"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it." ~ George Bernard Shaw
You are welcome to submit a column for publication. I don't want to waste your time, however, and I don't want you to waste mine, so please follow these guidelines when writing and submitting a column:
1. I am usually extremely busy and don't have time to edit your columns. If you follow these guidelines, however, I won't need to.
2. I accept columns on a variety of subjects, but I am most likely to accept a column if it is consistent with the site's theme of striking at the root of evil (which 90% of the time means the State). STR is a market anarchist site, so please do not submit any columns that promote the political process, a political party, voting, "good government," the Constitution, lobbying "your" Congressman, or technical, legal arguments against the income tax (only moral arguments), or that mention or imply physical threats to government officials. Also, I'm usually not very interested in columns about 9/11 conspiracy theories or global warming.
3. Break new ground with your column. If you simply recite a list of well-known facts (remember that readers of the Root are well-informed), it is unlikely that I will accept your column. I am looking for original thoughts, ideas, insights and observations. Use of humor, sarcasm, irreverence and wit is strongly encouraged.
4. If you state something as fact, ensure that it is true and accurate. If you make a factual statement that is unusual or hard to believe, provide evidence to support your claim, perhaps with a link or a footnote. If you are sloppy with the facts and make wild, unsubstantiated claims, your column will not be accepted. Please do not send me fiction. If you plagiarize, the offending column will be removed and no new columns will be accepted from you.
5. Do not send me boring columns that say nothing. Make your columns interesting, funny or outrageous, but never dull. Do not send me any term papers for your philosophy class.
6. Please double check your column (both manually and using a word processing program) for spelling, grammar (see these tips), punctuation (especially commas), spacing (one space between words, one or two between sentences) and readability. Try to avoid using the passive voice and the verb "to be." Do not use single quote marks ( ' ) to quote something unless it's a quote within a quote. Here are some writing tips (also see common errors in English and that vs. which). If your column is in Word and you would like someone to proofread it before you submit it, you can e-mail it to one of these volunteer editors.
7. Do not change the spacing of your lines from the default setting. Do not indent or justify your paragraphs.
8. Please ensure that all of your hyperlinks work.
9. Do not use platitudes or frequently used quotes in your column.
10. Please give your column a title. In order for me to publish your column, you must first set up a profile on STR using your name (or your pen name) as your user name so that I can link your columns to your name. You are encouraged to post a picture of yourself on your STR profile, which will then appear in your columns. Please include a brief bio on your STR profile, which will appear at the end of your columns.
11. If your column is longer than three pages, the longer it is, the less likely I am to accept it. It should, however, be at least one page long. Please do not send me very long works unless they are broken down into parts of three pages or less.
12. Please submit your column in Word (.doc), RTF or plain text format. I very much prefer Word or RTF, as it allows me to make corrections on the fly (so I don't have to read your column twice). (However, don't send me any attached files unless you have a good anti-virus program that checks for updates at least daily.) I cannot open WordPerfect documents.
13. Please ensure that the column you send me is the final draft. Please do not decide to make revisions to your column after you have submitted it. Proofread it before you submit it.
14. I reserve the right to edit your column for grammar and readability, but if it's well-written, I won't need to.
15. If I've never published one of your columns, please make it clear to me that you wrote the column you're sending me and you want me to publish it. Please submit one column at a time. If you submit a column and I receive it, you should hear from me within 24 hours (please allow up to 72 hours if you send it to me on a Friday or Saturday), often much sooner. If you don't hear back from me within 48 hours, I probably didn't receive your column.
16. Your e-mail address will appear in your column unless you choose to make it private on your profile.
17. If you include a photograph or other image in your column, please either credit the copyright owner or let me know that you have permission from the copyright owner to use the photo or image.
18. I very much prefer exclusive columns. If you are planning to submit your column to other sites, please let me know which sites you're submitting it to. The less exclusive your column is, the less likely I am to accept it.
19. I am willing to pay for columns, but only if they're exclusive and remain exclusive (generally, I'm not very interested in columns that aren't exclusive). The amount will depend on the quality and length of your column, the degree to which it strikes at the root, and how closely you adhere to these guidelines. I will tell you how much I'll pay for your column, and then I'll pay you. If you think I didn't pay you enough, you don't have to send me any more columns. If you are willing to accept payment but I've never paid you before, please tell me how you prefer to be paid. I prefer to pay via PayPal. I can also send you a check through the mail, but only after your account reaches $100 (the cost of mailing you a check will be subtracted from the amount).
20. You remain the owner of your column, but you grant me a perpetual right to publish it on strike-the-root.com until and unless you ask that it be taken down. Exclusive columns must remain exclusive, but you can always publish your columns on your own personal website or in a book.
21. Terms and Conditions: By submitting a work for publication, you represent that you are the author and have the right to license its publication and that publication of the work does not violate any third party's proprietary right, and you grant a nonexclusive license to Strike The Root to publish the work in any format, electronic or otherwise. Monetary compensation may or may not be provided to the author. At some future date, copyright to a collective work (such as a book) containing the work may be registered in the name of Strike The Root and copyright notices in the name of Strike The Root may be affixed to published versions of the work. (This paragraph was added on 9/19/03.)
22. It is up to you to promote your column. After I publish your column, please write to other websites and ask them to link to (not re-publish) your column. You can also post a link to your column in forums and on blogs. You can dramatically increase the number of people who read your column by promoting it in this way. This will also increase the number of visitors to STR as well as the amount of donations I receive, which will allow me to pay you more for your columns. So please remember that after I publish your column, you've still got some legwork to do if you want a lot of people to read it. I'll provide the soapbox, but you have to provide the megaphone.
Send your column to: rob at strike-the-root dot com (replace "at" with "@" and "dot" with "."). If you don't hear back from me within 48 hours, I probably didn't receive your column! Do not send your column to a guest editor, as they have no say in which columns get accepted for publication.