You don’t have to be the world’s best writer to contribute to The Flounce. We’re happy to provide a bit of direction, work with you to develop story ideas and help you figure out your angle. You’ve got the insight, life experience, worldview and original thoughts that will help The Flounce keep going in the right direction—one that is smart, unique, and interesting.
The Flounce runs on ideas, and we want yours. Researched, developed, hilarious, thought-provoking, socially aware, or personal essays. Before you send us your ideas, you need to answer a few questions. If you’re not sure how to pitch, just copy/paste these questions (and your answers) into an e-mail.
What is your topic, and what is your angle?
“Muffintops!” is a topic. “I want to write a story that details women’s relationships with their tummies from Biblical times through 1987!” is a story with an angle. An oddly specific story, but we’d sure want to read it!
Please provide a suggested title for your story.
For personal essays, please explain briefly the experience you are writing about in your pitch.
Can you describe your story’s main point in a sentence or two?
Once you’ve zeroed in on your story’s main point—the thing you’re really trying to say—pitch it to us in a nice little package. Let us know your angle and what you want the readers to take away from your story. This is your thesis. In the tummy case, it might be “Women sure feel different about having a little pooch now than they did back in the B.C. Here’s why I think that is, and here’s how I’m backing it up.”
Your thesis is important. A nice, straightforward story idea that can be quickly and succinctly articulated is worth its weight in gold, especially in an instantaneous, online world.
Did you do some research?
We’d be pretty embarrassed if we printed something that existed elsewhere on the internet. Even if it’s a topic that’s done to death (say… vajazzling—do people still do that?) you might have something fresh and new to say on the topic. Take a little time to make sure your vajazzling story is fresh, that’s all we ask. Even if you’re pitching a personal narrative or product review, it’d be wonderful if you checked to make sure that something really similar didn’t run on otherladywebsite.com last week.
Addtionally, when you research, make sure that you are using legitimate sources. Your Uncle’s girlfriend’s sister’s best friend runs the local vajazzling hut in Evans, Georgia, so make sure that you give her credentials in the story. Ask your sources for correct attribution.
If you’re linking to another website, be aware of what you’re linking to. Our readers are astute and if you are basis your thesis on the ramblings of repubconspiracy.com or tinfoilhat.net, you need to be able to defend it.
Exception: Research may not be needed for some personal essays.
Did you proof it? I mean, really, really proof it?
We’re not going to make you repeat a grade for a misplaced comma. But we’d sure appreciate it if you’d take the time to get the dates right, spell things correctly, capitalize proper nouns, etc. Please no special formatting or line editing.
What if I said there was a prize for the best punctuation? If you’re sending up something that you’ve already written, it’s really important that you proofread your draft. The more time we have to spend shaping your piece from rough to final draft, the longer it takes to get your piece up, and the likelihood that its relevance will wane increases.
Send all pitches and completed submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a column or series idea that you would like to create and manage, or would like to be a part-time editor or contributor, please contact email@example.com.
An editor will copy edit, proof, and fact check every article we receive.
The Flounce publishes on spec, and until we see the full final copy of your article, we cannot guarantee publication. We reserve the right to not publish any article for any reason at any time, even if your original pitch was approved.
Our editors are here to assist the writers in making every article the best it can be. If you are not used to working with an editor, the process is as follows:
A senior editor will review your pitch and approve or reject the story idea. If the pitch is approved, we will ask you for your anticipated turnaround time for submitting the final copy (24 hours? Two weeks?) and in some cases will assign a deadline. Submitting final copy late can result in cancellation.
After copyediting, proofing and fact checking your final copy, the editor will return the article to you for a final review. We use Google Docs as an editing and tracking program for this purpose. This allows editors to work on the same page and document in real time with the authors.
As always, we encourage writers to discuss any criticism or editing suggestions, but certain style requirements will be standard. We use the AP style guide when editing articles. You can access AP style questions and answers or FAQ’s online with a simple Google search. If you’re not familiar with AP style, don’t worry, the editors are and will make corrections as needed.
The editors abide by the standard ethical practices as outlined by the AP. This especially applies to the use of sources and reported material in news stories or issue articles. There are several resources and FAQ’s to the AP news journalism values and standards here: http://www.ap.org/company/News-Values
We encourage writers to submit their own image suggestions. Original photography or artwork is always preferred. Editors will assist you in finding the right image or photograph for your article if needed. Please make sure that you include the proper credit for any photography or image you would like us to use.
We prefer to receive images in a jpeg format. Image may be adjusted or cropped for scale. We do not use vertical or portrait images on our homepage, so please make sure that any image you wish to use as the featured image for your article is horizontal landscape format.
Please limit GIFs to less than 4 for a long article (1,500+ words) and less than 3 for short articles (800-1,000 words).
Our word count limit is flexible. Depending on the type of article you’re writing, anything between 800-3,000 is acceptable. Please inform us of your word count in your initial pitch.
An editor may ask you to reduce or increase your word count. Generally, articles over 1,500 words are considered very long for our site, and 1,500+ word counts are reserved for in-depth research journalism or valuable interviews.
A typical article is less than 2,000 words (less than 2 magazine pages).
We ask for first rights (one-time rights) to publish your story. After publication, all rights are reverted back to the author.
An embargo will be placed on your article until it is published. We discourage multiple submissions and may reject any articles that are submitted to other websites. If you want to publish your article on your own personal blog, please wait until the article is first published on our site, and then include the link to the original published article at the top of the page.
Authors will be asked to sign a standard first rights contract with The Flounce. More information about liability and author responsibility is included in the text of the author contract.