Learn the rules, then break them
(Not the one about writing about fighting with your girlfriend over Netflix. Still not a story.)
Note: We are not accepting poetry submissions as of August. Check back in a month or two.
NEWS: The Second Day Lede
We tie much of our coverage to the news, but we're hardly competing with The New York Times or the Washington Post. We're the second-day lede on steroids. That means research and constructing stories so they actually explain the complicated things that are going on in society without cliches or boilerplate reporter language: say it simply, clearly, and well.
If you're doing shoeleather reporting well, you probably shouldn't be leaving your house but we'd love to see it.
Most of the time, we examine news from a thoughtful angle. If something raises a question in our minds, we look into it.
Example: Why was New York so short on hospital beds? Turns out one of Cuomo's predecessors took a "business" approach to health care.
These stories require research. We're not doing Baby Boomer rants against Trump. Tell us something we don't know!
LETTERS FROM THE PANDEMIC
We're doing a few "Letters." Tell us what's going on in Idaho. Alabama. Yemen. The South of France. Burundi. You get the picture. How are these places handling the pandemic?
Literary sections are flexible. That personal essay about being cooped up with your boyfriend (or girlfriend) and fighting over what to watch on Netflix? Unless you're incredibly funny, probably not.
Subject-based essays, memoir, etc. all good. Please link to the pandemic in some way, even fit tenuous: isolation, community, illness, mortality, adrenaline, and, let's not be shy: money panic.
Satire is also good!
We recently found, to our shock, that we had suddenly been listed on at least three websites that facilitate submissions from writers. We were deluged. We may reopen to poetry submissions in October.
Speaking of which, we are deeply sorry to say: we don't pay. We do have a donate button; if that ends up raking in sufficient cash, we may be able to change that policy.
Writing sucks as a profession right now. As a passion, still good. We apologize. It's going to be a rough few months for everyone.
Something to write about.
Key question: Should I labor over a query or just write the damn thing?
Either one is OK with us. A query can save you time if it's a reported piece. If it's an essay, you will have to turn in something approaching a polished draft.
Pitch? What is this "pitch"? This isn't Glengarry Glen Ross! We are writers. Musicians. Layabouts. Send us your queries.
If you prefer to send a full manuscript, particularly if submitting an essay or poem, please attach it as a Word document.
We try to get back to everyone.
Several organizations catering to writers have now listed us on their websites without letting us know, so we have been deluged with submissions. If we don't respond within two weeks, hit us up again.
We believe every writer deserves to be heard.