I decided to "Go" for it and try the Guitar Center Singer Songwriter contest! Visit my page here to vote (page views=votes). Here is one of my entries!
Sorry for skipping a week, but here's a little cover of a song I like by Mat Kearney. Hope you like it! I decided to talk a bunch at the end for some reason...so feel free to stop watching before that happens.
For this discussion, I looked into some online publications that I might want to write for.
The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society
http://rpdsociety.com/ (Links to an external site.)
This is a "workshop-based" literary publication that presents new ideas and challenges readers to question commonly accepted ideas. Their slogan is “not for the faint of heart”. They like to publish works that have "out of the ordinary" styles, present readers with questions or debate, and basically "break mainstream rules within their genre".
http://www.self-titledmag.com/ (Links to an external site.)
This is a music magazine that “has nothing to do with music. At least not in the traditional sense of self-important ‘criticism’ and profiles that read like regurgitated press releases.” They do reviews, features, and interviews of lesser-known musicians and answer “the questions others don’t ask”. Their slogan is “Your new favorite music magazine”. So as you can see, they are a bit boastful in their tone, but they have a lot of followers and fans, so they do seem to be pretty credible. They also accept submissions by mail.
http://www.literaryjuice.com/ (Links to an external site.)
This magazine features “fiction and poetry that are clever, bold, and even weird!” or “100% pure originality”. They accept submissions of fiction, flash fiction, pulp fiction, poetry, and even videos of poetry readings for their YouTube in which you can "read your poem, sing your poem, perform your poem, do whatever you want, so long as you adhere to the guidelines.”
I struggled to find publications that met my criteria for being “credible” - I turned down a lot of sites that sounded good because they looked bad. I found Newpages.com to be really helpful in my search for publications. I used the “Calls For Submissions" page and searched the page for the word “online” which helped me to see which publications were online-only. I used the “Calls For Submissions” page because I wanted to find publications that were open to accepting works of others. This led me to finding The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society. I also searched the “Literary Magazines” page and that’s where I found Literary Juice. I also tried Google-searching “online-only magazines”, and I found a list of someone’s “Top 10 Online-Only Magazines” which led me to find self-titled magazine.
These particular publications were intriguing to me because they were unique. Each had its own “edge”, and each seemed to go beyond the “mainstream” types of publications. I loved the way each one looked – the designs were very appealing, and worked well for their types of publications. Both self-titled and The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society provided high quality online magazines through the “issuu” application. I could see myself writing for any of these three publications.
Through this exercise, I became more aware of a variety of sites that I could publish my works in. I urge my fellow writers out there to do the same! Visit http://www.newpages.com and discover many opportunities!
How can you know if an online source is credible?
When I first visit an online publication, I judge it by the overall visual representation. The way it looks is a big factor in determining credibility to me. Appearance can define much more than just the way a site looks; it’s the way it works. When I visit an online publication (or any website really), I automatically deem it as credible or not it based on all aspects of the design: images, banners, and logos (are they of high quality and match the page?), fonts (are they professional and consistent?), navigation (is it easy to find things?), etc.
Specific, organized navigation is vital. If there are too many tabs, it might be hard to find what you're looking for. The "about", "contact," "submissions," and "issues" tabs are important and should be easily accessible. Sometimes this information may fall under different names/links, which is fine as long as they are accessible. Some websites have overly cluttered navigation, which doesn’t bode well for 1) you finding out how to submit work to it or 2) someone finding your work on that site if you get published.
I looked into a couple of Orlando-based publications to compare their credibility in terms of design. The http://www.thedailycity.com/ (Links to an external site.) was by far the least visually appealing to me. It had way too many links in the main navigation bar, the overall layout was not very appealing, the fonts were inconsistent (Times New Roman mixed with Georgia), the contact information was somewhat hard to locate (down the side of the page), and it just wasn’t very well organized. Not all of it was bad, I’m sure there were a lot of good things too, but I was distracted by the bad.
Aside from appearance, there are other factors that I take into consideration when determining credibility. Content is a big one. And not just what’s being said but how it’s being said. For example, if there are grammatical errors in content, I’m less likely to trust the online source. Another factor would be the writers and their credibility. If authors have a short bio and links to other writings (the more the better), I feel like they are a more credible source. As far as what’s in their bio goes, I think it depends on the type of publication source. If it’s a news publication, I might want to know their education, position/where they work, and how long they have been in the field. If it’s a humorous publication, I might want to know random facts about them that are funny. I also think that a source is more credible if it has a wide range of authors; however, if there are too many it might seem overwhelming and it might seem like they just let anyone post things on their website. To me, it’s nicer to see that there is a wide range of authors that have written multiple pieces for the site than to see countless people who have only written one or two things. I guess that might all depend on the type of publication too, but I’m speaking generally – this is how I feel for most online publications. Basically, I want to know that the people writing know what they are writing about, and care about it.
