This is an evolving document. Please review this page from time to time. Date of the latest up-date is at the bottom of the page.
Expect editing. Grab any newspaper or magazine that's lying around. Randomly read bits and pieces from the reports and articles, but not the columnists. Notice the writing is uniform. The writing in "Time" differs from "Newsweek," which differs from "US News and World Report," but the writing in each magazine is uniform. If the writing isn't reasonably uniform, readers won't read: it's too much work to adjust and readjust to changes in style.
We (“grubstreet.ca”) won’t change your meaning and try not to lose your voice, but we’re likely to change your syntax. If major changes are required, we’ll let you see the revisions before we post. We can go back and forth as much as necessary. Collaboration is the name for this process. Through this process, we become colleagues. Great work goes hand in hand with collegiality. If our editing your writing doesn’t sit well with you, please don’t submit for posting.
For now, we accept only English-language submissions.
What you submit must be your creation, your work product. Revise submissions published or posted elsewhere; we don’t mind updated material as long as you’re upfront with us about when and where an earlier version appeared. If you didn’t create what you’re submitting, but hold rights to the material, evince those rights. If you receive payment, in any form from us, for your submission, we assume copyright and control of the material as well as all usage rights, unless other, prior arrangements have been made.
We don’t accept pornography. We don’t accept articles advocating violence against a person or group. We don’t accept articles advocating unlawful acts. Keep in mind, there’s a difference between theory and practice. There’s a difference between considering alternatives, which might include violent or unlawful acts, and promoting such acts as the best or only way to solve a problem or resolve an issue.
We don’t accept defamation. Faint praise is often most damning. Subtly works miracles.
We discourage excessive profanity. Some profanity, used generally, in context and not directed at a particular person or group, may be acceptable. Bill Hicks, Lenny Bruce Richard Pryor used profanity to a good end; so does Eddie Murphy and a few others. Let us decide what’s acceptable.
Articles of fewer than 350 words or 1 page don’t offer enough information. Typically, at least 450 to 900 words make a case worth reading. For grubstreet.ca readers, 650 to 900 words is the ideal length for opinion pieces or reviews. Longer pieces are welcome.
Syntax is critical. Submissions with improper or weak sentence structure, poor punctuation and so forth aren’t considered. If you don’t know when to use “is” and when to use “are,” find out before submitting. We'll help you express yourself, but if we can’t figure out what you’re saying, as happens too often, we can’t help you say it more effectively or post it. Clear writing implies clear thinking.
grubstreet.ca prefers journalistic writing. Read the Canadian Press (CP) style book. The Associated Press (AP) or Reuters styles are okay, too.
Brief sentences, less than 15 words, are best. One idea per graph and three sentences per graph. One fact per sentence, usually.
This is the ideal, of course, and varies by topic. The first graph is a summary, intended to make a browser want to read the article. Each succeeding graph adds and flushes out one more fact. The final graph summarizes, but assumes the article has been read.
The idea is to tell the reader what you're going to tell him or her. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.
Double check your work for typos. Run the spell checker, included with your word processor, at least once. GrubStreet.ca is a Canadian site, so ensure the language is set to Canadian or UK English. We can‘t closely copyedit every submission, and we aren’t very good at copyediting. If too much copyediting seems necessary, we won’t accept your submission.
We reserve the final decision regarding the headline, but please offer a suggestion or three. “Dangling Conversations” is more effective than “Differing Speech Patterns in Women and Men,” for an article about why men and women have such a hard time talking with each other. “The Lies that Bind,” is better than “How Urban Legends Forge Social Connections.” Pithy headlines, that is, terse, condensed and forceful, are best. When developing your headline, pretend you’re text messaging somebody.
We don’t accept infomercials. It’s okay to promote yourself or your business, but we ask you maintain decorum. A sense of dignity is important for you, your business and grubstreet.ca. Don’t go over board.
You may cross-link to other articles on this site, your site or your e-mail address. You may not deep link to other sites. Limit links to other sites to home, index or splash pages. Ensure all links work or your submission won’t be considered. Postings with broken links are removed, without notice.
Here's what we like to receive,
articles in plain text format.
double space between paragraphs do not indent paragraphs
tables are discouraged
audio in mp3 format okay (maximum 10 megs)
no video in mpeg format okay (maximum 30 megs)
photographs in .jpg or .gif formats only
photographs limited to 1 meg
photographs must be at least 72 dpi
submissions in ALL CAPS are not considered.
We’ll take it from there.
If you don’t type or keyboard, write with a pen, pencil or crayon: we’ll figure out how to post your ideas. If you can’t or don’t write, send us a MP3, .wav or other digital sound file. If you don’t do digital recording, call and we’ll try to arrange for telephone transcription.
We want to bring your ideas to the world. We'll go any reasonable length to achieve this goal.
Streeter Click is editor of GrubStreet.ca.
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