• DO NOT write in the first or second person. “I” and “you” have no place in your press release. Neither do “we,” “our,” or “your.”
• DO NOT use explicitly promotional language in your submissions; it will be removed.
• DO NOT include hyperlinks in your articles - if you must include web links, spell them out fully, do not embed them in text.
• DO NOT mention businesses unless you have been explicitly granted permission. That includes event sponsors.
• DO NOT send document files in formats other than Microsoft Word or PDF. If you do not have access to Word or cannot make a PDF, feel free to paste the text of your article directly into your email. Other file formats run the risk of being discarded.
• DO NOT embed photo files in your Microsoft Word file. Send them separately from the document.
• DO NOT abbreviate anything.
• DO NOT use ALL CAPS for anything in your article. An exception is made for words in proper titles (for example: “M.A.S.H.” or “The Secret of NIMH”).
• DO NOT use exclamation points. We realize you are excited about your event or story, but exclamation points are not appropriate for the paper (outside of direct quotes, of course).
• DO NOT boldface, underline, or italicize anything in your document.
• DO NOT send flyers or releases in “Who,” “What,” “When” format. They are considered advertisements, and should be directed to our ad department if printed as is. If you would like the information in your flyer to appear in the paper, you may re-write it as a story and re-send it.
• DO NOT send multiple press releases or stories for a single event - you may only submit one release for a given event.
• DO look at the paper before proposing a story. Ask yourself: “Have I seen any stories like mine in the paper?” Like any publication, Hometown Weekly has its own tone, capabilities, and areas of interest. We are neither investigative reporters, nor public advocates. Chances are, if you haven’t seen a story like yours in the paper before, your story wouldn’t be appropriate for the paper.
• DO caption all of your photographs. Sending a photo without any descriptions or context is a surefire way to have it discarded.
• DO make sure any of your photos are high resolution. We are unable to print small photos. For reference, photos under 200 kb are typically considered too small.
• DO let us know about your event as far in advance as you can! The likelihood of us being able to cover an event is often dependent upon when we find out about it.
We're sorry, but Hometown Weekly is a local newspaper first and foremost. Unless it's in or about one of our communities, we're not interested.
I want you to write a story about my business!
Typically, our business-related editorial is confined solely to community-related special events. Occasionally, we’ll also make exceptions for special recognitions or awards - for example, if you were to be named _______ of the Year by a prestigious publication, that’s something we might consider. That all being said, because we are an ad-sponsored publication, we do not write general stories on businesses or their services.
The CEO of my company is an expert on _____. Would you be interested in a guest column about ______?
Not in the flow of editorial, no - please see above. If you'd like to do so as an advertorial, however, you'd be more than welcome to contact us at email@example.com.
Can you write a story about my event from last week?
No. However, you'd be welcome to send us photos and/or accounts of the event - we'd be glad to print them!
What length should my article or letter be?
We would ask that you limit your submissions to an absolute maximum of 600 words, unless you’ve been explicitly told otherwise. Submissions of greater length run the risk of omission.
Can you print my letter to the editor this week?
While we do our best to print as many letters as we can, we simply do not have the space to print them all. All letters are printed at our discretion, and are subject to concerns of space, content, readability and deadlines.
I would like to send a book for review! Where should I send it?
Sorry, we do not review books.
Will you make sure the headline of my article reads…
We appreciate your input, but all headlines are written at the discretion of the paper.
I don’t like where you printed my story! Why did you place it there?
The only way to guarantee placement in the paper is to run an advertisement. If you are interested in advertising with Hometown Weekly, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why didn’t you print my photo?
The only way to guarantee a photo prints is to run it as an advertisement. If you are interested in advertising with Hometown Weekly, please contact email@example.com.
Why didn’t my photo print in color?
The only way to guarantee a photo prints in color is to run it as an advertisement. If you are interested in advertising with Hometown Weekly, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you make sure the headline reads…
Thank you for the input, but headlines are written exclusively by the paper. If you’d like something a bit more eye-catching, you might be interested in running an ad with us.
Can I thank people in my article?
No. An article is not an appropriate place to thank somebody. If you’d like to write a note of thanks, please submit it as a letter to the editor.
Why didn’t you print the acknowledgment in our press release? We have to include it in our publicity!
Hometown Weekly is under no obligation to print acknowledgements of any nature in the flow of its editorial; please see above. Furthermore, by virtue of your including the acknowledgement in the press release you sent us (which is your publicity), you have likely fulfilled your obligations.
I don’t like the letter to the editor you printed!!
A letter to the editor constitutes neither the opinions nor research of Hometown Weekly; your argument is with the individual(s) who sent the letter. You are, however, welcomed to rebut the content in a letter of your own.
Can I review the story before you print it?
When are you going to print my story?
Fluctuations of space and content in the paper make us unable to definitively guarantee when your article will print. Your best bet is to keep your eye on the paper!
So, when did/will my story print?
We'd suggest you check in the paper!
Why wasn’t my story in the paper?!?
Sometimes, there simply isn’t enough space in the paper to print everything we’d like in a given week. Other times, a piece may have arrived post-deadline, making us unable to accommodate it. Aside from constraints of space and time, Hometown Weekly reserves the right to print - or not to print - what it sees fit.
Can I mail or fax a hard copy of my article instead of emailing?
You most certainly can, though it will take much, much longer to process and appear in the paper, if it appears in the paper.
Can you print my flyer in the paper?
Flyers are technically advertisements - if you’d like to print one, you should contact one of Hometown Weekly’s advertising consultants. Alternatively, you can write up the information in the flyer as a press release and send it in for publication.
Come and cover my event!
We’d love to! Unfortunately, we don’t always have the resources to cover everything we’d like. Please let us know well in advance - weeks, not days - about your event. In the event that we can’t make it, you’re always welcome to submit photos and/or a press release for publication.
Here's a notice for an event taking place in 72 hours! Can you come???
Sadly, no. Please see above.
My event recurs five times over the next week. Can I run it in the community calendar?
Because of space constraints, we try to avoid listing these kinds of recurring events in the community calendar. This is because they typically end up pushing other relevant items out. You are welcome to submit your recurring event as an article, which can list all of the dates and times for your event in one place.