I think all of the links for literary magazines had places to submit work. I liked the overall simplicity of the Burrow Press Review website. They have submission guidelines onhttp://www.burrowpressreview.com/about/ (Links to an external site.) and they are very clear. I think if a publication is going to accept submissions, they do need to be clear on their guidelines. I think submissions can boost credibility of a site for sure - especially if the submission guidelines and acceptances are professional, and "every submission gets a fair and thorough read” (Burrow Press Review). Those things show that the publication truly cares about the quality of their work.
I think comment boards can be helpful to a publication if they are monitored for spam. Most people usually ignore the comment sections, but sometimes it’s nice to have a place to discuss specific articles. With news sites like http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ (Links to an external site.) for example, there is a “Conversations” section beneath each article. This not only shows that a lot of people are reading the article, but that a lot of people are engaging in conversation about the article.
For my own writing, I would ideally like to publish on a website that meets all of the above criteria for my idea of being “credible”, but I’m definitely not going to be that picky. I also think reach and readership are extremely important. Any online publication that has the ability to reach audiences that I would be targeting through my writing would be a good destination for me. I don’t know much about it, but after viewing http://thedropp.com/ (Links to an external site.) I thought it might be a good publication to write for, or suggest an article or event, or submit my own art/music for review as it says in their contact box. Their site is very visually appealing, their content is interesting and varied; however, I couldn’t find information on authors of articles. I also don’t know how popular the site is, I’d never heard of it, I’m not sure what their reach is. It would be necessary to do research more before deciding on what would be good destinations for my writing. But in general, I would like to write for sites that interest me and are “credible” in the eyes of most people (or in other words, people would read it).
How do you decide what is credible? What do you look for in a publication? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
New cover of a Ben Rector song! It's a shorter one, only half of the song. But I did some harmonies on it that I hope you will enjoy! <3
Today I went to the library and discovered the periodicals section. I have to admit, if it weren't for my online class assignment, I may have never made this trip.
For Part I, I listed a bunch of magazines that sparked my interest that I might be interested in reading and maybe writing for. For Part II, I consulted the Writer's Market to find print publications that interested me. Part III describes the journey and identifies one publication that really stood out to me.
Before the journey even started, I felt frustration in deciding what I wanted to do (and what I could reasonably do) for the “by foot” part of the assignment. After some contemplating, I decided I would go to the UCF library to look at their periodicals. I began my journey to finding publications at the library this morning. To be honest, I’d never been to the periodical section before (and didn’t even know it existed). I also had never really considered writing for a magazine before this class.
I was really surprised with how intrigued I was by the publications. Looking at them, feeling them, and smelling them (some of them had that nice new book smell!) made all the difference. Of course I could’ve looked up all of them online, but that just wouldn’t have been the same. I didn’t realize that until I was in the library touching all of the magazines. It felt a little weird for me at first, being in the library, looking through magazines, and taking pictures of them with my phone to remember which ones I’d looked at and found interesting. But I kind of lost myself in the exploration. I had no idea all of those publications even existed.
My list is a little long, but I chose them each for a reason (and if I went through each one to explain what interested me and why I looked at it, I would end up writing way too much, so I’m not going to do that). However, the general reason I chose all of the publications I did was because I felt I would want to read them. They each either had catchy covers, headlines, images, text, or a combination of all of those things. I chose publications of topics that interest me.
I think one of the magazines that interested me the most was Emmy. I initially wanted to look at it since the Emmys aired recently. The cover of the edition that I looked at was very unique. This edition featured Halle Berry on the front. It was like a trifold board that was split down the middle and you can open it up and see sort of another cover. It’s hard to explain, but it was really cool. The back also folded out and featured one of my favorite TV shows/comedians, Louie CK, and was a section of congratulations to FX’s primetime Emmy nominations. The overall feel of the magazine was really nice. The cover was thick and glossy. The inside featured catchy headlines such as “The YouTube Alternative” an article about Vimeo, “Reality Check” about a reality TV show production company owner, “The TV Gene Led Straight to Her Hart” about Rachel Bilson (plays character Zoe Hart) and how she was born into show business because of her father, and “Merger Mania” about AT&T and DirecTV merging.
The overall purpose and mission of the magazine seems to be to provide information about the field of television including professionals in the field, programming, and technology. I think the cover; with headlines such as “Out of This World: The dazzling Halle Berry sends summer into orbit with CBS’s spacey Extant”, “Cell Mates: Seth Meyers Phones Fred Armisen”, and “Their Best Episode Ever” gives off a sort of sensationalized vibe with the purpose of providing insider information about specifics of TV. I think that I could contribute by talking about what’s new with TV – technologies and new shows. I would like to interview people in the business for the magazine; for example, writers, producers, etc., I think that would be extremely fascinating!
Another assignment from my Writing for Publications course. This exercise really made me think about my life, which is always fun. Introspection! Try it out, see what you might want to write about.
1. Three memorable personal experiences
I could write about:
14. Three published writers you know personally (any genre, print or online)
This is my blog for projects throughout college!