We’re looking for a writer!

Do you like to write stories that make a difference?

Do you enjoy crafting dynamic stories about people?

If so, we'd like to hear from you.

Please review our request for proposal.

If it sounds exciting to you, please submit your proposal by 5 PM on May 25, 2018.



Gathering Waters helps land trusts, landowners, and communities protect the places that make Wisconsin special by promoting private, voluntary land conservation and strengthening Wisconsin land trusts. This service ensures forests, wetlands, and farmlands remain available for people to use and enjoy for years to come.

We are seeking proposals from a copywriter/creative contractor by May 25, 2018, to develop a collection of compelling land conservation stories to inspire a deeper connection to the land, motivate community involvement, evoke a sense of shared responsibility, and gain the support of elected officials. Central themes, critical story elements, and land conservation projects featured in the stories will be determined in advance by Gathering Waters’ staff.



The collection of stories should contain descriptive, engaging, and emotive language relatable to multiple audiences, including, but not limited to: landowners, communities, land trust professionals, policymakers, and the greater public. Portions of the final written submissions may be used to produce printed materials, audio sound bites, video scripts, and web and social media content.

Each story should showcase a particular protected property and highlight the impact Gathering Waters and its member land trust(s) have made on the individual, family, community, or the state as a result of land conservation. The narrative should make the connection to core values, such as clean water, clean air, public health, safety, fishing, hunting, farming, education, revenue, and recreational opportunities.

Required story elements include:

  • A strong story arc, clearly depicting the characters, inciting incidents, and resolution.
  • Powerful testimonies from landowners, land trust professionals, donors, policymakers, and/or others.
  • Motivations for, and outcomes of land protection.
  • Roles of the land trust and Gathering Waters in the conservation effort.
  • High-quality, high-resolution photographs to visually support the story.


The desired output for successful completion of this project is a collection of five (5) to seven (7) in-depth, engaging stories written in a voice consistent with Gathering Waters’ branding and mission. (See samples of condensed stories on the PDF version of the RFP. There is a link in the side bar.)

To produce the stories, the copywriter/creative contractor will:

  • Conduct on-location interviews with three (3) to five (5) people related to each specified land conservation project. (Interviewees may be landowners, land trust professionals, community members, city officials, policymakers, and others, who bring a unique perspective to the story. Interviews may involve travel throughout the state.)
  • Research details as needed to add interest and substantiate factual content.
  • Obtain signed talent releases for all interviews, testimonials, personal quotes, photography, audio recordings, and/or video footage.
  • Create and finalize stories, 1,200 to 1,600 words in length.
  • Create condensed versions of the stories, 200 to 300 words, capturing the essence and meaning of their longer counterparts.
  • Create at least one (1), preferably two (2) compelling pull quotes from each person interviewed.
  • Create two (2) or three (3) “So What?” pull quotes from each story.
  • Capture and supply high-quality, high-resolution (8“x10“ or 10“x 8“ at 300 dpi) photographs of:

- The landscape or unique characteristics of the property

- The property with people enjoying/using the property

- Each person interviewed

  • Optional: A candidate able to produce high-quality, engaging video scripts, promotional videos, and audio recordings to highlight the positive impact of land conservation, would be desirable.



During the creative process, Gathering Waters will be available to offer perspective, review project materials, and answer questions. The copywriter/creative contractor will:

  •  Act as an independent third-party, sub-contractor.
  • Maintain frequent communication with Gathering Waters as needed in person, by phone, or via email.
  • Make specified edits and organize the final work product to Gathering Waters’ satisfaction before the project is declared complete.
  • Assign all present and future copyrights to the materials created and produced during the project (including, but not limited to working drafts, video and audio recordings, interview materials, and source documents) to Gathering Waters, and deliver the same.

The copywriter/creative contractor may retain self-promotional rights to the final stories as long as the pieces present land conservation, land trusts, and Gathering Waters in a positive light.

Submitted content may be used by Gathering Waters’ for promotion, brand awareness, and fundraising through social media sites, websites, email campaigns, and other channels without attribution to the creator unless considered appropriate by Gathering Waters.



Please submit a proposal based on the scope of services described in this proposal request. The budget for story creation is limited to $8,000 with additional funds available for video/audio production. Work shall begin no later than June 15, 2018, and shall be completed in two phases:

Phase One: Three stories completed and submitted by Tuesday, July 31, 2018.
Phase Two: Remaining stories completed and submitted by Monday, September 24, 2018.

Compensation will be determined before the project begins and will be based on the scope of work.

Proposals should describe in detail your/your company’s ability to fulfill the requirements in this RFP. Please include the following:

  • A one-page summary of your/your company’s background, resources, relevant experience, and recommended services. (If you are an agency, please include the names and biographies of the staff responsible for the work.)
  • Three (3) to five (5) samples of branded stories of comparable size and scope.
  • References from past projects.
  •  A timeline for the completion of the work by September 24, 2018.
  • A proposed budget for services based on the scope of work


To be considered for this project, please submit your proposal by May 25, 2018. Please mail or email your proposal as a single PDF attachment:

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts
Attention: Pat McMurtrie
211 S. Paterson Street, Suite 270
Madison, WI 53703


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