www.whyville.net May 22, 2005 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

The Ultimate Times FAQ

Users' Rating
Rate this article

Hi everyone! Now, I may not be your next Times Editor, TIKE or Giggler01, but I have written my own share of articles for the Times. Because of this, I tend to get a lot of questions about the Times in my Y-mail.

To help us all out, I'll answer or confirm a bunch of those questions for you right now.

How do I get published in the Whyville Times?

There's a simple answer to that and that is to check out the Times Editor's article How to Write for the Times. Once you've done that, get your imagination going! A good idea is to read a few articles and see how everyone else does it. You get to notice little things by doing this, things that the Times Editor doesn't explain anywhere. For instance, nearly everyone at the end of an article writes something like "Cobd, logging out" or "Bigfoot.... *click*". (Editor's Note: Actually, all those "signing out" phrases are something our writers like to do on their own -- it's definitely not required. ;-) Or you might notice that, unlike most printed newspapers, you don't have indented paragraphs here in the Times. The paragraphs are in seperate blocks of text. Look around -- you'll see that's how most online newspapers do it.

HELP! What do I write?

This is another circumstance where I suggest that you go and look at other articles.* See what everyone else is writing -- maybe you have a different opinion on it? Or think about events that are happening in your daily life that you think might be interesting for other people to hear. ** What's in the news that affects us all? Another thing I'd suggest is going to a Whyville event and reporting on that.

Doing an article with pictures is a great move for first time writers, too. Keep reading to find out how to take pictures or just search for "photo" or "screenshot" in the Times. None of this appeal to you? Write a poem, a story, a joke! Entertaining pieces about Whyville tend to have a better chance of getting in than those about real-life celebs, for whatever reason.

* You should NEVER, I repeat, NEVER copy someone else's article, whether in Whyville or anywhere else.
** You should also never give out any details that may give hints about who you are in real life (where you live, etc.)

GRRR! I've submitted loads of articles but none have got in. What should I do?

I usually have two questions to answer this question. The first is, "How many is loads?" and the second is,"How long ago?"

Just because the Editor didn't put your article in that week's issue of the Times doesn't mean he's forgotten about it. I think that with the good ones he doesn't publish right away, he just puts them in a little pile saying "For a later issue." My second published article, Whyville Across the Atlantic, was submitted on July 5 and came into print on the 14th of November.

It is also not the number of articles you send in which get you a position in the Times. I have sent in a *cough* numerous articles, shall we say. (Editor's Note: Hm, yeah, you might say that....) Not many of those have come into print. Trust me, I've sent in a lot.

A lesson I've learned is that you should NOT send in loads and loads to get one thing published. This is why the "only two articles per week" has been installed, because the Editor cannot publish entire issues of one author. (Well, except for the one issue that featured Giggler01 and the other that featured TIKE....)

There is only one exception on how quickly your article will get published, and that is if you are doing a report. There are people who have got articles printed literally hours after they wrote them, due to the fact that they were reporting on Meet the Makers or the Senate Debate. This stuff was news, and the Editor loves to keep us up-to-date on the news!

How do I make a picture article?

I'd better give you the simple version. If you're still unsure, you should look it up in previous articles. Firstly, go to the location where you want to take a picture. Depending on which sort of PC you use, press the button diagonal to your backspace button -- it's usually called Print Screen. (On a Mac, there are different ways -- some have a program that helps you, others you have to use some sort of Open Apple combination. Look it up. :-)

You won't automatically know whether this has worked or not, so open a new document in Paint or a Photoshop-like program and press the Paste button. If you don't see anything appear, go back to the same location and press Alt + Print Screen. When you have pasted your picture in to Paint, find the button at the very top left of the screen, which lets you select a certain area of your pasted image. It usually shows a rectangle with a dashed outline.

Select the area in the picture that you want to use and select Copy (either Ctrl-C or in your Edit menu). After you have done this, press "Undo" until the document is blank (white) again. Then press Paste (Ctrl-V or in your Edit menu again).

After you have done this, press "Save", making sure you save the file as a GIF or a JPG. Now you can mail it as an attachment (AOL users, be careful to make sure it attaches), or upload it onto the internet by signing up to an image server such as PhotoBucket. If you use an image server, there should be a link to the picture. Use this link and do something like this with your link in the gaps: <IMG SRC = "LINK"> There, pictures!

