Contribute your passions
If you are a passionate creator looking to tell your stories and stories that resonate with the Black experience in general, and the Black experience in central Texas specifically – we’d love to hear from you. f you haven’t already, please review our media kit for full details regarding our audience demographics and reach. The success of our publication is due in large part to the quality and originality of our editorial content, and our contributors play a vital role in this endeavor.
We have a number of editorial policies and style guidelines that should help make your assignments for us clear and easy to execute. Please refer to the below Contributor’s Guidelines when working on any assignment for soulciti.
High-quality, professionally researched, well-written original content is the cornerstone of our brand. As such, we require writers to work according to these professional standards:
- All content must be original and written by you. Do not use verbiage or text from press releases, websites or other articles in your writing (except in a direct quote).
- All content should be based on interviews or first-person research. Do not work exclusively off of press releases or web information — you need to interview people for your articles. Exceptions may be made at the editor’s discretion.
- All interviews should be done by phone (or in person if it is a travel assignment). Email interviews are only acceptable when phone interviews cannot be scheduled in a reasonable time. Contact your editor if you have difficulty arranging a live interview with a source.
- Any content you submit to soulciti must not have previously appeared in any other publication or website. One exception would be your personal blog upon approval.
soulciti is read by a diverse audience. In order to serve this broad readership, we strive for an editorial style that is straightforward and easy to read; lighthearted but not frivolous; and professional but not stuffy. The following guidelines help us to strike this balance:
- Most stories should include some quotes from the people you interviewed for the article. Short assignments (in the 500-word range) may have one or two good quotes. Longer assignments (1,000 words) should strategically use quotes throughout the text. If you have a question about how many quotes to use, contact your editor.
- Avoid using first-person voice unless you are writing about something you have personally experienced, in which case first-person narrative is acceptable.
- The second-person voice is acceptable but should be used sparingly. Contact your editor if you have questions.
- Our default style guide is the Associated Press Stylebook. Use AP style unless otherwise stated below. We depart from AP in our treatment of abbreviated material (state names, months, days of the week, etc.). In general, we don’t abbreviate these terms. When in doubt, spell it out.
- Spell out the names of acronyms on the first reference with the acronym in parentheses, i.e. “Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB)”. Acronyms are acceptable in secondary references.
Assignments, Deadlines, and Procedures
Since soulciti is compiled by a small staff, organization and timeliness are crucial. The following standards help keep the operation running smoothly:
- Confirmed assignments will be sent out by the editor approximately two weeks before the copy deadline (one month before the story’s publication date). This deadline may be shorter for breaking news. Even if you have discussed a story with the editor prior to this, please make sure that you have a confirmed assignment in hand before doing any research or writing.
- Your confirmed assignment will include a deadline. Articles are due by 5 p.m. (Central Time) on the deadline day.
- Deadlines are important — they’re not just “suggestions.” Do not miss your deadline. If you are having trouble completing an assignment on time, contact your editor to discuss the situation immediately.
- Once you submit your final article, the editor will read it and will let you know if any changes are required. We reserve the right to ask for one set of revisions for each article; in practice, though, this is not a common occurrence.
- All articles go through at least two layers of editing before they appear online, during which numerous changes may be made. This is a normal part of the publishing process. You may not be notified of changes to your work unless they require your input or clarification.
- Once your article is live on the site, you can send an invoice for the work. Your invoice should be based on the original assigned word count, not the number of words in your final document.
- Your invoice must include a date, a unique invoice number, and a short description of the article (i.e. “OCT0123-INV0001” with the description “Carver Museum article”). Invoices are paid within 30 days of acceptance.
Photography is an important part of our articles and is required for every type of story we do. Gathering photography is part of every assignment that you take for soulciti. This is built into your pay rate for the assignment; there is no additional pay for photography, whether you shoot it yourself or gather it from sources. When working on photography, please refer to the following standards:
- You should request photographs from the people you interview while you have them on the phone. Follow up with them via email if you don’t get the photos within a day or two. We need high-resolution (300 dpi) digital photography. Please ask your sources to send you the original, full-size versions of digital photos if posible.
- Please collect a variety of photographs so that we have some options when designing layouts.
- Please don’t send copyrighted images unless the copyright holder has given permission for the images to be used in our publication.
- When gathering photos, please collect them into a folder labeled with the name of the organization that provided them, as well as any photographer credit specified by the organization.
- If you gather photos from more than one organization, please separate them into folders or otherwise indicate what photos came from what source.
- Once the complete package of photos is ready, send it to your editor using Google Drive or other file-sharing services. Do not email photos, as large files sometimes don’t make it over email networks. Do not ask your sources to email photos directly to the editor.
- In general, photos are due at the same time as copy. If you’re having trouble collecting photos, let your editor know.
- If there are problems with any photos, or if there are important images missing from what you send, your editor may ask you to collect more photos, even after the manuscript has been accepted.
Rights and Reprints
By accepting an assignment, you grant a license of ALL RIGHTS for that content to soulciti. In addition to appearing on the website, the assigned content can also appear on social media or additional print or electronic products created by soulciti, in perpetuity. You will be credited as the writer when applicable.
- No additional payment will be remitted for any other use of your content.
- If you wish to re-use an article you have written for soulciti in another outlet, you must request permission from your editor. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
From time to time, a soulciti assignment will require the writer to travel to visit the destination covered in the article. If your story involves travel, please refer to the following standards:
- Your editor will send a letter of introduction (via email) to the destination or venue that you will be traveling to. Once you have been introduced to your contact there, finalizing travel arrangements will be your responsibility. In certain cases, your editor may play a greater role in arranging your trip.
- We reimburse expenses for meals, parking, tolls, airfare, car rental, hotel stays, and other travel expenses at the editor’s discretion. You should discuss anticipated expenses with your editor before taking a trip.
- You must collect receipts for any reimbursable expenses incurred while traveling, and submit them, along with an expense report, to your editor in order to be reimbursed.
- soulciti will only reimburse travel expenses for trips approved by the editor ahead of time.
- When you travel on assignment for us, you are acting as a representative of soulciti. Please be prompt, professional, courteous and friendly.
- If you ever encounter a question or difficult situation as part of your travel assignment, contact your editor immediately.