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SGNews guidelines for writers, October 2012
Straight Goods is an online news magazine with particular focus on protecting human rights, untangling media spin, and deciphering Canadian politics. We're looking for newsy articles in journalistic style. Studies show that each story has about 14 seconds to capture the attention of an online reader. Please give readers the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, and Why) in the first paragraph.
Rather than commentary, we prefer a journalistic approach: fact-heavy, third person, past tense, active voice. The best articles tell a story fast and clearly. We look for added value such as interviews, research sources, a timely news angle, or a political tie-in. SGN’s website uses WordPress, so if your text includes links, we can post the text and links directly to SGN story pages. Or we can embed the links ourselves. No worries. We also welcome original videos or suggestions about Youtube videos to add to our Video Gallery.
Please avoid whenever possible:
– sweeping generalizations (especially as the lead);
– polemic – telling people what to do – words like “should” and “ought” are tipoffs;
– rude language;
– academic language or any other kind of jargon;
– hate speech, sexism, racism, homophobia or other forms of prejudice.
SGN style is to use Canadian spellings. We appreciate manuscripts that arrive that way. We expect writers to be able to substantiate their statements and interview quotes. We celebrate Canada’s diversity and welcome fresh viewpoints and voices to the conversation; we also work with emerging writers. We try to respond to all queries, but we don’t always succeed.
Please email all unsolicited queries or manuscripts to Penney Kome, Editor at email@example.com. We prefer to receive stories as text, copied and pasted into the body of the email. Please do NOT send any manuscripts as attachments, as we’re likely not to read them.
You may have noticed that there’s a short biography and a headshot photo of the author at the bottom of most SGN story pages. If we use your story, we’ll need that information from you. A good quality digital photo of the author (head and shoulders) is an asset for anyone who works online anyway.
At this point, Straight Goods cannot pay writers for their work, but we can offer subscriptions, promotion, and other incentives. Regarding promotion, we also consider book excerpts and reprints of insightful work that has appeared elsewhere.
Writers retain all rights to their contributions and are free to submit stories published by Straight Goods, elsewhere. Straight Goods will refer all requests for reprints to the writer.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.