We welcome your ideas and submissions but please do not send us unsolicited material. Check in with us first to avoid disappointment.
What we want in feature writing…
rabble’s being around a while, we kinda know at this stage what we want to work with and don’t. So heres’ some total brain farts on the top of thing that turns us on and off when it comes to writing for the magazine.
- We want to hear voices: Since day once rabble has placed a HIGH VALUE on the inclusion of voices other than the writer in an article. That is the basic tenet of good feature journalism. We’re not interested in meandering personal essays, we want articles with bite that cover topics of relevance to our readers and include a range of voices in them.
- We are not a venue for academe shite or left theologians: rabble has a popular audience, they are well read, diverse and have most likely have heard it all before. Original smart writing is our game, not imitation intellectuals out there to flatter their own egos or preach to the choir. You fool no one but yourself.
- Less is more: Our upper limit in print is a word count of about 1200, so save us all a whole lot of bother and pay attention to that. Good writers know how to edit themselves, you should too.
- Read our style and copyediting guidelines: We wrote them for a reason, please read them. Honestly, we’d rather be hammering out our own irreverent pieces or flaking out on the couch with can than parsing through your idiosyncratic use of titles or quotation marks. Hanx!!
Here’s some quick pointers and things to watch out for…
- Meet your deadlines – this is not school, if someone gets in touch with you about your assignment – answer them. Just let us know how you are getting on with your assignment and if you’re having problems. We’re not slave-drivers.
- Stay within your brief – stay on word count or within image size for the piece you are submitting. There may be space for changes to your brief but these are decided at editorial meetings. We want an issue to chime together, so don’t go off on a solo run. Knifing out superfluous content wastes time and talent.
- Spellcheck – please, please, please give your work a thorough spellcheck prior to submission. Make sure you spellcheck in UK English and not American. Also check for grammar (this may involve ticking the appropriate boxes in your spelling engine).
- Don’t format your article – we don’t need you to add CAPITALISATION or italics for emphasis. We are developing our own house style. You can add notes with guidelines for the copy editors if you think your work will look good represented in a certain way. Anything else is just a pain that we need to edit or format out.
- Use file naming conventions – this should include a shortened title of your submission, underscore, your initials, underscore, the draft number, i.e. interns_SMD_draft#1. We will refuse submissions that are not correctly named.
- Consider the net – if you are submitting an illustration or photograph for use with your article, then submit a version as you would like it used on the site alongside your high-res version.
- Send image files separately – why would you stick an image file in a Word document? That’s a real pet peeve of designers and layout people. It’s a waste of time. Just attach it to the damn email! Pleeeaaaseee!
- Include plain text article in body of email – we do a lot of our work and correspondence while juggling hectic daily lives. It’s handier for us to read your article on the go or while having a number 2 if you do this.
- Use this file name for ALL email correspondence – put the file name into the subject bar of your email. Lobbing it back to your editor by hitting reply to an old mail from last summer with “How’s the hangover?” is really, really going to annoy them when they are actually hungover and trying to dig out your final edit from the thousands of other emails in their account.
- Get file format literate – have a little consideration for standard file formats, they are a convention for a reason. Don’t send someone a massive .PSD file when a PDF or a JPEG will do instead.
- Do suggest headlines – snappy, humorous headlines are worth the time. Ask your friends down the boozer and make a bit of a game of it. The best minds are usually even sharper pissed.
- Do suggest images – we won’t guarantee we’ll use them but keep on the outlook for possible images to accompany your text. Make sure they are creative commons or you have permission, else its a major no-go.
- Don’t go it alone – as a wise old fart once said, creativity and genius doesn’t descend on you like an apparition of the Virgin Mary while staring at the wall or dossing on Crackbook. Share your ideas, look for feedback, discuss your thoughts, fire your half baked whimsies out there and see what the rabble crew can cook up together.
- You will be edited – it could be for grammar or simply because we need to make a piece fit the slot allocated for it. Before publication we’ll have made ample effort to assist you with your piece, but we retain the right to chop and skew it at the last minute if layout demands it. A magazine isn’t about one piece or illustration, it’s how it all works together – so get with the collective and leave your ego at the door.