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From the Editor:

Honeymoon's over, folks! I need articles!
Posted by Andrew Bissell on 7/05, 2:21am
My thanks to SOLOists for your kind words of welcome to my new post as Supreme Chancellor of Articles for Life.

Unfortunately, the high spirits and celebratory gunfire that greeted my recent ascent to absolute power have quickly been choked off by a sparse article queue, and the situation grows more dire by the day. The pleas for relief submitted to Live 8 have apparently fallen on deaf ears. So, before we start running on the fumes of my old 9th-grade English papers, I implore you: give me articles!


The quickest way to get your article sitting atop the best damn Objectivist website around is to make it easy on me. I love the ones where all I do is click the "Accept" button. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help make yours one of the articles that gets bumped into first class:

-The article submission function is for user-submitted and -written articles only. If you didn't write it, don't post it as an article. If you read or see something on another site that you think is of interest, post it as a link, or a joke, or a piece of poetry, or as a whatever-it-is. Also, on the subject of poems: I may at some point run a member-written poem as a daily article, but for this to happen it will have to pass critical review of the most exacting standards. We're talking 10,000-degree heat testing here.

-The best reference for the SOLO editing style is past articles. If you want to know what yours should look like, the simple answer is, it should look like all the other articles we've run.

-Use the preview feature to look back over what you're about to submit. Copying-and-pasting out of Word works all right, but sometimes it doesn't jive with SOLO's text boxes and caues all kinds of weird spacing to crop up. So give your submission a once-over before clicking "Submit."

-Keep things simple. My first task whenever I start editing an article is always to switch all the fonts back to 12-point Times New Roman, move quotes out of gray boxes, get rid of extra lines between paragraphs, delete indentations, and prune off any other visual distractions in the article. This is always a tedious undertaking, but if I let anything like this through, Linz makes me kiss a dollar sign and say a hundred Who is John Galts. So use the bells and whistles sparingly ... I'll add them in if I think your article needs it.

-Try and avoid lengthy quotations. The readers are here to see what you think about a topic. Now, maybe you're commenting on something that someone else has written or said. That's fine, but if your quotes exceed a couple of paragraphs or so, you're probably just distracting from your own ideas. Linking to the source usually works just as well in this case.

-Don't let your conclusion peter out! This is a mistake that can be almost impossible to edit without composing entirely new sentences and paragraphs, so I might have to just let the ending stand, and your piece will suffer for it. You don't want the last thought in your readers' minds to be some parenthetical aside or throwaway factoid.

-Finally, and perhaps most importantly, feel free to contact me on email or SOLOMail, or to leave notes for me in the bodies of your articles. I have a lot of experience with writing, but editing the work of others is a somewhat new process for me. If you find I've made a mistake or have something you would like me to change, just get in touch and I will work it out with you. I'm here to help you make your articles and your time on SOLO the best it can be.

Yours,
Andrew
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