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I was looking over some things I had written to help Crosscut reader-contributors prepare their writing for posting on the Web and came upon this. If I do say so myself, it's a cleverly concise primer on inline HTML formatting that you could use when writing for any Web site:
CROSSCUT ARTICLE SUBMISSION TEMPLATE
Please save as plain text (filename.txt). Use straight quotation marks (" and '). Send this file as an e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the bottom, you'll find links to important information for contributors.
NOTES: Write anything here that the editor should know, such as image information, critical time elements within the story, or problems you had that he or she should know about.
OPTIONAL HEADLINE: Put a suggested headline here, if you wish, in 'sentence case'
OPTIONAL TEASER: This is where we write a sentence or two expanding on the headline. It should not "parrot" the headline or the lead paragraph.
BYLINE: Firstname Lastname (as it should appear online)
CONTACT: email@example.com, 206-000-0000
DO / DO NOT make this e-mail public at the end of the article
<p>Every paragraph ("graf" in the news business) should begin with the "p" tag, as shown at the beginning of this sentence, and end with the "/p" tag, as shown at the end of this sentence.</p>
<p>If you wish to emphasize a word or put the title of a work of art, publication, film, or television program in italics, which is Crosscut's style, use the "i" tag to begin the italics and the "/i" tag to end the italics. Like so: <i>Gone With the Wind</i>. Punctuation that is not part of the italicized phrase or word should go outside the italics — really, <i>truly</i>, for example.</p>
<p>Use a keyboard dash (OPTION-SHIFT hyphen) or the HTML entity "—". Leave a space on either side of a dash. Don't use two hyphens. So it should look like this — or look like this — but not like this --.</p>
<blockquote>If you have a block of text such as an excerpt that you wish to offset, put "blockquote" at the beginning and "/blockquote" at the end of every paragraph you wish to offset, as in this example. Paragraph tags need not be used in blockquotes.</blockquote>
<p>Crosscut encourages linking within article text to relevant background and source material. Linking is an important skill every Web writer should know. It involves placing tags on either side of the text to be linked, <a href="http://www.thisisalink.com/whateverelseisneeded/" target="_blank">as in this example</a>. Be sure to include "http://" in the URL, or the link won't work. Do not leave spaces on either side of hot text inside the tags. Put the spaces outside the tags. Avoid including punctuation such as commas and periods inside the tags.</p>
If you have not written for Crosscut before, please write a sentence or two describing yourself. You will also need to fill out a contributor's info sheet and sign a contract, if you are to be compensated. See the links below.
You can download the Crosscut writer's guidelines, including the freelance contract, here:
More info about contributing to Crosscut is here: