MYYTH'S SECRET LAIR - Now, I know that there are many people out there who
have submitted to the Times. Some of them have gotten in, and some of them haven't.
No, This is not an article about how to improve your writing or how to improve
your chances of getting into the times. This an article about how to make Mister
Shankly's job a bit easier.
If you don't already know, Mister Shankly is the editor of The Neopian Times.
Every week he must have to go through hundreds and hundreds submissions for
the times. Can you imagine? Week after week patiently going through tons of
work and having to choose the best out of it before Friday. If that weren't
enough he has to figure out what file extensions are compatible with what word
programs, insert all of the html tags in all the chosen stories, and find pictures
for each piece of work.
As you can imagine this takes a LOT of time and effort on Mister Shankly's
part! There is no way to ease the mass amount of submissions he receives each
week, but there is a way to help making the job of actually putting your work
into the times easier.
Helpful Tip Number 1:
Using <p> Tags
Putting HTML codes into your work takes very little time if you know how to
do it correctly. The most important tag to know is the <p> tag. The <p>
tag adds a space between paragraphs when it's used. Do you know how many <p>
tags Mister Shankly would have to put in stories each week? Take the number
of articles, short stories, and series in each issue than times it by 20. That's
a lot of <p> tags, but if you do it for him he doesn't have to worry about
it! Here is how to properly use a <p> tag.
<p>Once upon a time there was a Gelert named Bob. Bob was a very nice
Gelert. Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah. (Insert good plot here) </p>
See? Not so hard is it! So next time you submit to the times remember to surround
each of your paragraphs with the <p>...</p> tags!
Helpful Tip Number 2:
Submitting in .txt format
With so many different Word Processors out there, There are many different
types of files that text can be saved at. There's .doc, .wps, .rtf, etc. The
list goes on and on and on. Whatever file may be standard to your computer or
word program might be completely alien to another. That's why there's a little
text format simply called .txt. This format can be read by pretty much ANY word
program. This makes Mister Shankly's job a lot easier when trying to open up your
submissions! It's really easy to save your file in .txt format too! All you
need to do is copy and paste your work from whatever word processor your using
then open either Wordpad or Notepad and paste it in. Then go to File, Save as,
and at the drop down menu select "Text Document" Name your file, then save!
It's THAT easy!
Helpful Tip Number 3:
Using other HTML codes
This is doing a bit extra to help out. You know how Mister Shankly is kind
enough to bold, italicise, or underline important words or phrases in your story?
Well, you can do it for him! All you need is to use the following codes.
<b>Bolded Text goes here </b>
<i>Italicise Text goes here </i>
<u>Underlined Text goes here</u>
That's all you need to do for that!
Helpful Tip Number 4: (Concerning Series)
Zipping your story parts using Winzip
When submitting a series to The Neopian Times it's really best to separate
each part into different files. This way it's very simple to tell where each
part begins and ends. I suggest putting each part of your story into a different
.txt file. Then you could just send each part separately, but that's really
a pain. If possible, I recommend you zip your story parts using Winzip. Don't
know how to do that? All you need to do is run WinZip (if you have it, if you
don't you can download it at www.winzip.com) then run the WinZip wizard. There
should be three options.
"Unzip or install from an existing Winzip file"
"Update an existing Zip file"
"Create a new Zip file"
Highlight the little bullet next to create a new zip file and click next. Once
you do that pick a filename for your zip file. (The title of your submission
or something like that) Then click next. Then click add files and go to the
folder where you have each part of your story saved. Make sure you call each
part of the story something like "mystorypart1.txt" so that Mister Shankly can
easily tell which part is which. Once you've added each file to the list click
on "Zip now" and you're finished! Then just attach the zip file to your submission
e-mail and you're set.
I hope you all use the tips I've listed here in your future submissions for
The Neopian Times because they really do help Mister Shankly out!