that show that you can write in "U. style." If your clips are too newsy in nature, write a killer cover letter introducing yourself. Send us some story ideas - things that are happening on your campus or at numerous campuses around the nation."

What has been the biggest challenge in running U. Magazine?

U Network Graphic "Working with students is both the greatest reward and the biggest challenge. Since journalism students are so busy with schoolwork and their campus paper, they often take on freelance assignments that they don't have time to complete. Students flake out on us all the time. They'll take an assignment, and before you know it, they're MIA. Or they'll turn in something other than what we asked for."

What are your plans for the future of U. Magazine?

"U. Magazine is going to continue to be the most widely read lifestyle and entertainment magazine for 18- to 24-year-olds."

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about your site?

U Graphic "The U. Magazine site includes all articles that appear in the print issue, plus original stories you won't find in the print issue. We are looking for freelancers to help with these web sections: concert reviews, video game reviews, book reviews, CD-ROM reviews. We also do a college basketball poll based on the votes of college sports editors, we have a college trivia game and poll questions."

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