DEEP CATACOMBS - So you want to be published in The Neopian Times (now you
know where the catchy title came from). Neopia is full of great advice of how
to write an article or create a short story. There is even great advice about
how to do a comic. Yet, it still seems like a monumental task to write something
that each author feels is Neopian Times material. The hope in writing this article
is to offer some ways that would improve your chances of becoming published
in The Neopian Times. Although, there is no guarantee that any piece will be
The most basic tool that any aspiring author would need is the love of writing.
For those who share this love, writing is something that can be done for the
pure joy of it. Everyone has the ability to write an article or story. However,
it will clearly show through any writing of whether an author enjoys writing
or is doing it just for the trophy. This may not seem like a very important
detail, but it makes all the difference in how well your piece comes out.
Writing an article, story or comic can be broken down into three basic steps,
creativity, spelling & grammar and persistence.
The first step is creativity. In its most simple form, be creative. Countless
times, authors are seen struggling and grasping for an idea to write about.
Some may consider it easier to bang their head against a Neopian wall than it
is to come up with an idea. However, it’s not as hard as some may think.
In any piece an author writes for the Neopets site, there are two main rules
to consider. One is that all stories, articles and comics must be Neopets related.
The second is that all submissions must follow the terms and conditions set
Keeping these rules in mind, the best way to go about finding an idea is to
stick with what you know. Look around the worlds, look towards the areas you
play on Neopets. Find your idea from what you know about Neopets. For instance,
if you are primarily in the games room, write about games or characters in games
or game tips (not cheats!). However, if you are not very good with games or
do not spend much time playing in the game room, then you most likely wouldn’t
have very much to write about.
Suppose there is a topic you are interested in, but it may have been done before.
Why not try writing about a topic from a different perspective or point of view?
This idea of writing is more difficult because an author should take care to
make sure they do not plagiarize or copy the original author. Be respectful
and ask the author for permission before you use any of their creative works.
This includes style, characters, quotes, excerpts and anything else that is
taken from their piece. Also, make sure the original author receives the credit
they are due.
SPELLING & GRAMMAR
Most would think this is an obvious step to writing. Yet it is one of the most
over looked steps there is. Mistakes and typos will happen no matter how hard
we try to get a piece perfect.
There are two ways to check your article or story. The first is when writing
anything, it is a good idea to use the spell and grammar check. This will cut
down your mistakes by at least half. It also allows for automatic correction
as you are writing your piece. The second way is to have another person read
your article or story. This is one of the best ways to go because you are getting
another opinion and a fresh view of what it is you are writing. Plus, you can
gain some great insight and improve your talents as a writer.
Another issue under the section of grammar and spelling would be the ‘lazy
writer’. Just about every Neopian has come across a ‘lazy writer’. In fact,
many of us have probably taken on the role of the ‘lazy writer’ once or twice
What is a ‘lazy writer’ you may ask? The lzy writr is sum 1 who doz not hve
da time 2 write ne ideas n r not 2 gud w/ following thru. U c? K?
It is almost guaranteed that if The Neopian Times editor has to decipher the
article, the author won’t be making it into The Neopian Times.
Spelling and grammar is an important factor in your article or story. It is
so important that spelling and grammar can mean the difference between your
piece being published or not.
Never give up! The key to making it into The Neopian Times is persistence. The
editor receives thousands of submissions from authors who hope to be published
in The Neopian Times. So it is unrealistic of an author to assume that they
send in their piece and it will be in the next issue. It can happen that way,
but usually doesn’t. A more realistic expectation is that an author submits
their piece and it may show up a couple of weeks later.
If your submission was rejected, don’t give up! You should receive an email
providing you with information of what the editor is looking for in an article,
story, series and comic. Simply go through your piece and make the changes necessary
to fit what the editor is looking for. Then resend it in. Every author has met
with rejection. Even those authors you may see in The Neopian Times often. All
you can do is make changes and try to get your piece in next time.
Another trick is not to place all your neggs in one basket. Write a few different
stories and articles. Make it a point to alternate your submissions and if something
is rejected, then you have the time to work on that piece again. Meanwhile,
you can send in something else you have written. Don’t depend on one article
or story that you have done.
The last bit to remember is to keep your focus where it belongs. Every author
understands that what they create with writing, for anything, is a part of the
author. When an author’s piece is rejected, it hurts and creates self doubt
within the author. Too many times an author is seen blaming others, including
the editor, for having their piece rejected. This is a pointless action that
takes up your energy and focus. Blame will not get you into The Neopian Times.
Keeping your focus on your writing and improving what you have written, will.
Author’s Note: This article is based on my experience with authors hoping
to have their work published in The Neopian Times. I am in no way guaranteeing
that anyone will be published in the NT. That is something each person must
do on their own. I hope you enjoyed my article. Please feel free to offer comments.