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Contributor's guidelines

Read these guidelines before making your submission


What do you want?

How do I know if you want it?

Do I have to be a professional writer or artist?

Do I have to be from Brisbane?

How much do you want?

Where will my work appear?

Where do I send contributions?

What about graphics?

Will my work be changed?

Can I use a pseudonym (alias)?

Will you accept handwritten contributions?

What else should I include?

Do I retain the rights?

Will I be paid?

Tips on writing for the web

Legal stuff

What sort of material do you want?

Anything fresh, innovative, exciting, thought provoking, funny, sad or otherwise interesting, whether informative, educational or entertaining.

We will consider for publication any work of fiction, non-fiction or art which broadens understanding of our lives and each other.

We will not publish any material promoting hatred or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race, gender, age, religion, class or physical or mental ability.

Interaction is the key to community so we particularly welcome original material that stimulates spirited debate, dialogue and discussion in our chat rooms, for instance:

Reviews, reactions, views, personal experience pieces, humour, comics, cartoons, drawings, short stories, songs, yarns, interviews, poetry, feature articles, biographies, news, coming events, critical analysis, profiles, travel stories, off-beat stuff, quirky snippets, motivational bits, how-to articles, video clips, sound bytes, animations, game demos or other interactive bits and pieces.


How do I know if you want my contribution?

Email a query (a short summary of the piece you'd like to submit) and a one-paragraph biography (including your qualifications/motivations) to director@brizcomm.com.au.

If our editors like your style and subject matter, we'll give you the go-ahead.


Do I have to be a professional writer or artist?

No, but it helps the editors if you're semi-literate.

Diversity in background, subject matter and writing styles only enriches the site.

Many of our writers are amateurs and have not previously contributed to a magazine.

We do not bias acceptance of material on how many times you have been published.

If it's good, you have a good chance of being accepted.


Do I have to be from Brisbane?

No. Laid-back Brisbane merely provides a non-threatening, scenic backdrop for our global community meeting place.


How much should I write?

Less than 50% of what you'd write for print.

Count the words on a typical brizcomm layout to gain a feel for web length.

The first paragraph of your article should be basically a summary or introduction to the piece, with the work continuing on the subsequent four pages (maximum).

Anything over that and you'll probably lose your readers anyway.

If you think your readers will return for another installment of an extra-long piece, you can divide the article into two.

If it's really good, we'll serialise it as a regular fixture.


Where will my work appear on brizcomm?

Contributions will be published under appropriate categories with a short author bio where relevant.

Articles may be archived when new content is published, allowing you to refer readers back to previous works through hyperlinks.


Where do I send contributions?

Email submissions to director@brizcomm.com.au in the body of your message (just copy and paste the text).

If you have to send your work as an attachment, first save it as plain text or in rich text format.

Send each submission as a separate email and include your one-paragraph biography with each message.


What about graphics?

Send graphics in JPEG or TIF format (EPS for logos) to director@brizcomm.com.au or in hard-copy format by snail mail to PO Box 2026, Bardon 4065 (along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return).


Will my work be changed?

Submissions will be edited for punctuation, grammar, coherency and potential legal problems.

Before sending in your work, please proofread and Spellcheck (we abide by Australian spelling conventions in accordance with the Macquarie Concise Dictionary).

Contributions may be cut slightly to fit layouts but we'll return it to you for any major slashing or other radical changes.


Can I use a pseudonym?

Of course, but please state clearly which name you wish us to use as your byline.

If you don't supply an alias, we'll assume you want us to publish under your real name.


Will you accept handwritten submissions?

Only if absolutely necessary. We'd much prefer you typed it, double spaced, and sent it by email or on floppy disk.


What else should I include with my submission?

Don't forget to include your name (or pseudonym), e-mail address, personal web page address (if appropriate), contact details, a one-paragraph biography, the word count and any graphics (photos, cartoons, drawings etc). If you'd like to include a photograph of yourself, fine.


