Submission Guidelines

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Please read these guidelines below before submitting content for Challenging the Rhetoric.

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CTR Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in writing for CTR. We are always looking for talented new writers to join our growing family and we credit our writer’s work with an honest “byline”.

We are not looking for “filler” and “content” like many websites meant to mislead in order to sell products. CTR is focused on credible relevant news now.

Our writers are expected to create quality articles on varying topics of their choice that are a fit for our mission here at CTR. Articles should always be factual, helpful, even controversial, but never boring or falsified. All submissions must be accompanied with sources and properly credited when appropriate. Submissions that include original or properly released graphics/images will get first look.

Please thoroughly review these submission guidelines before submitting your work.

Initial contact with a writer we are interested is typically within four (4) weeks of their submission to us. There may be times however, depending on the volume of submissions we receive, that it may take up-to eight (8) weeks before you back.

Please do not contact us asking for updates on your stories. We deal with high volume and will only contact you if we are interested or there is something more we need. As a courtesy you will be told an approximate publishing date that will be followed up with a notification of publishing. If you are on assignment this does not apply to you. In your case we should be in regular communication.

What We Accept…

CTR accepts solicited and unsolicited submissions. We will consider unsolicited manuscripts that meet our guidelines however; ideas that were pitched/queried to us or those that are assigned will be first in line for consideration and publication.

Articles must be a minimum of 300 words and up to a maximum of 3000 words when negotiated.

Longer submissions will only be considered if we have pre-approved your pitch idea and have agreed to a higher word count in advance. CTR reserves all editing rights and the right to break articles into series parts.

CTR will consider “Column” pitches via a well-written proposal. The proposal should include your idea, “Column” title and your plan to execute it; including what your first three (3) submissions would entail and how you would promote it.

At times, CTR will assign articles to those writers who have built an ongoing relationship with us by following our content and formatting rules — and abides by our deadlines, while still providing quality manuscripts.

At no time is an accepted “pitch” or “query” an offer or promise of payment from CTR. At this time all submissions are on a voluntary non-paid basis. Submissions are always on “spec”, i.e. we will review your work and either; accept it, request an edit, or decline it.

  • CTR is not responsible for returning unsolicited articles, manuscripts, artwork or photography. Electronic submissions are preferable.
  • If CTR decides to publish your it will only be after any requested edits have been satisfactorily made.
  • If CTR requests an edit, it is the sole responsibility of the writer to edit the piece according to the request and re-submit by any deadline given or forfeit their opportunity to be published.

News is timely and current events are only current right now. Keep this in mind when submitting to CTR.

Copyright

CTR retains first rights for original, previously unpublished work. You are free to submit and use your work elsewhere after 120 days of your publishing date with CTR.

If you would like to submit an original previously published article — that you legally own the rights to, CTR will consider re-publishing your piece if it is still – or becomes again, news worthy Also, pre-published work must have been previously published no less than ninety (90) days from the date of your submission to us.

What We Are Looking For…

All content should be balanced, informative, lively, timely, concise and easy to read for any audience. There is no single demographic that is being catered to. Our readers are varying ages, both male and female and come from all walks of life.

We are primarily looking for non-fiction submissions, i.e. news and lifestyle articles relevant to today’s news and current events in addition to interviews with prominent or important newsmakers.  This would include articles covering:

  • Legislation
  • Social Justice & Civil Rights
  • Military & Law Enforcement
  • Health
  • Business & Finance
  • Environmental
  • Q & A style interviews…and so on

All submissions must be “web ready”, i.e. includes relevant key words/phrases for SEO and adhere to the formatting guidelines outlined here.

CTR will also consider relevant, on-topic, original photography and/or artwork. See file type/size information before submitting.

We do not accept submissions of fiction.

