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A Magazine for Sheffield

Write for Now Then

Now Then is dedicated to exploring exciting new ideas to make Sheffield and the wider world a better place – and our door is always open.

As a worker-owned company and as a group of people, we believe that only deep-rooted, systemic change can address the social, economic and political challenges we collectively face as a city and as a society.

Now then mural
Andy Brown

We want to use our platforms to explore this transition to a just society and a liveable planet, and ask how exactly we’ll get there. We’re looking out for the glimmers of a new world struggling to be born, as well as the ideas that will help us move from being a society based on extraction to one based on cooperation.

Through Now Then we aim to amplify marginalised voices excluded from the corporate media, celebrate Sheffield’s many different communities and share eye-opening perspectives on our city and its place in the world.

More than anything, we want to model a different kind of journalism – what we call ‘storytelling’ – that plays an active role in building the better world we so desperately need. We believe it’s not enough to just commentate from the sidelines.

Are you in?

We welcome new contributors to Now Then, whether you have experience in writing or just fancy trying your hand at it. We’re potentially interested in any form of writing about Sheffield, but we’re especially keen on pieces that explore systemic solutions to complex problems, whether that’s inequality, the democratic deficit or climate breakdown.

If you have an idea you want to explore, we'd love to hear from you. We suggest emailing us ([email protected]) with some specifics – rather than a general 'I'd like to write for Now Then' email:

  • A short introduction to yourself, your areas of interests and any examples of past writing.
  • What ideas you want to explore through writing for Now Then, and why you think they're unique or important for Sheffield.

Fir vale shops 2
Rachel Rae Photography

Keep it brief – you don’t need to send us the 'perfect pitch'. It’s also best not to send us a completed piece. Ideas are much better than pre-written articles.

If your ideas are time-sensitive (e.g. linked to an upcoming event or breaking news), let us know in your message.

We'll do our best to get back to you, but please bear in mind that we're a small team.

What we're interested in

  • If it's Sheffield-focused, well written and something different, there's a good chance we'll be interested. Take a look at recent stories to get a flavour of what we publish. Our articles tend to be news, opinion pieces, reviews or interviews – but we're always open to something 'outside the box'.
  • We're looking for fresh perspectives and new information. We’re especially keen on pieces that explore well-known or long-running issues in the city using a more systemic lens than you might find in the corporate media. We sometimes need to examine the city’s problems, but we’re much more excited about the potential that’s here in our communities, what solutions look like and how we can help make them a reality.
  • We're always up for exclusives and 'scoops' – but they're not essential.
18may23 conference 27

An event on designing better communities at last year's Festival of Debate.

ADVA Photography.


Unfortunately we don’t currently have money to pay for commissioned articles – except for the strand below: We are aware this is not ideal and would love to be able to pay all our contributors, especially those under-recognised in the current media landscape. The current situation for indie media is incredibly challenging.

Give Over

We're using Now Then to look at how local media can challenge racist and dehumanising narratives about migration. Through Give Over, we want to spotlight people, groups and stories which recognise the violence inflicted on people in order to maintain borders and nation states – and what it would take for us to think beyond borders. We are open to pitches that relate to border abolition, and abolitionist thinking more widely, particularly as they relate to Sheffield. Get in touch to discuss ideas and pitches!

Ecclesall road shops
Rachel Rae Photography

We want to represent the real Sheffield

People from privileged backgrounds are more likely to be involved in the media.

We do not believe that being an independent media outlet makes us immune to the effects of systemic racism, prejudice and marginalisation on our coverage and our contributor list.

Therefore we actively encourage contributions from people whose lived experience is not currently represented through Now Then as much as we want: writers of colour, writers from LGBTQ+ communities, writers of marginalised genders, disabled writers and writers from working-class backgrounds.

We’re regulated by IMPRESS

Now Then is voluntarily regulated by IMPRESS. This means that all our journalism has to stick to the IMPRESS Standards Code, which aims to balance the rights of the public, journalists and publishers. We also have whistleblowing and complaints policies as recommended by IMPRESS. All contributors must stick to the Standards Code.