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Submission guidelines

Practical Information

  • Please submit plain text in Word and -if available- pictures in JPEG (highest resolution available). Add the photo credit and caption to the bottom of the Word document. If articles are not in English, please include a few lines explaining its contents.

  • Make sure all stories have a headline and a (short) intro, as well as an author name.

  • Save documents and pictures as: "Name of paper_Story Title"

  • Send all submissions to the designated SNS email address only: sns@street-papers.org.

  • Please try to submit stories regularly: ideally 1 to 4 articles per issue of your paper (please try to avoid sending many stories at once. Fewer stories more often is better)

  • SNS staff will acknowledge all submissions.

  • Please be aware that the SNS publishes most, but not all contributions.

What stories to submit?

As there is such a variety of material re-published from the SNS, it is impossible to say exactly what type of articles should be submitted. However, these guidelines should help papers to submit contextualised pieces ready for a non-local audience.

  • Audience: When submitting a story to us, keep in mind the SNS website has an international audience. At the same time your article might be interesting for any of our 108 member street papers and their readership. In all cases, make sure stories are understandable for a non-local audience. For example, if necessary, provide a short introduction with some context or background, and/or put local terms or place names into context. i.e. not 'The City Housing Authorities' but 'Seattle's City Housing Authorities'.

  • Global/local: Stories with an international focus are good, but local stories can also be very interesting. The important thing is to have a shared reference point for at least some of the website readership/ member street papers. For example, an issue other papers know about or also encounter in their city, ie. health, environment, housing. Or a personal story that people worldwide can relate to, ie. life stories, personal accounts or other human interest stories. Also, stories about/ interviews with (internationally known) celebrities or public figures are often good SNS material.

  • Location: Take into account your geographical location. In some countries, for example the USA, we have a lot of member papers. So for these papers, a story which may seem too 'national' might be very relevant to other papers in that country.

  • Sources: Although this might not always be possible, aim to use more than one source in a news or feature article (not, of course when it is a vendor profile, etc.). In all cases, be clear about where the source is coming from (ie. name and/ or job title of interviewees where appropriate, and back up numbers where you can, for example: '10,000 refugees, according to the 2010 UN Development Report'). Submitted stories which do not follow this procedure may not be published.

  • Genre: Anything from interviews to news reports, features or analysis pieces can be suitable for the SNS. Many types of text are re-published.

  • Tone/ style: SNS content should be as diverse as the website readers and papers it caters for. Stories can have a more positive or negative tone, depending on the subject, and 'lighter' pieces can go hand in hand with 'heavier' subjects.

  • Timing: Be aware that news pieces can be time-dependent and will not be relevant for re-publication some weeks later. However, publication on the SNS website is much quicker, so make sure you send news-related articles through as soon as possible.

  • Serialisation: Due to practical reasons (papers coming out at different times, having an established editorial policy etc), individual articles are more likely to be republished than a series. However, if you do have an interesting series to submit, please make this clear when you send the first edition. Also, submit a short introduction to the entire series with the following information: author's profile; summary of series' content; frequency; quantity.

  • Vendor stories: If you consider submitting a story about one of your vendors, i.e. 'vendor profile', please keep in mind that the SNS produces an 'SNS Exclusive' column every month called 'Worldwide Vendor Spotlight'. In this column, a vendor from one of INSP's member papers each month is highlighted. Your vendor story may (in a slightly adapted form) be suitable for this column. If you have an interesting vendor story (+ picture), please email the SNS for further guidance.

  • Campaigning: If you require support for a certain campaign, please contact the INSP office (info@street-papers.org).INSP has different ways of supporting campaign initiatives.

  • Copyright: At this time, SNS can only use material produced in-house by street paper staff or by street-paper freelancers and photographers who have granted their explicit permission to have their material given to the SNS. When you submit material to the SNS, it is assumed that permission has been sought from the contributing writer and / or photographer (in house or freelance).

  • Language: The SNS will accept material in any of the languages used by the INSP members. The SNS works with a bank of over 75 volunteer translators to organise translations on request. Please allow up to one week for translation. For a list of available languages, please see the left column of the SNS website www.streetnewsservice.org.

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