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Making the Headlines

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If at all practical, get someone to read your draft and make comments. Fresh eyes see things you missed.

Why All the Bother?

Editors at OEN approach submissions in the queue much as readers approach the front page. They scan for something interesting to edit. Then they glance at the lede or the description of the article. If it looks poorly written or uninteresting, they ignore the rest and move on to something else. Obviously if you can get the editor to read the whole submission, the odds of her hitting the publish button are greatly improved.

Graphics and photos also add to the publish-appeal of your work. Look here for tips on how and where to get photos if you don't have original work of your own.

If the story seems interesting, the editer looks at your bio to see why your point of view is credible or authoritative. If a bio is too scanty or vague it may cause rejection of an otherwise acceptable piece. You bio should show your respect for your reader.

Once an editor has read the story he or she decides to accept or reject. If accepted, the title and the description (blurb) gets edited, the tags and category are verified, and then it's published. Finally the editor decides about headlining the story. "H1" or the top of the front page of the site is first prize. If it is an important topic with a strong lede, you have a good chance. Making the headlines is the payoff for crafting a good op-ed or article. Writers that consistently submit high quality articles attract attention in the queue, and their articles get published faster. No surprise here -- good articles build the reputation of the site and draw visitors to

All it takes is a good lede, a compelling and logically developed body, and a memorable close. With ruthless elimination of the flab that doesn't enhance the theme, your article will stand out from the 30 to 50 others competing with it. It really is that easy.

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Richmond Shreve is a former Senior Editor at OEN, a writer, and an author of short stories. His "Lost River Anthology" ( was released in March 2009. His "Instructor Candidate Manual" ( is widely used by motorsport clubs to train (more...)
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