What kinds of things can I write?
You can write (almost) whatever you want. Types of contributor submissions typically fall into three categories:
- Opinion or column pieces
- Film, music or theatre reviews
- News stories
How long should it be?
Your submissions should be 400 to 600 words in length. If you want to write something longer than that, be ready to make your point as to why. Do you think it’s a bigger story? Are you planning a bigger feature piece? Either way, it’s a good idea to speak with your editor first.
What should I write about?
Is there a point you want to get across? Are you especially opinionated? Try pitching an opinion piece.
Are you more interested in what’s going on around the university? Come up with a pitch for a news story.
Maybe you’re into the arts – have you thought about writing a film, music or theatre review?
News stories should be written in the journalistic style. That means keeping your own voice and opinion out of the story and relying on others to tell the story for you with quotes and information. Stick to the facts and write it straight – but keep it interesting by looking for compelling stories and things people don’t already know.
Opinion pieces are just that – your opinion (and it should be a strong one). You should back up your opinion with facts and figures and you can even call in supporting arguments to make your case. It’s a little bit more casual than an argumentative essay, but it still needs to pack a punch and rely on facts.
Film, music and theatre reviews allow you to retell an experience you (recently) had at a show around town, in the movie theatre or at a local playhouse (including TRU’s own Black Box Theatre). You’ll want to give your opinion on what you saw, as well as information for anyone else who might want to have the same experience.
What’s in it for me?
Well, if you’re in it for the money you’re going to be disappointed, but we do sometimes distribute honorariums for submitted work. But beyond the financial angle, there’s still a lot to gain. Getting your work published gives you a clipping you can show future employers, and even if your future work doesn’t revolve around writing, you still demonstrated that you were active and involved in your university community.
Conflict of interest
Because we’re doing journalism here, you should disclose any potential conflicts of interest you might have related to the story you’re pitching to us. We follow the ethics guidelines laid out by the Canadian Association of Journalists.
Want to get started? Looking for more information? Email firstname.lastname@example.org