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Contributor Guidelines

My-Say content is written by, illustrated by, and photographed by middle schools students for middle school students.  Content is assigned by the editor (Jennifer Keats Curtis) and approved by her prior to online publication.  My-Say retains the right to edit all content.

My-Say board members recommend story ideas, brainstorm editorial needs and discuss teacher contacts and potential contributors during meetings in-person, via the web, and over the phone. Board members work with teachers to explain editorial needs and to ask for help identifying potential student contributors.

Once a potential contributor has been identified, Ms. Curtis will work with the student and a teacher or parent to help provide the specifications of the article, photograph, and/or illustration assignment.

Ms. Curtis and the teacher or parent may work with the cheap ray bans contributor to define contacts, explain photographic or illustration needs, and assist as required. Students may also query Ms. Curtis cheap oakley sunglasses by email asking her to consider articles, photographs, illustrations, comics, and contests for publication. If the query is accepted, Ms. Curtis will work with the student and a parent or teacher to shape the piece and develop interview and research sources as appropriate. As with every submission, permission slips and contributor’s agreements must be signed prior to publication.

Assignment Specs

All contributors must return signed contributor forms (available as downloads on the website under the “contributor forms” tab) before an assignment may be turned in. After publication, copyright will revert back to the student. Students’ works must be original. The editor retains unrestricted editing rights. Edits of all submissions should be expected and students should be prepared to make ray bans sale changes and edit copy as directed. If major revisions are needed, the student contributor and teacher contact will be notified.

If a student contributor is interviewing or photographing another minor (child under 18 years of age), that interviewee or photographed subject must also return a signed permission slip to My-Say staff. Those forms are also available as downloads under the “contributor forms” tab on the home page of this website.

Assigned articles must be typed and submitted via email by the deadline.  A three- to four-week lead time will be provided as feasible. Adhering to the deadline is an important aspect for student contributors. Failure to comply with deadline may push the contribution to another issue. If the article is timely, a missed deadline may mean that it cannot be published.

To ensure a good experience for the contributor and to help provide a framework for the beset possible article or photograph, Ms. Curtis will work with the contributor as often as needed.

The contributor’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, date of submission, and word count/photo resolution should appear in the body of the email and on the top of the document.

Queries from students and teachers should be emailed to Ms. Curtis at jenniferkcurtis@verizon.net.

Although MY-Say is unable to offer financial compensation for works or expenses, all contributors will be recognized in a byline.

Tips for Querying the Editor

A query is a professional way of proposing a good story idea, Cheap NFL Jerseys photo, comic, or illustration to the editor. Well-written queries include a hook and explain why readers need to read a particular article (or see your picture or illustration). When querying Ms. Curtis, please be sure to include your name, grade level, school name, and the parent or teacher with whom you’ll be working.

At this time, queries are accepted by email. Please email your ideas to Ms. Curtis at jenniferkcurtis@verizon.net.  In the subject line, indicate what your story is about. In the body of the email, please note the department in which it fits. Regular departments include:

  • Arts & Music
  • Environment/Green
  • Fiscal Sense ($)
  • Gallery  (Art; lyrics, poetry on select themes)
  • Health
  • High-Sci (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
  • History
  • Literacy Initiatives (SoMIRAC/MLA)
  • My Peeps (Interesting people in your school and around your town)
  • Person on the Street (POS) Interview (Asking students 3-10 questions about select topics)
  • Reflection (I Say)
  • Snapshot/Style
  • Sports
  • Student Service Learning (SSL)
  • Travel

For example:

To:                    jenniferkcurtis@verizon.net

From:               Penny Jones

Subject:            Bedtime for Middle Schoolers?

Dear Mrs. Curtis;

Even though I’m 13, my parents still make me go to bed at 9:15 p.m. every school night. My friends and I have been discussing “bed time” and whether it’s necessary for middle school students.

I’d like to survey 10 students at my school Cheap china Jerseys to find out about their bedtimes. I’d also like to do some research (including an interview with my school’s guidance counselor) to learn how much sleep middle school students require and if we are old enough to set our own bedtimes.

I’m proposing an article for the Health department of Alessandra  MY-Say that includes a survey of the students, sleep requirements, and information about bedtime for 6th through 8th graders. I can also include photos of the students with whom I talk for the article.

Thank you for your consideration.


Penny Jones, 7th grade, Severn River Middle School

Parent advisor: My mom, Jesse Jones


Tips for Writing Your Article

Your first step for writing your article should be researching your topic. Read at least two different sources to gather information. Jot down what you have learned. Then, make a list of questions that you want to ask the teacher in charge of the competition and at least one of the student participants during your interview. Think about what you want to know. What does your reader want to know?

Once you’ve come up with your questions, you are welcome to share them with Ms. Curtis, your parent, or a teacher. (In some cases, Ms. Curtis may help you develop questions and/or conduct the interview with you.) They may help you edit the questions. The amount of time the interview takes will depend upon the number of questions that you have and the complexity of the questions. Consider questions that won’t be answered simply yes or no. Please be respectful of your interviewee’s time constraints.

When conducting your interview, observe the person carefully and take notes. What does s/he look like? Where are you conducting the interview? Try to ask one question at a time. Listen carefully to the answers and jot them down. You may record the interview if you wish. You must get permission from the interviewee before you begin recording. At the end of your interview, thank the person for her or his time and ask if you may follow up if you have further questions.

As soon as possible, write up your notes as a first draft. Remember to show rather than tell. Be specific with details.  Make sure they support your main idea.

Remember, writing is a process!  You may need to edit your article before it is complete. Carefully proofread your typed work and email it to Ms. Curtis at jenniferkcurtis@verizon.net. Expect the editor to suggest revisions and edits and be prepared to make them as directed.

Have fun!