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The Smog Submission Guidelines (Aspiring Contributors Inquire Within!)

Discussion in 'The Smog' started by Setsuna, Aug 24, 2012.

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  1. Setsuna

    Setsuna Prototype
    is a Tutor Alumnusis a Site Staff Alumnusis a Team Rater Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis an Administrator Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Jan 1, 2009

    The Smog, as the best online magazine for articles on competitive Pokemon, is always growing. But this is only possible due to the dozens of committed users who do their best to contribute content to it every issue, our Staff, and our large audience. If you are a registered user who follows The Smog and are interested in contributing by writing articles, grammar checking, or drawing, this thread is for you. Additionally, if you possess skills and experience in JavaScript programming, as well as in HTML and CSS for markup and presentation, there is also a section for you in this thread!


    What we Look for

    The Smog has had a lot of writers over the time we've been up, but ultimately we are looking for new content. This means we want unique articles, new perspectives, and a forward looking approach. Essentially this means we want quality over quantity. Every article is vigorously checked — so don't worry if your prose isn't the greatest or your grammar needs some work, we're ultimately looking for new ideas. When you submit your article idea we should, of course, be able to tell what your focus and vision for it is, but don't get hung up on minor details or little spelling tics or slightly clunky phrasing, we'll sort all that out.
    Check Old Articles

    The Smog has been around for three years now, so we've already had many article ideas come and go. Check these out and if you find an article idea that has been used before that you think you could do a good job continuing or revamping, bring it to our attention. If an article idea similar to yours was featured recently, it is less likely that we will approve it for a new issue.
    Spotlight Articles are Open

    Previously known as Featured articles which were off limits for applications, applications to write Spotlight articles are now open. Prove to us that you have the relevant metagame knowledge and skills and we may approve you to write a Spotlight article.
    Be Creative!

    New article ideas are the lifeblood of The Smog, so while we appreciate the work done in the past, we really want to focus on new content in the future. If you have familiarity with a certain niche or a playstyle for example, draft up an article going into the strategy and submit it to us. If you notice some humorous quirks about a set of Pokemon, maybe you can write a humor article about it. In general as long as your idea is new and well thought out, our staff will bounce it around and either approve it or make recommendations. Don't be afraid to submit an article, just be aware that whatever you send us should reflect your intentions to write an article you believe will be interesting, humorous, or valuable to the community.
    Artists Wanted!

    If you are a good artist, read this announcement and follow the instructions provided and we can find a place for you at The Smog. We try to ensure each article has some artwork to go with it, and our philosophy is that there can never be too many quality artists.
    Getting Started

    If you think that you have an interesting article idea that you want to pitch in and write, head down to the Article Approvals forum and read this announcement thoroughly. The Smog Staff will then address your article and decide if it will be approved. You will be notified in the thread on whether it is approved or not. Note that article applications posted within a week of the deadline will likely not be evaluated until shortly after the issue's release. If you would like to get involved with HTML however, make a thread in the HTML Approvals forum outlining your experiences with HTML and programming, and we'll help you from there.

    With these guidelines in mind, welcome to The Smog!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2015
  2. jumpluff

    jumpluff internet prince
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis a Super Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon IRC SOp Alumnusis a Researcher Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Aug 22, 2008
    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.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2013
    Vertex likes this.
  3. Birkal

    Birkal We have the technology.
    is a member of the Site Staffis an Artistis a Super Moderatoris a Community Contributoris a CAP Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Server Admin Alumnus
    CAP Head Mod

    Oct 12, 2010
    Hello, aspiring artist! I am Birkal, the head art leader for The Smog. Along with approving articles, this forum will be used for me to approve artists. To apply, post a thread in the Article Approvals subforum with the following title: Your Username. Don't use any of the tags we have set up; just post the thread. The Smeargle's Studio moderators and I will discuss your application and get back to you after some discussion. We will be looking for artwork quality, general availability, and attitude in all of our artists, among other things. Here is what I would like from each of you:

    • Post your most recent work. Specifically, give me the date of when you drew it. I want to know how actively you are drawing as an artist.

    • Post your "best" work of art. Which piece you choose is completely up to you.

    • Post some general information about you, if you could. I'd like to get to know each of you, so it'd be nice to know what kinds of things you're interested in.

    • Post any other artwork or information that you'd like. Feel free to "drown" me in your artwork if you like. Only two pieces are required (the first two I listed), but you are allowed to send more if you like. Make sure you send at least one (1) picture of a Pokemon.

    There will be a panel of artists judging your artwork to see if you are up to snuff with the quality that we look for in The Smog. I will be working with this group to assess each of your skillsets and making a call on whether we can accept you or not. Some general things we are looking for are cleanliness on lineart, quality of digital artwork, and use of shading/lighting, to list a few. Those aren't required elements, but certainly things we consider when reviewing your application.

    Thank you for considering drawing for The Smog; we'd love to have you on board! Private message me if you have any questions. Don't be shy =)

    Edit: Birkal is no longer the head art leader for The Smog, so all applications and questions will instead be handled by Bummer. Thanks for your cooperation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2014
    unfixable and Bummer like this.
  4. sandshrewz

    sandshrewz POTATO
    is a Site Staff Alumnusis an Artist Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    Oct 18, 2010
    Hello everyone! After shifting to this sparkling new forums, the announcements we had aren't restored yet! But we had a copy of the announcements for the Article Approvals forum! I'm moving this thread to The Smog main forum so that anyone who wishes to apply for articles or artists for the first time can read it! This is a temporary solution till the announcements are restored. Thanks ^_^
  5. skylight

    skylight biggest pokemon rumble world fan
    is a member of the Site Staffis a Forum Moderatoris a Smogon Media Contributoris a Battle Server Moderator Alumnus

    May 14, 2011
    Have you ever wanted to suggest an idea for The Smog but aren't too confident in your writing abilities? Now's your chance! We're accepting article ideas, all you need to do is PM your ideas to one of us Smog Staff (Toast++, Bummer, Flora, skylight, Vacate).

    The purpose of this is to help users who aren't too confident in their writing abilities, users who have little free time, or lack of experience writing about a particular subject. Additionally, current writers for The Smog can still submit an idea if they want to see something covered but don't think they're the best person for the job.

    In Article Workshop we'll have a thread listing all the article ideas people have submitted, and someone from our pool of regular writers will pick and choose from there. Whether your article idea is in the next issue will be a surprise! So definitely keep an eye out for our next release.

    With that in mind, here are the conditions you must follow if you're going to submit an idea to us:

    1. When making your submission, make sure you describe it in a brief paragraph just so we know what it will cover. Even better, send us a good outline along with a short explanation of what key points you think the article should be based on, and anything else you'd like to add.

    2. We'll add ideas at our own discretion.

    3. You do not need to contact us about whether an article idea was picked or not.

    4. Although submitting ideas will not count towards the Media Contributor badge in any way, if you decide to become a formal contributor later on, it will help you gain access to the Article Workshop quicker.

    5. If your aim is to get involved in writing, proofreading, drawing or providing HTML / CSS code for The Smog, you should follow the regular procedure instead. Read this topic to obtain more information about this, particularly the Getting Started section.

    Thank you for your interest in The Smog, we really appreciate every small contribution we get!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2014
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