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How to Submit an Article to the Mudslinger

The Medievia Mudslinger is renowned for printing articles of many diverse types, all contributed to the worthy organ by you, the players. Tales of derring-do and guides to aspects of Medievia as well as a number of amusing pieces have all graced these pages. So, with this in mind, you may be wondering how you too can get your name up in print.

If you are interested in holding the job of a Medievia Reporter, please visit the Reporter Application. If you are interested in writing fiction, poetry, or just an article or two, read on!

Currently the Frontline Editor is Azathron and the first step is to contact him via email (azathron@medievia.com) with your idea for an article. Please do not begin to write the article beforehand as it is quite possible that a similar article is awaiting publication - Azathron will be able to let you know if the idea is a valid one.

The next phase is to write the article. Type it up in Notepad (or other text editor), attach it as a TXT file to an email and send it to Azathron for perusal. Alternatively you can type it into an email message as this can be cut and pasted into a TXT file easily. Please note that you should not indent the first line of a paragraph - anything TABbed or centered means Azathron has to spend more time taking the extraneous spaces out before looking at the article proper. Also, include your Mud name with every article of correspondance.

Azathron should have a reply for you within four working days, rarely more (although real life or other projects on Medievia can throw unexpected obstacles up). If you haven't heard within four days then feel free to ask as to progress with your piece. The occasional whimsy of email is a good reason to follow up your article's progress.

A reply can take one of three formats. Outright rejection is rare but does happen - this should come with reasons attached and is always copied to Soleil, the overall editor. A request for some work to be performed on the piece is much more common, with notes within the piece itself where points need to be clarified and so forth. Acceptance on first draft is rare but has happened.

If an article has been sent back for alteration it means it may still be rejected, but it is more likely that Azathron believes it to be worth working on to bring it to a printable state. Some pieces have suffered many rewrites in times past and still made it to the pages.

Once Azathron's approval has been gained the process is as follows. Azathron passes the articles to Soleil for final approval, arranges them into HTML when time permits, and publishes a batch of articles at once. Not all articles are published in a batch on occasions, sometimes there are too many and at other times real life takes a toll on the chance to do this (Medievia Staff members do have real lives as well, unfortunately). We prefer to work in approval chronological order and if your piece has not gone up in the latest batch then it may still be waiting for the next issue. If your piece fails to meet Soleil's approval you will be told. Please do not contact Soleil if you are anxious to know your article's estimated publication time - any queries like this should be sent to Azathron first.

Apart from the glittering lights, fame and notoriety of having your work appear in Mudslinger, there are additional benefits. Most articles that appear on the Mudslinger pages will generate a Donation Token award. All awards are of a size of Soleil's discretion and, as editor in charge, her decision is final. One major award for publication is the Golden Mudslinger Quill, an item only available for people who have contributed articles. Donation items can be purchased in the normal way, but the kudos from owning a quill cannot be ignored.

General rules for the article itself

When you send an article for publication there are a few things you can do to make the process a lot swifter.

  • No DOCs, no HTML etc - just a TXT format attachment or within an email message.
  • Put a clear space between paragraphs so the editor knows where they begin and end. Previously it was required for contributors to place a "-" on clear lines but this is now not necessary.
  • Check your punctuation - the editors have to sort this out if it is wrong. Ask a friend or teacher if necessary.
  • When you finish your piece leave it for a few days and then reread it - it can be astounding how many errors spring to the fresh eye.
  • Read HELP MUDSLINGER and HELP MUDSLINGER_SUBMIT (although this is the latest version of the submission guidelines and any information in here supercedes the information there). The SUBMIT version has a lot of comments about style and so forth.
  • A filename that isn't "article.txt" or "story.txt" (or similar) is welcome. The editors have many files in their collection and the chances of overwriting them is quite large (and has happened). Using your mudname or a version of the title of the piece is a good way of differentiating them.
  • If you have a complaint with how Medievia works then then please note that Mudslinger is not a discussion forum. An article that is critical of the game will not be published. Should you have concerns about certain aspects of the game feel free to use the IDEA command or contact a god or goddess, but do not send it in as an article.

