Publisher’s Letter: Hearing From Our Neighbors

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood (Pexels.com)
By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Just this week a staffer of ours struck up a conversation with a group of guys meeting over coffee and she quickly learned that every one of them reads our newspaper. So she used that opportunity to ask them what they’d like to see (or see more of) in our coverage. One said he’d like to see more local nature stories. He mentioned changes in wildlife behavior he’d observed on his Poudre Canyon property brought on by last year’s Cameron Peak fires. That same day Steve Den submitted an impeccably written short story about pine squirrels along with a photo — see his story on page (3).

Another man commented that he’d like to see a sports section — we’d like to see that too but we don’t have the staff available to cover sporting events.

But these conversations got us thinking about how we might be able to share with our readers contributed content from their Northern Colorado neighbors. In truth, we considered this in the past but were concerned about the volume of submissions we might receive — again, limited staff to review this content.

But we thought we’d “dip a toe in the water” by asking for submissions for a limited number of weeks to see what we received — so here’s some criteria of what we’d be seeking:

1) Content that is not time-sensitive as we couldn’t guarantee your piece would be published by the date you’d need it to be (and we do have a calendar for free listings of events.)

2) Word count: 350 words or less to allow content space for a photo (pasted in the body of the email, not sent as a separate attachment.)

3) Photo submitted with a caption (Name of photo) and accreditation such as (Photo by ________)

4) Topics that local, neutral, upbeat or “solution-driven” as we do not publish sensationalistic or controversial stories.

We reserve the right to select what we publish and will only advise people whose work is selected for publication.

A few stylistic points would help us to keep in mind such as:

a) We only use one space after a period and the beginning of the next sentence.

b) Our time style is: 9 am.

c) We do not use “th” when writing dates such as September 29.

If we select your piece for publication but we need to edit it, prior to publication, you will get to confirm your approval of our changes as the piece will bear your byline.

Your byline will appear as:

(Your Name) | Northern Colorado Neighbor

Before October 31 (or other deadline which can always be extended) submit your written piece along with your captioned photo to:
ourneighbors@northfortynews.com

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