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HOW CAN I CONTRIBUTE?

Thanks for your interest in joining our effort.  There are many ways one can contribute.  Below are just a few examples:

  • Become a registered member.  It’s free
  • Post comments and participate in our community forum.  You may even meet someone that can help you find answers to a problem you’re working on
  • Email us with upcoming events that we can promote on our homepage
  • Got an idea (news or editorial) for an article?  Email us with some basic information.  In some cases, we’ll pay you
  • We’re always looking to interview policy advocates, or just someone with an interesting policy-related story.  Know someone like that?  If so, email us and we may arrange to interview them and post it online
  • Spread the word!  Join us on Facebook and Twitter

ARE YOU ACCEPTING BLOG-POST SUBMISSIONS?
YES.  To pitch an idea for a blog post to the Public Policy Now site, please email us with the following information:

your full name, a brief bio, your email address, and your post idea

The pitch can be a short idea, or the full text of your submission.
You will receive a reply back from us shortly with a determination.

We are presently only accepting ONLINE submissions for consideration, which include but are not limited to: news articles, blog posts, and book, documentary, and film reviews.

Unlike other sites, there is no submission fee for consideration.  Furthermore, we will pay the authors for rejected material.

However, if your work interests us, we may offer to negotiate a price to publish your work.  We are presently seeking Fee-For-Hire writers to submit work, too.  You may email us with a link to a sample of your work for consideration.  We may also on occasion solicit writers directly from within our forums, or other outside sources.

You may submit as many works as you like. All work should be preferably previously unpublished, however certain exceptions may be made based on the strength and interest of the work.  Simultaneous submissions are, of course, allowed–but please let us know if your work is placed elsewhere.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES & HELPFUL TIPS

Please register before submitting work for review.

  • The post must be useful to the readers of this site.
  • The post must be grammatically correct and well-written.
  • The post must not include marketing-related links and must not be entirely self-promotional.
  • The post may include links to your website and blog in a brief author’s bio (approximately 3 sentences), which will be published at the end of the guest post.
  • Guest posts ideally should be original and may not have been published elsewhere online already.  All submissions will be verified for originality using a tool such as Copyscape.com or Plagium.com.

PUBLISHING STANDARDS

All published pieces must meet certain editorial standards. You can help expedite the publishing process by following a few simple guidelines:

1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE CHECKED FOR SPELLING AND GRAMMATICAL ERRORS. We’ll check again, but a quick run through for missing words can make a big difference. Be sure to get the names right.

2. DO RESEARCH AND INCLUDE LINKS TO BACK IT UP. Whether you are referencing a quote, statistic, or specific event, you should include a link that supports your statement. If you’re not sure, it’s better to lean on the cautious side. More links enhance the piece and let readers know where you’re coming from. When including a link, do not send us a hyperlink in the text. Instead, put brackets around the words you want hyperlinked in the article and then paste the link directly following the bracketed words. For example, if you wanted to link to PublicPolicyNow in your piece, it would go like this: “You can find great journalism at [PublicPolicyNow]. http://www.publicpolicynow.com

3. IF YOU QUOTE SOMEONE YOU INTERVIEWED, MAKE SURE YOU CAN BACK IT UP. To some extent, it will be your word that corroborates the quote. At the very least, however, you will need to be able to present the name of the person interviewed and the time and place your conversation occurred. Being able to produce a transcription or recording of the quote is best. Before you think about quoting someone, you must establish up front whether or not that person is willing to speak with you on the record and willing to be quoted in print. You should also be clear about your ties to the sources you use. Are you a friend? A backer? A fellow board member? It’s best to state any relevant relationship right in the text. Anonymous quotes are OK, but you should still have information to verify them.

4. IF YOU MAKE A NEGATIVE, FACT-BASED ASSERTION ABOUT A PERSON, YOU NEED TO REACH THEM FOR THE COMMENT. There will be gray areas here, but in general, if you are presenting a person in a negative light and the article is not clearly your own opinion, you will need to contact that person for a response. Getting a comment simply involves an e-mail (or call) to the person of interest and giving yourself enough time to let him/her respond. We may be able to help you get in contact with them and decide whether or not comment is needed. As a rule of thumb, however, it’s better safe than sorry.

5. NOTE THAT WE MAY MAKE EDITORIAL CHANGES. We are not looking to change the meaning and tone of your submission. Edits are overwhelmingly small and have to do with matching the story to the rest of the page or highlighting a relevant news theme. We change headlines for many reasons. There are many factors that influence headline decisions: space, design, repetition, search engine optimization are just some of the factors we consider.

HELPFUL TIPS

Center your op-eds on new information or on old information viewed in a new way. Make certain your new information and sources are reliable. Make your piece concise to keep it sharp. Link to other sources as a way to lend your piece authority but also to trim background or explanatory paragraphs. Write a strong opening that lets the reader know immediately what your piece is about.

News stories often travel to other sections of the PublicPolicynow site and can be referenced by news organizations across the mediascape. We may need to rewrite sections or add information to your piece. Mostly we look to tighten the lead or hook the story to a larger narrative. We also may strengthen the tone and bulk up the sourcing. If you submit a timely piece, be prepared to make yourselves available by email or phone for a few hours post-submission.

* When you are reporting from an event, you should provide background information (the where, what, who of the event) but also look to conduct interviews with the various kinds of people in attendance: the hosts, spectators, speakers, protesters, service people. Introduce yourself, say you’re reporting for PublicPolicyNow, tell them you’re taping them, if you are, and get them talking. Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” Ask them to describe the event, to explain why they came, how the reality of the event differed from their expectations of the event, how they think the event relates to national news stories. Ask them follow-up questions on any points that weren’t clear. Try to weigh the answers you collect against the opinions of others in attendance and against the opinions of “experts,” if you have time. Look on the web for reputable sources to link to. You can also call people and talk to them to get more answers or to expand on the answers you got.

You should also look to weave *relevant* observations into your pieces. What is the mood of the people in attendance? What are you seeing and hearing that is shaping your impression.

News items are based on new information. The “news” can come from a press release or an audio file, from the web or a campaign rally — from anywhere really. Writing on material that hasn’t yet been reported elsewhere will greatly increase the likelihood that you will be published. We’re not interested in rewriting existing campaign coverage. All new information must be verifiable. Be certain you can trust your source and that you can back them up.

Sometimes people overestimate what it takes to do original reporting. Keep in mind that you needn’t BREAK a big story. Look simply to add new information about a particular event, person, or idea to the public domain. 

I'M INTERESTED. WHERE DO I START?
Email us wit the subject line SUBMIT BLOG POST