Saturday, August 15, 2009

Submission Guidelines

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note that at no time will more than one review be posted in a given day. Each reviewer / ee deserves one full day as the headlining item. Supposing we get to the point where more than one submission is being sent in per day, it's even possible that a backlog of submissions from which to pick and choose could play a role in keeping quality high (and keeping overall quality high reflects well on every posted reviewer/ee!). All submissions are very much gratefully appreciated!

Please include the review text in the body of your e-mail, rather than as an attachment. My home Mac doesn't have MS Office. I can process word docs from work, but I'd rather limit the time I spend working on a blog from work. I try not to mix business with getting fired.

Apart from bold, italics, and underlining, HTML markups will not be enabled in posted reviews (this includes links within the review text). Try to let your prose speak for itself. You want to strike a journalistic tone.

Submission: You must e-mail your submission to, and for best results you should send from an e-mail address that is the same e-mail address enabled in your profile. I have to be able to verify that the person sending the review is the same person running the blog. This isn't ReviewSomeoneElse'sBlog. There may be other complicated ways for me to do that (example: I had one submitter post a secret phrase in their next day's blog post) but simplest is always going to get the best results.

Only submissions sent via e-mail can be considered. Do not use the comment function to submit.

Any submission sent to will be considered for posting, but not every submission will be selected for posting. If your submission is accepted for posting, then you will be notified via e-mail reply that your submission has been accepted, and telling you what day it will post. If your submission has not yet been selected to post, you may not receive an e-mail explaining why - my apologies for the inconvenience. There may be a lag between your submission and a determination being made, depending on the volume of submissions coming in.

EDITING: I am a "hands off" editor by default. I will either approve the submission as-is and publish it unedited, or it won't be posted. However, for those of you open to editorial input, see the "SUGGESTIONS WELCOME" post for details.

Tips On Tone: Above all, make it classy. It's a review. You're not just tooting your own horn indiscriminately. Try to sound a bit unbiased. A bit critically-detached, in your assessment. I'm not just going to post some self-laudatory trash on here (if that's what you're after, you are invited to review your own blog on your own blog to your heart's content). And again, it is to be a review. Not a product sample. Don't send some meta-referential example of your amazing style and tone of humor that you like to strike on your blog. You are not sending some post from your blog. You are engaging in journalism, in criticism - if this is a different style of literature for you, then please be serious and respectful about it and bone up on tone and what's expected. You are to be reviewing your usual shtick, not simply flaunting it. Take a step back and make an attempt to objectively evaluate your blog as a whole. Sure, subtly tout the aspects that you feel are outstanding even under your most dispassionate scrutiny! But don't turn a blind eye to flaws. Pick out a few - it will make the rest of what you say believable and compelling. You want to give the whole picture. Describe the overall tone, the various strengths and weaknesses. You may note any recurring features or standout characteristics that you feel make the blog worth recommending - or at a minimum, worth criticizing. Sum up what's been accomplished so far, and maybe even speculate on what we might expect from the future from this person.

(that's you)

One tip to sound unbiased: try using the third person. Say things like, "the author's..." or "his use of..." or, if apropos, "her use of..." That's not mandatory! Use of the third person is not mandatory. If you submit a review referring to the blog author in the first person it will still be considered, it's just that you're kind of digging yourself a hole there, in terms of appearing to be unbiased. Eh?

If Your Submission Is Posted: You (as the blog author slash blog reviewer) will be cited by name and blog URL as a contributing author at the head of the posted review. Your review will follow, pasted in its entirety, and unless you opted-in, unedited.

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