REQUIRED READING FOR ALL
POTENTIAL AND CURRENT CITYZEN CONTRIBUTORS
Welcome to Cityzen.tv Culture + Industry. The following
professional and stylistic guidelines have been provided to you,
the Cityzen.tv contributors, in an effort to cut down on editing
time and provide Cityzen with a cohesive stylistic voice. Before
putting your idea to paper and submitting it for our consideration,
please take a few minutes to read through this package. We also
encourage you to look at examples of recent work in the archives
that match your intended submission. We are in a period of fairly
rapid change, and the better you understand who and what we are,
the better chance your great piece has of reaching publication!
ENTERTAINMENT- AN OVERVIEW:
Cityzen is more than a management company, more than an online magazine,
more than a marketing and promotions firm, more than a booking entity.
The Cityzen ideal embodies a holistic, educated and experiential
lifestyle balancing the needs of the artistic self with the realities
of the industrial and technological world. We view the entertainment
industry from an independent, communal perspective. Our partners,
clients and friends are treated like family, and we are all in this
The cutthroat, disingenuous, manipulative entertainment
industry is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Replacing the
structure of corporate monopolies and tax write-off record contracts
is a consumer market spurned by an independent media. We here at
Cityzen believe that as leaders of the new media revolution, it
is our duty to treat everyone with respect and dignity and to constantly
account for the human side of business. It is our goal to highlight
and support the best new talent that we can find and to offer opportunities
for exposure not commonly available to young artists and creators.
FREELANCING FOR CITYZEN.TV:
We want to expand our coverage of new artists who might be of interest
to our readers, so we are always looking for ideas. We also deal
with cultural and lifestyle issues of concern to our audience. Remember,
Cityzen is not just album reviews and live music reports. We cover
an extensive range of topics from sex politics. Find your niche
and keep those articles coming.
We are happy to welcome new contributors. If you have
story ideas to pitch us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we accept your submission we may; publish your work on a freelance
basis, invite continued submissions on a freelance basis, or offer
you the position and benefits of a staff writer.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
Behind-the-scenes stories: straight-ahead interviews and live show
reviews are fantastic, but we'd like to see more intimate stories
about the people who work out of sight—and the places in which
they work. In addition to running features and interviews, Cityzen
publishes regular columns.
a query prior to starting any work.
• DON'T simultaneously
submit the same material to another publication. We allow
all of our writers the privilege to reprint their work, but
full payment is made only on first published work. If you
are syndicated or have other issues with this policy, please
contact email@example.com to discuss.
worry if we do not respond quickly. We have limited staff
and unlimited responsibility. We will contact you regarding
your query as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.
This Writer's Guide will help contributors understand our format,
punctuation, and spelling consistencies. We urge you to adhere to
these guidelines as they apply to ALL material that is submitted
to Cityzen.tv Culture + Industry. You, as a writer, are an artist.
We don't want to change your voice. Please use this guide to insure
that changes to your work will be minimal once it reaches us.
Style: Develop a voice. Don't be afraid to
have an opinion, but be sure you make it clear that it is your own
opinion. Speaking in your own unique, authoritative voice will connect
you strongly with readers and convey your information more effectively.
Checking: If you have any uncertainty as
to the accuracy of certain facts (names, dates, etc…) in your
piece, please note this at the beginning of your submission. Please
write either, “After a thorough and exhausting search, I was
unable to find out the correct names/spellings of the following:”
OR “I was too lazy to do a simple Google search. Would you
please do it for me?” Do not write the former if the latter
is true; we would rather you be lazy than dishonest.
If it is an isolated fact that would be hard to prove,
avoid using it at all. If an interviewee makes some outrageous statements
in an interview, please supply us with a dubbed copy of the tape
from which you transcribed your interview. This will protect us,
and we can, in turn, stand by you in the event of any future problems.
NEVER DO AN INTERVIEW WITHOUT A TAPE RECORDER...
Prior to submission, ALWAYS read your piece out loud,
with full intonation; your ears will pick up the errors your eyes
IN A STYLE BOOK OR WRITERS GUIDE; WE RECOMMEND:
On Writing Well
by William Zinsser
List Price: $14.00
and witty work on writing words well
||The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage
List Price: $15.95
go wrong here
||The Elements of Style
by William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White
classic and invaluable resource; small enough to stick in your
from your editors, with love
Any smart person would figure, “Hey, if I get paid per word,
then the more words I stick into my article, the bigger my paycheck!”
And since you are all fantastically brilliant, you will have the
urge to stick in all of the flowery and superfluous GRE words you
can remember. And since we are editors, we will pluck them right
back out because they are simply not necessary. Words must have
a function! “A sentence should have no unnecessary words for
the same reason that a machine should have no unnecessary parts.”
(Strunk & White, 23.) Be concise and succinct and remember that
you will only be paid for every necessary, telling, functional word
in each article.
The verb is the most powerful and important part of a sentence.
Pick interesting and varied words to describe actions. Try going
back over what you have written and replacing all forms of the verb
“to be” with something else. Of course you will not
be able to replace all forms of “to be,” but by trying,
you will give the reader a less monotonous and more dynamic experience.
One type of narrative should be used throughout entire piece. “I”
– first person singular, “You” – second
person singular. We commonly use “I” and “you”
interchangeably. This should be avoided. Either find a different
way to say it, or, if necessary, substitute with impersonal construction
– the pronoun “one.”
But be careful – overusing the impersonal construct
causes the writer to seem pretentious. Sometimes it is necessary
to use “you” when speaking to the readers. But try to
avoid this as much as possible. Read a few New York Times reviews
to find possible rephrasing techniques.
DO NOT use “really,” “pretty,” “a
little bit,” or “kind of” EVER!!!
Avoid using “very,” or “somewhat,” or other
Quote marks are used to indicate song titles, chapters in a book,
article titles and conversation. Punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation
Italics are used as album titles, names of television shows, book
and magazine titles, etc. The punctuation at the end of the italicized
item should be in regular type, unless part of the phrase.
Write out any number ten and under. For any number above ten, use
numerals, but write out a number that begins a sentence. Try not
to begin a sentence with a number.
Do not write them out. Correct punctuation is 1980s. Not 1980's.
Only write out the full decade the first time you mention it in
an article. After that, it's ‘80s. The exception is when the
decade is at the start of a sentence, in which case it should be
The word “percent” is always spelled out, not given
In a sentence, don't abbreviate the name of a state unless you are
giving an address. Use postal abbreviations (NY, NJ, OH, IA, etc.)
only with the whole ZIP number. Otherwise, write the entire name
of the state out in full.
Try to write out the complete, accurate title of a song. In an article,
a song title may be abbreviated after it's been written out in full.
It is common usage to credit a songwriter rather than a given performer
when referring to a song.
& Drugs & Rock ‘n' Roll:
Try to avoid using vulgar language, either in your writing or in
quotations from the subjects of your articles. True, it's the way
people talk in our society, but the way we talk is not the way we
should write. We have the task of trying to cover the entertainment
scene and be responsive to its members, while also trying to appeal
to a more general audience. Use discretion.
Cityzen is primarily concerned with music, art and
culture. Though we tread the nightlife waters, where anything can
and quite often does happen, we understand the dangers of playing
on the slippery slope that lies between public and private information.
Authors should avoid discussing their states of inebriation/stonedness
in relation to their piece. If mentioning an alleged drug problem
of a subject, make sure that it is relevant and provable before
you mention it. Responsible journalism begins with respect.