Writer’s Guidelines

A page in progress…

IN GENERAL

I’m wide-open to submissions from writers writing in English, whether they are expats or natives, as long as they are describing life in the Spanish-speaking world. Yes, that’s right — you don’t have to just write from, in or about Argentina.

I’m willing to publish anything — fiction, non-fiction, poetry, opinion, profiles and interviews— anything that demonstrates an original voice and vision and conveys via lively writing and/or unique style what it’s like to live, work, love, eat and fuck in Buenos Aires, specifically, but also from any city in which Spanish is the native language.

I’m not interested in bland news pieces that could have been written without leaving your computer. cf. Argentina Indy or The Herald for that stuff. And I’m NOT LOOKING FOR TRAVEL WRITING! If a potential visitor gets something out of your writing, that’s fine, but this blog is for readers, not tourists.

I welcome submissions from Argentines and other native Spanish-speakers in English only. But beware: You will probably be heavily edited.

Submissions will be proofread, obviously, and might be edited for grammar, style and length. Don’t submit if you have thin skin or don’t want to work with an opinionated editor.

COPYRIGHT

Although you own and retain the rights to the posts you submit, and are therefore free to submit and publish elsewhere after you’ve been published on the Reader, all posts on this blog are distributed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license. Go here to find out what that means exactly.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

For our purposes, it means that if your article is published first on the Buenos Aires Reader and then afterward it’s published somewhere else, it would be really, really nice and ethical of you to mention the Buenos Aires Reader, too. Thanks.

PAYMENT

Payment per published submission is USD $25 via PayPal, or ARS $100 in person. Payment is made within two months of publication. there is no minimum or maximum word count. Every published submission pays the same.

SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS & PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED SUBMISSIONS

If you submit to the Reader, please don’t submit anywhere else for two weeks. After that, feel free to submit elsewhere. I try to respond to all submissions but this might not always be possible.

I will consider publishing something that’s been previously published elsewhere if it’s otherwise Reader-like, but I won’t pay for previously published posts. Yes, self-publishing or posting on your personal blog means previously-published.

RECOMMENDED READING

Read this blog. Duh.

Read George Orwell‘s Politics and the English Language.

Read Andrew Sullivan‘s Why I Blog. Not entirely relevant to this project but you shouldn’t be blogging at all if you haven’t read this.

Subscribe to Brainpickings.

DO

Write stories. Everything has a story — you just have to find it. If your topic or subject can’t support a narrative, even if that narrative is a journey through your mind, or someone else’s, don’t even bother to write about it.

Seek out new experiences in your daily life, and as you do, take copious mental notes. Or physical ones, if you roll that way. Remember the details, no matter how small.

Learn to write or transcribe dialogue. That means you have to listen closely when people talk. Conversations say more about where you are in less space than you can describe in two paragraphs.

Show rather than tell.

Write every day, even if it’s only a couple of sentences, and even if it’s crap.

Write in first person, if that’s the best way to engage readers. YOU DON’T HAVE TO. But it is a way to create immediacy, if you’re good at it.

Pay attention to the rhythm of your prose. Even text-book writers do this. The good ones, anyway.

Proofread your work. Typos turn me off.

Write for readers.

Write for yourself, not for an imagined demographic.

Write something that, 5 years from now, someone will still want to read, and be glad they did.

Remove unnecessary adverbs like usually, literally, absolutely, actually. Instead, use strong verbs.

DON’T

Don’t read Matador. Don’t read “travel writing”, in general. But if you must, for fuck’s sake, don’t emulate it. Most of it is utter garbage.

Don’t read food blogs, except for Salt Shaker.

Don’t write about parrillas, beef, Malbec, or tango, if you want to write about Argentina. You’ll have to be really good to write something that I’ve never read before on a dozen other blogs.

Don’t write about your first day in Argentina/Mexico/Panama unless something really interesting happened. Just because your family and friends back home leave 100 comments, doesn’t mean it’s any good.

Don’t always believe your sentences are saying what you think they are saying.

Don’t open an article with an abstraction. Instead, set the tone and place with strong description, dialogue or even a quote.

Don’t be afraid.

REMEMBER

Not every word that sludges out of your fingers is equally valuable.

Your opinion is not as important, or as interesting, as you think.

Someone’s already said that.

Submit here.

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