The Get Published on Best of SNO / Earn Your Excellence in Writing Badge Edition

Excellence in Writing badges are a hot-button item these days. Everybody wants one! The good news is that we’ve been authorized by the Mighty Overlords of Badge Distribution (AKA Tom and Jason) to give out badges to anyone who earns them. Yup, that’s right–a literally infinite number of badges. And all you need to do is get three stories published on Best of SNO before the end of the school year. Easy peasy? Cool. Feelin’ queasy? Read on for some tips that’ll improve your chances of getting published.

  1. Like a bull by da horns, eh? Grab your reader’s attention right away–and don’t let go. We get a ton of submissions to Best of SNO, and quite honestly, if we’re not hooked on your story within the first couple paragraphs, we probably won’t keep reading.
  2. Don’t be the song that never ends. Certain stories require more words than others, and we’re not opposed to length as a rule! All we’re saying is, we see wayyy more stories that run too long than stories that end too soon. If your subject is complex or controversial or seriously-super-duper-interesting, you probably have more words to work with. If you’re reporting on a small bit of school news, though, it’s often best to get in and get out.
  3. Wave those journalistic jazz hands. We’re talking multimedia–video, audio, charts, graphs, interactive doodads, clickable thingamabobs, and anything else you’ve got to spice up your story. Writing is king, of course; that’s not going to change. But with all the technology at your disposal, why not try reporting your news in multiple ways?
  4. Rap artists are the new fact-checkers. If Top 40 radio has taught us anything, it’s to always “back it up.” Sure, you can make up statistics and sweeping generalizations, but no reader will ever take you seriously if you can’t produce credible sources for your statements. Government agencies, experts in a related field, and unbiased nonprofit organizations are usually credible. Wikipedia is not. Neither is Lil Wayne.

The simplest way to increase your chances of getting published on Best of SNO? You have to submit! We’re not psychic, so if you’re writing amazing stuff, we’re not going to know about it unless you tell us. So go ahead, brag a little. If we decide to publish you, you’ll hear back from us fairly soon–within a couple weeks, often faster. And if we don’t? Keep writing and keep trying! Practice makes prefect. Parfect. Purfect. Practice makes you better.