Guidelines and requirements

Format.

We advise contributors to use an inverted pyramid structure (except where it is incompatible with the goal or subject matter.) Present the most focused, profound, relevant points first, then get to deeper points, support for assertions, and further information. We want all articles to shallow readers, intimidated readers, and readers with limited time (and our goal with them is to get them to finish reading) as well as deeper readers looking specifically for longer articles that dig deeply into the subject matter.

  • Articles should be double-spaced and
  • left aligned (not fully justified) in
  • 12 point serif font with
  • 1″ margins.
  • Include what type of article (news > culture; blog; etc) and your preferred headline in the header, and
  • Include your last name and a page number in the footer.
  • You are encouraged to use and sub headings, but don’t force it. The purpose of headings is to organize your thoughts and help the reader navigate your writing. You can also use headings to add meaning, but don’t let this defeat the main purpose of organizing and clarifying your article.
  • Include working hyperlinks.
  • Include one or more possible headlines. We don’t guarantee we’ll use any, but we want to.
  • Include all sources as last thing in document.
  • Word count: Ideally 1000-2000 words. 500-2500 words on the outside. Exceptions can be made for longer articles more easily if the article has a very successful inverted pyramid design and partitions initial light reading from latter deeper reading in a successful way that includes demarcation for second “read more” page.
  • Word count for blogs and features are more flexible. If we have to qualify, let’s call the range 200-15,000. If you’re writing that stuff, definitely open a dialogue with us first. Your first blog post should not be 200 words.
  • For news that includes opinion, use a two-tiered approach. Straight news and information first, then include response, opinion, editorializing, etc.

Style

Humor is one of the best ways to package controversial, dry, and depressing information. Use it.

Our readership and style are still amorphous. For now, it’s accurate to say that you could help develop our voice. That said, we are mainly appealing to open-minded liberal and progressive voices. This is an important distinction. Our readers are generally liberal and left-leaning, but they are also easily turned off by the idea that all liberals are expected to think and act the same and a certain way.

We also intend to include more conservative voices. We must challenge our perspectives. We must draw more open-minded right-leaning readers and thinkers. The only way to learn to truly think critically is to not isolate ourselves from those that think differently. If you are one of those voices, we want to hear from you.

Utilize effective argumentation. Know that all communication is a form of argument. Do not rely on abstractions and broad statements. Support all general ideas with more specific ideas and with relevant details, facts, and information.

Provide sources not just to avoid plagiarism but to establish greater credibility with readers. Provide sources, both in text, informally and as a works cited reference at the end of your article (where appropriate). We want our readers to be able to follow your whole journey and we want to encourage the and satisfy skepticism. We want readers to get used to journalism included more support, and we want them to get wary when it’s not there.

You are free to be creative with your works cited format (we are free to edit, if necessary). You can also include links to video and audio; we can embed when necessary.

Submission requirements

  • All articles must be submitted as a MS Word compatible file.
  • Pictures and art should be included as high quality attachments in the original size.
  • Pictures should be include at proper locations within the article AND separately. Name files to identify content and. (Maddow pointing at screen, not 43243523.jpg)
  • We are not against simultaneous submissions, but please let us know with submissions if you are submitting elsewhere, and let us know immediately if the work has been published, where, and if reprints and second publication are allowed and what guidelines are with that.
  • Before we read an article, we need a synopsis and some understanding of who you are. You are free to submit to us if we’ve never talked, but include a synopsis with the article, bylines, and a bio.
  • It’s probably best for you if you ask if we are open to your idea(s) before putting the time into the piece. Even if you reason that you will submit elsewhere, we are open to assistance. Not only can we tell you what about your idea works and doesn’t for us, but we can help with that in general–in case you want to shop your ideas elsewhere.
  • If you think we’re weirdly generous, submit something that is culturally destructive or cynical and you’ll find out quickly that we’re not just generous because we’re bored.
  • If you want to write for us, but are hoping we will give you an assignment, be especially thorough with your bio and expertise and interests. Include up to three current writing samples (published or not) and any bylines.
  • Let us know if you’re hoping to establish an ongoing relationship with us or if this is a one-off. Of course plans can change, but we’d like to know. If you are submitting work but would also like to be involved in other ways, please let us know.
  • Please include contact information so we can call or text you. Our preferred methods of correspondence are email, text, or phone call. Sometimes we’ll want to resolve a question or issue quickly. Please give us relevant information and let us know best times for communication or if there are avenues of communication you prefer or would prefer to avoid.

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