Welcome to The Smog Approvals sub-forum! We at The Smog are always looking for talented new writers and artists, and we'd love to have any aspiring contributors who are willing to learn and would like to offer their services. Make sure to read this thoroughly, and be aware you can contact the Staff with specific concerns if you need further guidance! Trolling, irrelevant threads, or posts which otherwise violate these instructions will be deleted and/or infracted, so please take this sub-forum seriously. If you're interested in writing articles, this post is for you! Those volunteering their art skills should read this post instead. If you're looking for the appropriate Staff members, please refer to the announcement listing the current Smog Staff and their lines of work. Idea Guidelines If you're not sure what makes a great article idea, here are some important principles, adapted from the old Submission Guidelines. Remember that you can check out the archival Article Index to get a feel for what kind of content we've approved in the past! More experienced contributors may skip this section. Audience — The Smog accepts all kinds of ideas that are relevant to the community. This means competitive Pokémon (strategies, informational articles, playstyles, and so on), Pokémon-related entertainment (appropriate humour articles, flavour discussions, and so on) community happenings (projects, events going on in various areas of the community, and so on), and anything else you can think of that might be relevant to Smogon as a community and/or a competitive Pokémon authority. Conversely, if your article doesn't fit in with the primary interests of the publication, take it elsewhere. Authority — 'Write what you know.' If you're an expert on a particular playstyle, strategy, or metagame, we'd love to learn more about it. If you have a keen sense of humour and quirkiness, lend your wit to an entertainment piece about the community or Pokémon itself. If you're a seasoned veteran, take us for a trip down Memory Lane. Whatever you feel you have insight in, let us know! We particularly value passionate, enthusiastic writers who are truly dedicated to the subjects of their articles. Conversely, if you don't know much about what you're writing about or don't care, don't try to write it. Creativity — What keeps The Smog fresh is people coming to us wanting to write with new ideas. New article concepts and discussions of emergent ideas / strategies are particularly well-received, so use your imagination and apply your unique perspectives! The magazine still captures people's interest by continually coming out with interesting, refreshingly new and different ideas. Of course, if you can find a concept that hasn't been examined too recently in the archives and would like to put your own spin on it, you can apply to continue or revamp it. Conversely, if your article concept is too similar to something that's been recently published, it will most likely be declined. Contributor Guidelines Aspiring contributors should read this to get an understanding of what qualities we're looking for in our workers. Welcoming and encouraging new contributors is very important to us and we'll do our best to help you with anything you don't understand, so don't worry! This may come as a surprise, but we're not too picky about the kind of writer you are! We take quality over quantity very seriously, but if English isn't your first language or your prose is substandard, we can take care of that. We have a very talented grammar/prose team who can work with you to fix your writing, and you can always enlist a coauthor for assistance. Just try your hardest to be concise, clear, and lively, and the rest will come. You can look at past articles for an idea of what kind of writing we like at The Smog. What matters: effort and a desire to improve. Cooperation and teamwork is how we keep The Smog running, so you need to be able to get along with us. Take constructive criticism graciously, consider our recommendations and suggestions, treat your fellow workers (GP team, HTML team, artists, Smog Staff) with respect and gratitude for their help, and be friendly. One of the best parts of being involved with The Smog is the spirit of friendship and pride infused in our community-created finished product. You must be responsible. Procrastination creates a burden on everyone else involved in the process, so you need to be able to commit to finishing your article a decent amount of time before the release. Emergencies do arise, so if for an unforeseen reason (such as health or technical issues) you can't complete your article, let the staff know immediately. Article Approval Guidelines If your idea is ready to go, please make a thread with the requisite information and await our comments. We want solid outlines along with a brief but well-explained summary of your idea, what it relates to, and the kind of content you plan to write. This allows us to assess how well-versed you are in the topic in question and avoids any unnecessary writing on your part in the event that your article is rejected. In areas such as Battling Strategy and Metagame, particularly, this type of quality control becomes very important, as those aspiring to publish articles in these categories must have a thorough understanding of the idea they want to write about. In addition, give the thread an informative title, such as a prospective article name or very short description. NEW: If you're writing a Battling Strategy or Metagame approval for the first time, you should provide credentials that support your knowledge of the topic in question in either categories. Examples of such would be team rates of that and posts in any relevant forum discussion of the tier(s) in question. Please only post with ideas for articles you intend to write yourself. Do not post volunteering to write if someone gives you an idea, or with an idea you'd like someone else to write. If you have one or two coauthors you plan to write with, list their names as well. Please note only you and the approval team will be able to see your thread; likewise, you will not be able to see anyone else's. Writing is a serious responsibility and release deadline is strict, so don't post if you can't commit to finishing your article in a timely fashion and seeing every aspect of the publishing process to completion (implementing GP checks, etc.). Applications posted within a week of the deadline will likely not be evaluated until shortly after the issue's release. Please try to post your applications as soon as possible after release in order to give yourself and the whole team as much time as possible to work on your article, should it be approved. Spotlight articles are available for application if you are deemed to have the appropriate metagame knowledge. Wait patiently for your idea to be examined. Our team will evaluate your idea with their expertise in the subjects concerned, but we may have to discuss potential issues among ourselves or request clarification from you (so check back regularly!). We invite all Senior Staff members (super moderators and administrators) to comment on applications concerning their areas of specialty, so take their comments seriously. Additionally, your idea may be promising but require some tweaks and suggestions in order to be approved, so be prepared to accept those. We will be as prompt as possible and let you know what we think! If we reject you, don't be discouraged. Almost all rejections will be on grounds of the idea being unsuitable, so if you're still interested, come up with a new idea. Don't try to find ideas for the sake of it, but wait until you have a well-thought-out idea and then feel free to reapply. If you are approved to write and only once you are approved to write, a super moderator or administator will grant you access to the workshop.