Contribute to The Vocal
So you want to get Vocal. More vocal than just standing on a box and shouting at gnomes? Good stuff, you’ve come to the right place. We’re all about expanding our awesome community of contributors. Mostly because our editorial team is small, so if we don’t get enough new creative voices in, The Vocal will soon be taken over by a team of trained monkeys.
That’s where you come in, maybe!
We publish stories that are:
We believe in solutions journalism and encourage our writers to think outside the box.
Everything we do, we do with communities and social media in mind.
There’s plenty of negative news that doesn’t try to change anything. We shake that up by taking a more empowering stance on issues.
We believe (know) the next generation is full of diverse, intelligent thought-seekers and active change makers. Millennials want to engage with a new world of storytelling. They want to be informed on issues that matter and feel empowered to act on them.
That’s why we love to feature an action at the heart of every story we publish. So when you pitch a story, always start by suggesting an example of “further action” the community could take, then tell us the story idea connected to that action.
We believe that by focusing on unique stories, showcasing uplifting positivity and thinking more constructively about actions and solutions, we can make the world (and the internet) a more engaging and less fcked place.
Style and tone
We want stories which not only uplift, but also inspire and move people to change in small, or big, meaningful ways. Our goal is to light up the screen with a mixture of humour, critical thinking, research and variety of opinions.
We understand that some issues might be difficult to cover in a positive way but we always aim to shine a more humorous or empowering light where possible, to keep the readers engaged. We prefer to avoid the kind of doom and gloom that might put people off or encourage apathy and cynicism.
We are keen to present content in interesting formats. This includes videos, opinion pieces, feature interviews, lists, series, how to guides, photography, social media and more.
We mostly publish evergreen features, but we occasionally dabble in timely, contextual pieces in the news if the angle of the story is unique and adds to the conversation.
We have both a local and a global focus – think about local examples of inspiring stories that might help our broader global community enact change.
We like our writers to take a strong stance on issues and to present a strong point of view, with sound explanation.
One of the most important ways to keep it positive, shareable, engaging and entertaining is through the use of humour.
Here are some examples of pieces that sum up what The Vocal is about:
This piece on why Kanye West would be the best and most progressive president in US history: strong, punchy, upbeat, positive but also well researched and aware of relevant issues.
This piece on a radical Anglican priest trolling bigotry with Church signs: delves into the issues but takes a more light-hearted approach.
This piece on the Cloud Generation and how millennials no longer buy all the things: looks at issues highly relevant to our audience but in an impactful way that is easy to understand.
We want you to experiment with the form, try out new ways to communicate old ideas. Everyone is tired of all the noise being churned out, the CONTENT overload.
Let’s keep everyone awake! Let’s keep our editor awake, she’s so tired!
We are building a community of likeminded people who define the stories we create. The Vocal ambassadors, if you will.
We support diversity and encourage people from all backgrounds to get involved.
One of the key things we’re looking for are contributors who embody what The Vocal is all about. This means getting involved in our community by liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter and engaging with our stuff and sharing your work around like a proud parent.
The New Frontier: Video
Hello talented video people! We want you!
Are you twiddling your thumbs, wondering if you should go film something or pitch it to us first? Our advice is, if you think there’s a story happening and it’s happening quickly, film it and send us samples of the footage. If you have the luxury of time around a story, feel free to pitch us your ideas first, then film and edit later.
Keep in mind our videos have a particular style and format, so check in with us before submitting. If you want to edit your own videos (preferred!) we can supply you with logos and colour schemes.
We usually accompany videos with a story, so if you can write the accompanying story, even better, you multi-tasking talented maverick!
Pitch, pitch, pitch
Please send all pitches to our editor: Sheree.Joseph@fairfaxmedia.com.au with the subject line*: wake up sleepy editor, I have a great idea!
*Optional, but that way we will know you have read these guidelines and also, please humour us.
All emails should include the following:
- Tell us about yourself: who you are, where you have been published, what kind of formats you prefer writing in, what topics or issues do you cover, your favourite snack?
- Please include links to your published work
- Links to any relevant public social media profiles
Before you hit send
We prefer pitches to finished work, but if you have an article already carefully crafted and which fits in with our guidelines, send it on over. Read as many articles on the site as possible to get an idea for the feel and tone. Remember to include your story’s action in the pitch.
Other things to check. Does your pitch:
- Break down complex issues?
- Propose alternative or radical opinions?
- Find tangible and real ways to help young people take action on issues that matter to them?
- Present itself as smart, skeptical and questioning of the status quo?
Good. You’re ready.