Our Golden Rules Of Content…

A Good Submission Is:

  • We like “news pegs”
  • Dynamic
  • Interesting
  • Valuable
  • Proposes points supported by valid examples
  • Contains appropriate key words/phrases (including in your title) for SEO
  • Has a minimum of two (2) outside “authority links” or co-citation; preferably from an .edu or .gov site.
  • Can link to another relevant article on our site
  • Professionally presented without errors
  • Visually easy to skim and read by breaking up sections with headers, fonts, and images
  • Includes images and/or other graphics
  • Engaging and “share” worthy

Good content ALWAYS cites credible sources and brings something new to the table; even if it is just a new angle to an old topic. Keep it relevant, not random. Make it catchy, not kitschy.

Images/graphics should be complimentary to your article in both tone and quality and ALWAYS give a proper “credit”. Images MUST be free of any copyright infringement. Unauthorized use of copyright images/graphics is illegal and ALWAYS unacceptable.

A Bad Submission Is:

  • Boring
  • Has no beginning, middle and/or end
  • Makes no point
  • Has no valid or credible sources
  • Has no appropriate key words/phrases (including in your title) for SEO
  • Has no outside “authority” links or co-citation
  • Full of typos and grammatical errors or is contextually wrong
  • Does not include images and/or other graphics to anchor their text
  • A wall of overwhelming text
  • Does not encourage engagement or sharing

Bad content ALWAYS turns the reader off and away from the page/website or puts them to sleep; it does not garner loyal readership or deeper click through.

Please see our “Writer’s Resources” page for help with research tools, proper link usage and determining what and how to use relevant and appropriate key words and phrases appropriately.

Formatting For Success (Yours and Ours)…

Writing for online publications is different than writing a book with chapters. Readers these days do a lot of skimming. In order to garner more reading and deeper site click-through we specifically ask that you adhere to our format.

When writing for CTR, think of magazine articles and how they look on a page. Each piece has sections, headers, sub-headers, bullet points, images and more.

These are the attributes to a well-formatted article; these are the makings of an easy on the eyes and enjoyable read.

NOTE: These “Submission Guidelines” were written with our format in mind in order to present you with an example of the formatting we expect if you want your manuscript to be considered. The only thing missing in this example is the inclusion of graphics/images.

If we receive a piece that comes to us with a title and nothing but a wall of text or those that have no complimentary graphics/images, we will not review it; this means we will never know how wonderful your article may have been.

Wouldn’t you rather do it right?

How-to Submit To CTR…

At this time, CTR only accepts electronic e-mailsubmissions that have your work attached in a Word file.

  • Do not fax or postal mail manuscripts
  • Do not copy and paste manuscript into the body of an email

Please only submit polished, professional manuscripts that are free of typos and grammatical errors. Although CTR reserves the right to edit your manuscript for style, length and substance — including your article’s title, our editors do not work for you.

CTR will not accept manuscripts that promote a product; whether by way of content or by way of affiliate links embedded in the manuscript unless it has been pre-approved by us. If you are looking for advertising opportunities, check here.

ALL submissions that catch our interest will be run through Copyscape to check for plagiarism. Any writer caught submitting plagiarized content will forfeit any further relationship with CTR and could face legal action by the contents owner.

When e-mailing your submission, please fill out the e-mail’s “subject” line as follows…

“ARTICLE TITLE — WORD COUNT — FIRST INITIAL AND LAST NAME”

*If your piece is genuinely time sensitive, please note that in the subject line by adding “TIMELY” before your title. If we receive submissions that say, “timely” and they are not timely, we will decline further submissions — without review, from those writers who abuse this.

The body of your e-mail is your cover letter. Describe your article and any research you will do or have done for it. Please include any writing credits and any relevant writing and/or real-life experience you have related to your topic. Be sure to let us know if you are an “expert” on your topic and provide accurate credentials as such.

Do NOT forget to include your real name and a valid phone number with your submission. This is the writer’s responsibility. CTR is NOT responsible for submissions that do not provide this information.

Acknowledgement Of Guidelines…

By submitting your work to CTR, you acknowledge you have read and agree to these guidelines.

Thanks again for your interest in working with us. We look forward to your submission!

*If you were looking for our “Go Fund Me” account to make a financial contribution to keep us on the air we would be very grateful for the help. Any amount is appreciated. The link to our funding page is HERE.

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