Contributor Guidelines

TheWilsonPost.com Contributor Guidelines

Please read through our guidelines and expectations before submitting a contributed article.

I. Before you write

Length: Pieces typically run about 50 to 400 words, though longer is OK accepted.

Flyers: No profane language.

 

Trustworthy sources: Be savvy about the sources you cite. Rely on primary  and direct sources as much as possible. And remember — Wikipedia crowdsources information from the public and doesn’t always offer the most accurate information.

Report Checker: To prevent multiple posts about the same local event or story, please email Story@TheWilsonPost.com to verify if a staff writer or contributor is scheduled to cover the event.

Getting Paid: Only coverage requested by editors & your contributor team leaders will be compensated. Some posts may qualify for higher compensation. Payout Weekly

 

II. Before you submit:

For your article:

Proof your article. Sloppy work won’t be accepted by our editors. We suggest http://www.Grammerly.com

Link to your sources. If you quote someone or cite a statistic, link out to your source. This will help readers learn more about a topic and bolster your writing. Additionally, not having these links could slow the publication of your article. Don’t expect that your editor will do your legwork for you. Please link to the original source.

If you interview someone, please say so in the piece. Your editor and the reader will want to know that you have conducted original reporting.

Disclose any financial relationships. Please acknowledge financial relationships, if any exist, with the companies or individuals you write about or link to. This disclosure is very important to us and our readers. Violating this rule could lead to your article being removed from the site or the end of your ability to contribute to the site. If you have questions, please talk to your editor.

 

Tell us if it’s timely. Articles with a time peg can move through the queue more quickly. If there is a time peg (a Christmas piece, for example), put a note to that effect on the subject line so an editor can see that more easily.

Submit original work. Work you didn’t write is not acceptable. However, if you desire to repost your work somewhere else, you can as long as it is ok with that publication.

For your author profile:
Provide the following to your editor:

  1. Submit a two- to three-sentence bio and your headshot (high quality, please), and include a unique email address that will be used by the author (or publicist) to log into our content-management-system account.
  2. If you are a publicist who represents multiple people who write for us, we will need a different email address for each individual.
  3. For your professional bio, provide the city where the contributor is located. Hyperlink your company name and any published book, if you’d like.

III. After you submit: What to expect

  1. Due to the large volume of submissions we receive, contributors should expect to receive a response within 1-3 days. If you have not heard from us or your post hasn’t been approved after 5 days, your pitch/article was likely rejected.
  2. After you submit The Wilson Post Contributor Network form, and it is approved, The Wilson Post editors will activate an account in our Content Management System (CMS) for the author. You will then need to update the bio in our system and submit your post.
  3. Accepted articles will likely require revisions. Your editor or network lead will likely have questions or suggestions. If your piece is sent back to you for rewrites, questions, etc., an editor or network lead will send it to you as an email for revisions. Any changes you make (and “save” — don’t forget that step!) will be viewable on our end, too. Be sure to submit the article again when you are finished and an editor will review.
  4. Submitted posts go through a process.

    — The post will be reviewed by a lead and will be submitted to an editor to be edited.
    — The post has been submitted for final review. If you need to make further changes, email your assigned lead.

    —  If your post is in need of any corrections or if we have questions for you, we will email you.
    — The post will be scheduled for publication.
    — The post will be published.

  5. You will receive an email alert when your post runs.

IV. Style guidelines

  • No serial commas: apples, oranges and bananas — not apples, oranges, and bananas.
  • The dashes we use have double hyphens and spaces: The CEO — whom the board tried to fire — addressed the scandal. We don’t use em dashes or, heaven forbid, hyphens for dashes.
  • Commas and periods go inside the end quote marks. ALWAYS.
  • No double spaces after periods. To repeat: NO DOUBLE SPACES AFTER SENTENCES.
  • Appropriate sourcing of quotes: This means that quotes should be attributed to a source, e.g.:
  • “‘Blah, blah, blah,’” Bob McCain told me in an interview”  -OR-
  • “‘Blah, blah, blah,” Bob McCain said in an interview with The Times.”
  • Single quotes belong only around quotes within quotes and in headlines and subheads.
  • Put in your own hyperlinks.
  • Use one-sentence paragraphs sparingly. Too many makes your piece clunky. Two to three sentences is an ideal paragraph length.
  • “Percent” is used as a word. Never use %, except in charts.
  • Subheads (copy that breaks up long chunks of text) should have the same, parallel format.
  • If the first hed is a full sentence, they all should be. If one has a verb, they all should have a verb.
  • Don’t use links in subheads. Use them only in your text.
  • Don’t capitalize the words in subheads, after the first word.
  • Don’t forget that women hold up half the sky. If you must use “he,” also use “she.” Get around this awkward construction, at least sometimes, by pluralizing your pronouns. Instead of “An employee has his job to do,” make it “Employees have their jobs to do.”
  • A company or organization or government agency is an “it,” never a “they.” For the possessive pronoun, when you refer to possession by a single person or company, use “its,” not “their.” Similarly, when you write about a company’s web audience, mention “the audience’s members” before saying “them.” An audience is not a “them.”
  • Be consistent: If you start with the pronoun “you,” stick with it. Avoid mixing “we,” “I,” “he/she” and “you” all in the same article.
  • Be consistent, Part II: Stick with the same verb tense throughout. Remember that the present perfect tense (“That company has followed the same policy for years”) expresses ongoing, habitual action.
  • Check for repetition of the same words, points and themes. That’s just poor writing.
  • Numbers under 10 are written out (unless appearing with the word “percent.”) Numbers 10 or higher are written as numerals (unless they start a sentence). Years are always expressed with numerals. Use “more than” rather than “over” with numbers.
  • Check quotes with reliable sources. Brainyquote and unedited blogs are not reliable.
  • If you must use jargon, particularly abbreviations and acronyms nobody else knows, spell these out on the first reference (followed by the abbreviation in parentheses). Avoid “SMB” altogether. We don’t like that one. In fact, we hate it.
  • Names: For the first reference, use the full name: Mark Zuckerberg. For subsequent references, use the last name only. Even if Mark Zuckerberg is your best friend, even if he was the best man at your wedding, don’t call him “Mark” in copy.
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