These are exciting times for the Cowgirl Blog, for it has grown into a destination for the writings and comments of some of the state’s top figures, newsmakers, experts and also young and up-and-coming journalists.
I encourage submissions and will print as many as possible but cannot guarantee publication. If you don’t hear back from me about your submission (or tip), don’t assume I didn’t like it –I might have just missed it. So please email me again to remind me or send it again.
Here are some general suggestions for (not rules) that make a post submission more likely to get published. Consider a few helpful guidelines, which are universal for submissions to all periodicals but work for blogging too. I find that the posts that readers like most:
- Get to the main point quickly, within the first 100 words or sooner. Anecdotes work well for this.
- Write about something current, something that’s in the news.
- “Leave out the boring parts, the parts that people tend to skip over” — Leonard Elmore
- Tend to be under 700 words if possible. Shorter is better, and less is more. There is always fat to trim, and web readers nowadays are busy people.
- Are respectful of all whom are criticized and use facts (and links to them) to make claims.
- Provide news. Give readers a scoop. Find a story. Give us your best Woodward and Bernstein. Be a journalist. I love tips, but I especially love when people actually do the research, gather the story, and write it up.
- Avoid the “knowledge curse.” Don’t let your own expertise cause you to forget that many of your readers might not know very much about the topic you are writing about – help us all with a sentence or two of background so we can follow what you are discussing. Don’t refer to a “congressional omnibus budget reconciliation Act,” for example, without explaining what that is. (I would recommend politicians follow this tip, too.)
You can send your posts and tips to the tipline at firstname.lastname@example.org