Do I retain the rights to my work?

brizcomm reserves first electronic publishing rights with the right to archive the material indefinitely in any electronic medium. Fourteen days after publication, copyright returns to you (see Legal stuff for further details).


Will I be paid?

brizcomm does not pay readers for contributions. Your words will be published under your byline, or a pseudonym if you prefer, which will link to your email address.



How does writing for the web differ from writing for print media?

For a start, web users don't read, they scan (or skim), picking out keywords, sentences and paragraphs of interest while skipping over the rest.

Usability studies have also found that people read from computer screens between 25 and 40% slower than from paper.

Don't expect web users to read long continuous blocks of text. They will scroll to about four screens of text before becoming frustrated and losing the plot.

Another difference between the web and traditional print media is that online writing is non-linear, allowing readers to link forward to other passages or back to archived articles.

Where possible, break long passages into chunks and provide a brief table of contents (as hyperlinks) at the start so readers can download only those pages they want to read.

Try to keep each "chunk" or page to less than 1.5 screens of text.


How should I structure my non-fiction article for the web?

Journalists have long relied on the "upside-down" pyramid to capture the busy reader's attention in the first sentence and the format suits impatient web surfers.

If you hook your readers from the start, they will continue reading for supporting and background information.

Unlike print journalism, on the web you can link between sections of an article, allowing the reader to jump to archived articles.

Each page is built as an inverted pyramid but the entire article seems more like a series of pyramids.

This is a new writing style. We're all pioneers. If you know a better way, go for it.


What about fiction?

Your style is your trademark so show it off. Write as you like, but remember to keep the length to less than 50% of an equivalent piece in print.


What other techniques can I use to help make my copy scannable?

  • be succinct (donít use a long word if you can find a shorter one)

  • be direct (ie donít waffle, get to the point)

  • limit each paragraph to one sentence and one idea (users will skip the rest if not enthralled by the first few words in the par)

  • keep it simple and use informal, conversational, down-to-earth language

  • carefully organise your information with easily understood words and meaningful sub-headings - web readers want to search and find, not wait

  • use active rather than passive voice (ie "the cat ate the rat", not, "the rat was eaten by the cat")

  • highlight keywords (eg through hypertext links to other pages/articles, bold text, large pullout quotes, graphics, tables of contents)

  • ensure your hyperlinks clearly tell the reader where they can go and why they'd want to

  • use bulleted lists where options number more than three

  • provide captions with every picture (and the photographer's/artistís name)

  • check your facts (especially names, addresses and phone numbers) and update them regularly

  • keep it clean, avoid defamation and accept responsibility for your own words (in other words, don't say anything you wouldn't like someone to say about you)

  • encourage reader feedback and community interaction - it's the interactive medium, after all.




brizcomm reserves first electronic publishing rights with the right to archive the material indefinitely in any electronic medium (no financial compensation may be sought for possible future reproduction of work in this manner by brizcomm). Copyright of all material reverts to the author or artist 14 days after publication. All contributors indemnify brizcomm against any possible lawsuit and agree to provide solely original material that does not infringe on the rights of a third party. Previously published material will be printed only if clearly not subject to copyright restrictions. Please tell us if your article has already been sent to another magazine, print or online.


Opinions expressed in this web site are those of the individual authors or interview subjects, not necessarily those of brizcomm, its editors, staff or service that supplies web space for, or access to, brizcomm.


As the publisher, brizcomm reserves the right to decline or remove any submission from the web site without prior notification, discussion or debate.


The publisher does not accept any responsibility for material sent which may be lost or stolen and cannot cover freight, postage or handling of material sent.


Contributors acknowledge that an independent publication needs to raise capital in any way or manner that the business sees fit to survive. Editorial and advertising, however, will remain clearly separated at all times. Non-newsworthy, blatantly promotional submissions with the sole intent of "plugging" a commercial service or product will not be published within editorial space (but you're welcome to take out advertising space).

© 2000 brizcomm pty ltd


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