Chicago Scene Content Contributor Program

Chicago Scene, both in the online format and in the form of the printed magazine has been most successful due to the intimately connected nature of our publications and events with the amazing city of Chicago that we cover. This is because the content generated is derived from direct interaction and intermingling with the people and venues of downtown Chicago. To further extend this intimate nature, we seek contributors who will maintain and extend the reach of our tendrils into the dynamic city of Chicago. Accordingly, we have formed the Chicago Scene Contributor Program.

This program addresses the many types of potential contributors to Chicago Scene and the nature of the relationship between Chicago Scene as an organization and the individual who aids us in strengthening our bond with the city and to tell it’s stories in the nature that only we have done for the last 16 years since our founding in 1998 by Ted Widen.

Following are the various roles of those which contributors to the magazine can be defined:

Contributing Editor

Writers who are responsible for a single category such as dining, fashion, music or other areas of focus will provide content of their own as well as oversee the contributions of others and ensure that such content is in alignment with the style, quality, and accuracy expected by readers of Chicago Scene. The editorial contributor also plays a role in the business dealings that Chicago Scene has in areas of the editors specific category. In example, the Contributing Editor- Fashion, would assume the responsibilities as previously defined as well as aid the process of engaging advertisers, attending events and supporting growth of our business in the area of fashion.


A Chicago Scene contributor provides content whether in the form of stories (Contributing Writer), pictures (Contributing Photographer), or videos (Contributing videographer or contributing reporter/host). Contributors are not staff and may be paid or non paid.

– Paid contributors are contract based providers of content and will have terms of payment defined on a project by project basis from the editor and are paid within 1 week of performance. Scope of work will be conveyed via email and all works produced are the property of Chicago Scene. In some cases the paid contributor may retain ownership or license to the works done for Chicago Scene when expressly agreed to in writing by Chicago Scene.

– Unpaid contributors may produce content or share produced content with Chicago Scene but are not paid for the production or use of the content and instead benefit from the exposure afforded by Chicago Scene as an outlet to promote and build their own, personal brand. Unpaid contributors may be individuals looking to expand the reach of their content, those looking to increase readership or followers, wanting to increase visibility to themselves and their services or interns of Chicago Scene looking to gain experience and build their resume.

All such contributors may be working towards full time positions with Chicago Scene and may work their way onto the permanent staff as a result of activities related to this program. Unpaid contributers may also cover events and venues or stories as a Chicago Scene Contributing (writer, photographer, etc…) and may gain access to such events with press credentials and further expand their exposure.

Contributing Partners

Contributing partners are those individuals that find value in gaining the exposure offered by developing and sharing content specific to a particular area of expertise in exchange for the opportunity to be showcased in the online and printed publications. Contributing partners are expected to provide content as agreed upon by both parties twice monthly in exchange for position on the website defining and promoting them as industry experts and influencers. No payment is made by the contributing partners in these relationships for the promotional value afforded by Chicago Scene nor is there payment by Chicago Scene to the Contributing Partner.

Contributing Partner’s will typically write articles or create videos or may engage others to aid them in the process that are focused on their area of expertise but are not direct advertisements of their own businesses. Content is intended to be informative and entertaining and the promotional value to the Contributing Partner is derived from the exposure to and acknowledgement of our readers that the Contributing Partner in question is in fact an expert in their industry. Contributing Partner’s are provided a profile page that can be leverage for embellishing on themselves and their businesses.

Staff Contributor

Staff contributors are paid editors, writers, photographers, videographers and on air hosts/reporters that are paid employees of Chicago Scene and are dedicated 100% to the organization without ties to other publications or websites and are required to complete assignments defined by the editorial calendar set forth by the Editor and management.

Revenue generating opportunities

All team members and contributors of all types of Chicago Scene have the opportunity to leverage their participation with the company to share in the revenues produced when this is effected. In example, some coverage or articles may be accomplished based on the need to produce content and retain and increase readership and advertising base. However, when such coverage generates revenue from venues or promoters that wish to have us write, promote, or create videos or marketing campaigns, the Chicago Scene contributors will share in that revenue commensurate with their participation.

Such revenue generating opportunities may be captured by the Chicago Scene sales team. Additionally the actual Contributors who will deliver content on the project may engage potential customers and sell the idea themselves. When the latter is the case, the contributor will retain a percentage of the profits from the overall project.

An example is given here:

A writer identifies an opportunity for a newly established restaurant to write an article for them and publish it in Chicago Scene. Accompanied by that might be a video that we would produce, banner ads on the website, an email and social media campaign, and a launch event. Even though the writer in question would only be paid for the article written on behalf of the restaurant in a typical scenario, Chicago Scene would pay an additional percentage of the total profit generated from the activity to the writer.

Conditions to such activities are that all stories must be approved prior to publishing and not all stories are worthy of getting published. In example, an article on a new daycare center would not be relevant to the nature of the website nor magazine. However, under our video production services or PR services we may aid that customer in marketing programs but would not publish anything in our media outlets. Accordingly anything involving our brand during promotion must be within the area of focus of both the category and the magazine, and must align with the style and quality characteristics that we hope to promote.

For those interested in this program, simply send emails with resume/c.v. and links to examples of your work along with all contact information to

[contact-form-7 id=”3619″ title=”Application Form”]