Oh, and be sure that each image isn't bigger than 50K.

I can't find the article I'm looking for concerning (x) subject. What should I do?

Try searching the Times. You could go to the purple box at the very top left corner of the front page and type in the word your looking for. Or click on "Advanced Search" and follow the instructions there. It should be quite simple: Use the first box if you know the title of your article or part of the title. Use the second box if you want to look for a specific author. And try the third box if you want to find an article that uses a certain word -- that will get you a lot of different results, though, so be careful. If you know what sort of subject you're looking for but don't know what to look for, check the drop down menu just underneath the boxes.

Or you can use several of those at a time! I was trying to look for the most up-to-date version of "How to Write for the Times," so I searched for "Times" in Titles containing and "Times Editor" in Articles written by. Finally, if you get a Y-mail suggesting an article you should read, go to the purple box on the front page and type the number you're given in the box marked "Article ID".

I want to comment on an article, What do I do?

What most of us do is go to the bulletin boards (BBS). There should be a link at the bottom of each article. See what other people have to say and make comments yourself. The BBS have been the site of raging debates in the past, so watch out. Make sure you stay on-topic and assume all Whyville rules when in there. Make sure to be polite as well! Don't forget that not all writers read their BBS, so if you want a more direct comment, you should Y-mail them.

Are the Times Editor and City Worker Bigfoot the same person?

Not as far as we know, and they have given us our word that they're not. The Times Editor is the person who... well, he edits the Times! He also (most of the time) includes an "editorial" article every week telling us What's New in Whyville. He's a cool guy in my opinion, and when he leaves a comment it will always be good. He'll even put some cool SATs words in your articles to make you look smart. :-P Don't kill him if he makes a mistake, we need him!

City Worker Bigfoot has written a lot for the Times, and he helps the Times Editor. You will usually see him commenting in the BBSs on a point that needs clarifying.

They do seem like the same person, and they are the same age (27), but, as far as we know, they're two separate people.

(Editor's Note: Hm. But have you ever seen us in the same place at once? Ah-ha! ;-)

Uh-oh! The Times hasn't come out. What's happening?

This signals two things. Either, it's a bit late coming out, in which case you should check back on Monday. Or it's going to be a double issue, which takes a little more time to be produced. A double issue is a chance to give the Times Editor a break. You will know if it's a double issue because firstly, there are at least double the number of articles... and secondly, a double issue is often printed on the first week of the month.

If you can't open the Times, you'll usually find you're not able to get into Y-mail or the Solstice BBSs linked up with that. This is because the d server is down. All I suggest is patience for this one.

What are the answers to the crossword?

Unfortunately, I can't give you the answers to the crossword. Try looking around that weeks issue of the Times. Every answer is hidden SOMEWHERE in the issue, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled. (Though every once in a while a question is just asking for general Whyville knowledge... you might use the Times search tool or Google for that, if you don't know the answer.)

The first 10 people to get the whole crossword correct win 100 clams, and everyone else after that wins 30 clams. (That's a better way to say 20-40 clams, don't you think, Ed.?) If you get a few letters wrong, make sure to check all your answers to see if you have spelt something wrong.

One of my articles listed me as an Unknown Author. Whaaa?

Obviously you didn't put your name in the email you sent to the Times Editor. It probably won't be changed, but you can email the Editor and hope, and you should definitely learn from your mistakes. :-D

Did you know that "unknown author" is the second-most published author after the Times Editor?

The Times Editor got something terribly wrong about something. What should I do?

Try emailing him at Times at Whyville.net. He might not respond if it's something simple like a spelling mistake (though that's important, too), but if something's DISASTROUSLY wrong, like if somebody says they interviewed you but didn't, or got some facts wrong in their story, then email him until he fixes it. I'd give an example, but I don't want to embarass him.

And last but not least... (well, maybe least *winks*)... the bane of all Y-mails:

Can I have some clams?

We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I hope your questions have been answered. If you have any more, don't hesistate to ask!



Did you like this article?
1 Star = Bleh.5 Stars = Props!
Rate it!
Ymail this article to a friend.
Discuss this article in the Forums.

  Back to front page