www.whyville.net Nov 20, 2011 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

How to Successfully Get Into the Times

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Possibly you'd tried to become a writer for the Whyville Times, but didn't know how to, or even know what the requirements were to become one. Maybe you didn't know whether to send in a document or just plain old e-mail. Maybe you didn't know what the topic line for the e-mail was supposed to be. Maybe you read the directions to submit the articles millions of times, and yet, you didn't get it. Well, I've decided to write this article explaining deeply on how to get in, with all the information gathered from numerous articles and guidelines written by the Times Editor and various BBS posts to become a single, squished editorial of instructions on how to get into the Times -- my interpretation.

Since this a more technical guide, I'll skip the part on making ideas with your imagination and creativity -- I'll assume you already have your article written and memorized in your head, or at least a vague outline on what it's supposed to be. So to get started, you need the heading for your e-mail, aka, your submission.

In the subject line, make sure you put down the type of article it is. There are many sections: Interview, Help, Creative Writing, Science, Events, Fashion, People, Why History, Media, Hot Topics, and Entertainment. Those are the main sections for the Times -- choose the one you think best fits your entry. You also need to type down your username. You have to use one main account for writing, so if you have more than one Whyvillian, pick the one that you probably think is the best. And lastly, there's the title. Try to create a distinctive one that's bound to get noticed; the more interesting it is, the more people it'll possibly attract. The order you put this all in is like this:

[section your article's in]: [username], [title of your entry]

An example would look like this:

help: karen8899, How To Successfully Get Into The Times

And in case you're wondering, don't attach a document -- write a plain, old e-mail. But if you want pictures, go ahead and attach them, but make sure they're .jpg or .gif so that way the Editor will have an easier time. Be sure to insert where you want your pictures to be between the writing in numerical order.

Now that you know how the subject line looks, I'll talk to you about formatting. First, include the title of your article for your first line. On the next line put: by [username]. If it's a poem or creative writing piece, you don't have to write a sentence explaining your article. For sections other than creative writing and poetry, go another line down and write a sentence basically summing up what your editorial is about. After that, you can start writing your article. Skip lines after each paragraph you type and don't indent -- like how you see it in the Times. In interviews, make sure to format it so it looks like the interviews in the Times -- when you address the speaker, make it bold; when it's their answer, make sure to connect it to the username with a colon, and then type their answer in regular text. And following that, make sure to double check it for mistakes (good grammar and quality increases your chance of getting in) before sending it in to times@whyville.com.

Since that part is done, I'll explain the requirements for becoming a Times Writer, and so on. If you noticed, all writers start out as a Guest Writer, or Guest Poet, depending on what section you submitted your article(s) in. To be able to achieve being a Times Writer, you'll have to publish at least twenty articles in at least five different sections -- series count as one whole article. There are also Senior Times Writers and Veteran Times Writers. Seniors have to have fifty articles in at least eight different sections, and Veterans have to have one hundred articles in all the main categories. For poets, there are Whyville Poets, Senior Poets, and Veteran Poets. Whyville Poets have to have ten poems published, Senior Poets have to have fifty, and Veteran Poets have to have one hundred -- similar to the writers. There are also Comic Writers, who have different standards: a Comic Writer has to have three comics published (again, a series count as one), a Senior has to have ten published, and Veterans have to have twenty-five.

There are probably many unanswered questions out there in the world, but that's all I have today. I hope I've responded to most of your technical issues and guideline inquiries.

Hungry for some cookies (not myself) . . .

Author's Notes: Resources for my information were "How to Become a Times Writer" (Article ID 11000) and "New Submission Rules" (Article ID 4166), and my own experience.


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