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Smoke Signals Submission Guidelines

Smoke Signals Submission Guidelines

According to Webster, “news is a report of recent events, previously unknown information; something having a specified influence or effect; matter that is newsworthy.” For Smoke Signals and Smoke Signals Online, that means new information of interest to the broadest number of readers in Big Canoe.

What’s NOT news?

  • Advertising pitches, information that belongs in an ad
  • Information of interest to a very few people
  • Old rehashed stories

How to get started?

  • Know your audience and their interests
  • Consider what you want to achieve with your article. Do you want to publicize an event, encourage membership in an organization, or increase your organization’s name recognition?
  • Identify the who, what, where, when, why and how of your activity/story
  • Double check all information for accuracy

How to get your article noticed

  • Use interesting photos to illustrate
  • Be creative; find a unique angle
  • Be concise

Preparing your news for Smoke Signals

  • Use 12 point type
  • Times New Roman font
  • Single-spaced.
  • Please avoid bold type, all caps or italics as we must remove all formatting before editing the article.
  • Microsoft Word document.
  • To indicate bullets use a +
  • Indent paragraphs three spaces.
  • Write shorter paragraphs. Long ones tend to daunt the reader.
  • Make sure to include your name, telephone number and email address at the bottom of the page.
  • Put an identifying slug in the upper right corner of the page. The slug shows the article topic and month it should appear in Smoke Signals. For example, SS Feb HOA BD indicates the February HOA Board meeting. If pictures go with the article, add “Images attached” or “Images to come” under the slug
  • Send images as jpg. files. Please label these to coincide with the slug. Using the HOA Board meeting example, such images would be titled HOAfeb1.jpg or HOAfeb2.jpg
  • Indicate your article word count
  • You don’t need to include a headline, but if you have one in mind, go for it!

Are you writing for News, Living, Outdoor or A&E?

  • For News send to Barbara Schneider
  • For Living, send to
  • For Outdoor, send to Melissa Harvey
  • For A&E, send to Melissa Lowrie,

Photos make an article more interesting

  • Photos should be sent in a jpg format;
  • Our printer requires high res (300 dpi) large files.
  • Include information to describe what readers will see.

Writing guidelines

  • Smoke Signals follows the Associated Press Style Guide.
  • Write out the numbers one through nine in sentences. Use Arabic numerals from 10 and up. (Exceptions: sports scores and recipe measurements.)
  • Write times as 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. using the lower case for ante and post meridiem abbreviations. (Exception: The open house is scheduled from 10-12 in the morning and from 2-4 in the afternoon.)
  • Use standard state abbreviations such as Ga., Ariz., Calif – not the post office abbreviations: GA, AZ or CA.
  • Capitalize geographic divisions, such as the South and the Midwest but not points of the compass: such as …turn north at Steve Tate Highway. And, Jasper is situated west of Big Canoe.
  • Capitalize a person’s title when it appears before the name, but not afterward. For example: Chairman John Joiner of The Tale Spinners Club, but use lower case in a sentence such as: …the club chairman, John Joiner, etc.
  • Use the full name on first reference and the last name thereafter for news articles. There is more leeway in feature stories and it may occasionally be appropriate to use the first name on second reference.

Please understand that editing of your article may be necessary, both for content and length

Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Submit your article now