A GRASS-ROOTS STORY BLOG WHERE YOU CAN EARN A BY-LINE AND A CHECK
By Roberta Beach Jacobson in Karpathos, Greece
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Unfortunately this site no longer exists.]
Common Ties is looking for travel stories — and you have a little over two weeks to get your travel submissions in!
Common Ties is a blog site that publishes personal essays, “real stories of real people.” They like to work on themes, and travel is a theme for which they’re accepting submissions through April 10, 2007.
Editor, Elizabeth Armstrong Moore (a journalist), started Common Ties with her twin brother, James Armstrong (a producer), in October 2006. They look for well-told, strong storylines. They describe their story blog as “a grass-roots journalism effort.”
The editors work on the philosophy that people write best about what they know best, therefore they like to receive personal accounts about places a writer is familiar with. You can review some of the stories already published at the website, or they also direct you to the “Lives” column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine to get a feel for what they are after.
When you sit down to write for Common Ties, you should write a story that is in some way emotionally compelling — a story that makes people shudder, gasp, giggle, or cry. The word count can be 750-3000 (1000 – 2000 is preferred). You can email your submission to CommonTies@gmail.com and be sure and put “travel” in your subject line. You can paste your story into the body of the email or send it as a Word attachment.
Photos are welcomed and, in fact, they may increase your chances of being published. The editors believe a photo enhances a story, so put some thought into the photos you include. When you submit photos, send them as jpeg files.
Common Ties has received rave reviews. I’m a big fan of this site and have left comments on several stories I found particularly entertaining or moving.
You can read the Writer’s Guidelines at: http://www.commonties.com/blog/submit-a-story/
Although this website accepts reprints (previously published work that you have full rights to), I don’t recommend it as it’s a complicated matter to provide a copy of your contract or confirmation from the publisher that the work is yours to republish.
Writers retain their rights to the stories that are published on Common Ties. Payment is $100-$200, though you can negotiate for more (up to $1,000). Checks go out within 30 days of publication.
Common Ties gives you the choice of being published anonymously or of having a by-line, which they encourage. So, to have your by-line included, you’ll have to submit a few short sentences that include: your name, your hometown, where you currently reside, and, if you have been published previously, where.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]