While we write most of our stories ourselves, we appreciate contributed stories. We reject many contributions, though, because they just don’t fit in here. If you’d like to contribute a story to SlashNOT, you may find the following tips useful:
Choose a good topic. SlashNOT focuses on technology, science, and computer-related stories, so stick to those areas. Write about something people have heard of, and avoid ‘in’ jokes or excessive geek jargon. Try to focus on stories that are in the news at places like Slashdot and ZDnet. Google News is a good place to look for inspiration.
Keep it brief. You may have noticed that some parody sites have very long articles, but all of the humor is really in the first two paragraphs. We prefer short stories, 2-3 paragraphs at the most, although longer ones are occasionally accepted. The best style is to make the first paragraph a summary of the story, then delve into details for a paragraph or two.
Keep it funny. Don’t save your punchline for last. The first paragraph should usually contain the jist of the joke. Later paragraphs should be funny in their own right while adding to the story. If a paragraph or sentence doesn’t add humor – or isn’t required to understand the humor in another part of the story – drop it.
Sound like real news. Instead of sounding like a comedian, sound like a serious reporter reporting a ridiculous story. You can either use a traditional tech-news style, like ZDnet, or a more casual Slashdot style. Either way, keep it at least slightly professional. Check your spelling and grammar.
Add links. We try to include links in our stories to make them seem more like real news. There are three basic types of SlashNOT links:
- Real links link to real sites or news stories. In particular, if you’re parodying a specific real news story, include a link to it. If you mention a lesser-known company or Web site that people may not recognize, include a link.
- Zinger links are jokes in themselves: linking ‘security hole’ or ‘evil’ to Microsoft would be an obvious example. Keep these in the theme of your story.
- Miscellaneous Links – We throw in links to all sorts of things, either to expand on the ‘facts’ of the story or just for fun. Anything goes, but don’t overdo it.
Try, try again. We don’t accept all stories, but if you keep writing – and improving – them, you’re just about guaranteed to earn the fame and fortune associated with being published on SlashNOT. Don’t worry if your story isn’t perfect – we’ll edit it as we see fit.
I hope these tips are helpful. Also be sure to read the SlashNOT !Style Guide to learn how NOT to write for us, and then contribute your story using the form below.