Fancy yourself the next editor of the National Geographic?
Okay, so we can’t quite offer you that. But we can give you a pretty good start! Begin writing for us, and we’ll give you one-on-one feedback, via email or even Skype if you prefer. We’ll talk you through every single one of your articles, their good and bad (if there are any!) points, and what you can do to kick it up a notch next time. Your work will get promoted through our Facebook and Twitter feeds, which is pretty important in getting your name out there. You will also get something pretty fantastic to put on your CV – your prospective employer can click on your profile to have a gander at your awesome work on Exploration. What’s more, if you become a successful regular contributor, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for editorial jobs with us as and when they arise, and our editors are always happy to give you a character or professional reference for job or Uni applications. To top it all off, you’ll be part of something global – we’ve got a huge writing community spread across the world, and, well, that’s pretty awesome if you ask us.
More questions? Great.
Here are some FAQs to sort that out for you.
1) Where do I start?!
First off, why not take a look at our Writers’ Guide to give you some ideas on where to begin with your articles. Following that, browse the site itself – find out which sections you’re interested in, find a particular writer whose style you like, start following a series, or have a read of our ‘About’ and ‘Meet the Editors’ pages to get a feel for who we are and what we do.
2) What do you want me to write about?
Country/city profiles, blog or diary entries, academic writing, features, opinion, politics, comments… everything and anything about travel and your experiences. We want you to develop your own personal style and tone of writing – it makes for far more interesting and varied content!
3) Do I have to write regularly/how much do you expect me to contribute?
Ideally, we would like you to be able to write for us regularly. At the start we will ask for one or two articles per month – though of course, the more the better!
4) How long do articles have to be?
It depends – use your initiative! Roughly around the 500-word mark (give or take 100) is usually a good target to work around for any feature piece or article, but a particular piece might require 1000 and a “top ten” style article might require as few as 400. Discuss it with your section editor if you’re not sure.
5) Do you want photographs?
Yes! We can either upload photographs alongside your articles, or we can create a unique gallery for a whole collection of photographs. If you have any (appropriate) video footage, we could include that, too. We don’t use photos with authors in them as a rule, but there are occasionally exceptions: however, we’d prefer photos that are a source of inspiration in themselves, and aren’t personal snapshots.
6) Do I need writing experience?
No. Of course experience is always beneficial, but this is really an opportunity for students interested in writing to kick-start their careers. To help you along, you’ll be provided with feedback for every piece you write, to help improve and develop your style.
7) When are the deadlines?
Our Section Editors will probably ask for one article per month, and the deadlines fall at the end of every month, or just before – usually to the editor in question’s discretion. This way, you’ll have a whole month to perfect your piece.
8) Do I have to be a seasoned traveller?
Not at all! Even someone who’s never left the UK could write a country fact file or political/historical article on a country.
9) What if I am studying abroad next year, can I still contribute?
Of course. This puts you in an ideal place to write about things first-hand, or even begin a series.
10) Can I write a series or a column?
Yes! We welcome both, writing a series or column is a project that will really enable you to develop your writing “voice” and explore a subject as deeply as you’d like. If you have one really long article, we can split it into a mini-series.
11) Does English have to be my first language?
No – there are many writers at Exploration who have English as a second (or even third or fourth) language. However, you must be able to write in (UK) English to a high enough standard for Exploration to upload your articles. Any minor errors in language can be smoothed out, but the potential has to be there.
12) Will I get paid?
Unfortunately not. Exploration is voluntarily run (mostly by students as cash-strapped as yourselves), the website is non-profit, we work with an ethos of sharing work and receiving feedback in return – and therefore we don’t pay writers. However, writing for us is a great start on your career ladder, and we’re always happy to provide a reference for prospective employers should you need it.
13) Is this a massive commitment/effort?
We don’t think so: if you want to commit 100% and contribute several articles per month, then yes. But if you can only contribute now and again, but can prove that you’re reliable, that’s more than fine too.
FAQs not satisfied your curiosity?
Fire off an email to Ali, our Editor-in-Chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tweet us, post on our Facebook page, or join our Facebook group! We’d be happy to answer anything you can throw at us. Anything at all. Our opinions on stuff? Yep. Recruitment? Yep. References? Yep. Existential questions on the meaning of life? We’ll do our best.