Specific notes for Factual articles

  • Know your topic - ask people if you are not sure and ask them if you are sure.
  • Make sure you have an introduction to explain what you are writing about.
  • We will not publish similar articles too close to each other - make sure the topic you are writing about hasn't been covered recently.
  • Please remember that the people who are going to need to read a factual piece are going to be newer players. Use plain english and explain ingame terms without using abbreviations. Experienced heroes will often find little of interest in a Mudslinger factual article, new players will find them much more valuable.
  • Try and generalise on your topic and cover a broad area of ground where it is appropriate. For example, if you were doing a guide to selling items at shops, don't just concentrate on the values items found in one zone will bring you - it should be based around a general concept and not a specific zone.
  • We do not accept client info articles, zone reviews or zone walkthroughs. Try and keep zone information to a minimum when mentioning zone aspects as we like people to find out the joys of the game for themselves.
  • Clan webpages can be a source of valuable information, but check this information carefully and do not just submit a direct copy of someone elses work as your article. Feel free to use them for research but not for plagiarism.

Specific notes for Fictional articles

  • The story must be set within the world of Medievia itself - your version of the fourth part of the Lord of the Rings saga may be very interesting and worthy, but it isn't relative to the topic in hand. Use zones that are within the game and do not invent areas - this only leads to people becoming confused as to the world itself.
  • The rules on swearing within the game should be kept to within the fiction, although bashing is possibly allowable (within reason). Usage of other people's characters within the piece is permitted but we like permission from the character in question.
  • Multi-part tales have come under a new ruling thanks to several unfinished tales. We are now imposing a rule that any multi-part tale will have to have all its sections submitted in one go, and it will not be able to exceed three parts. Any comments of "Well, I'm thinking of six or seven parts, maybe more if I get a decent tale going," will be ignored. Three parts maximum and all submitted at once. Any currently outstanding tales in multi-parts will have to be finished within these rules - three more parts total.
  • The piece must be your own work and original. Please note that the Mudslinger has a wide readership and many readers will have read the same things as yourself - if we catch people passing someone elses work off as their own then things will happen.
  • Try and keep real life elements out of the piece - things like Scottish accents can be changed to, for example, New Ashton accents (or where-ever you want them to come from). We are trying to ensure that Medievia is its own world and not dependant on other sources.
  • Fictional pieces are allowed some leeway away from the game system and mythos itself, but it's preferred for a character's actions to be within the player abilities of a game character. Spells that can only be cast the once in the history of the world very rarely get past, nor do special abilities that only one person has. If you need a plot device like this then a special item that performs the task should suffice, not a character.
  • Zone-running information should be kept out of the tale. If a story describes how someone passed, for example, the tricks and traps and where the keys are at Elysium then it will be rejected.
  • There is no set length to a story - but if a tale is much too short you will be told. Any tales that are obviously padded to create extra length will also have this noted. Check for the length of tales that are currently on Mudslinger and try and work within that guidance.
  • Humor is a difficult thing to write but never let that stop you from trying. More leeway from the established mythos/rules of the game is allowed but only so long as the result is genuinely funny. Occasionally lists of things that are humorous in Medievia or "ways you know XYZ" are submitted. A lot tend to be similar in aspect and a selection like this needs to be good for acceptance.

Poetry/Songs

Poetry and songs have become popular of late. There are a few basic notes to be observed.
  • Please stay away from free verse.
  • Please observe the rules of scansion - rhyming lines ought to have the same number of syllables. It improves a poem enormously if this is adhered to.
  • If you are modifying a song/poem to a Medievian theme then please include a URL which has the original lyrics for comparisons. A web search should come up with this fairly quickly.

Other articles

For anything that isn't covered by the above (artwork or anything different to what is already up on Mudslinger), contact Azathron for clearance first.

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