Here’s The Buzz, Writers

The editors at HoneyColony are always looking for reliable and talented correspondents with an interest in writing cutting-edge health articles and blogs. Review our website, see what we do, and how we do it. Then contact Laurie@honeycolony.com with writing samples. We have assignments. We also consider original articles, but it’s best to contact us first before submitting.

These are the sorts of articles we are looking for:

  • Investigative newsy stories that feature original sources and a lot of well-researched, useful information. See Gut Check: H.Pylori, Stomach Havoc, And How To Fight Back.
  • Listicles such as 10 Reasons You Need To Incorporate Moringa Into Your Morning.
  • Curated stories that take information that has appeared elsewhere. Writers then add original content/commentary, infographic, videos, etc. A curated piece is different from an investigative piece in that you don’t have to use primary sources only. You may link to facts and commentary on other reputable sites with proper attribution and your added commentary. Read our zika story. And here’s an excellent article about curated stories. Please note that although curated, HoneyColony isn’t about repeating the obvious. Our stories need some kind of interesting hook. Either something in the news, or a new discovery, or an insightful observation from a credible source or sources.
  • Buzzworthy Blogs that feature your personal tales of transformation, interesting life experiences, and op-eds on an array of topics — local and national legislation, headline news, social activism, and trends related to food, diet, water, air, mental health, wellness, disease, travel, and our changing world. We want provocative irreverent voices. We do not pay for these stories.

Feel free to contribute a relevant story, essay, or article that will inspire us. Or make us think twice. We’d love to hear what’s on your mind. Authors, artists, and documentarians with relevant content are invited to submit as well.

*Stories are approximately 1000 to 1800 words

 Basics (Read Carefully)

  • First thing, signup and create a HoneyColony profile: Sign up as a new member so we can link your blog post to your profile. Let us know what your username is when you contact us. Writers can change the way their name is displayed by changing the field Display name publicly as to their first and last name. You can also update you first and last name on this page as well and click Update Profile at the bottom.
  • After you contact us we will share a google sheet with you in which you can input your profile information. We need a high-resolution, SQUARE headshot for authors. You can use this free tool to make sure your head shot is square and not just rectangular. In your bio it’s OK to include links back to your own website or social media handle.
  • HoneyColony isn’t about repeating the obvious. Our stories need some kind of interesting hook. Either something in the news, or a new discovery, or an insightful observation from a credible source or sources.
  • Submission Format: Send approved assignments or Buzzworthy Blogs to Laurie@honeycolony.com via Google Doc. 
  • Font: 14pt.
  • Spacing: Double.
  • Paragraphs: Flush left.
  • Title: Please write the title of your article in the subject line or file name.
  • Hyperlinks: Please hyperlink all facts to hard sources, such as studies or articles from experts in the field. Hyperlink the study to the specific words in the article (about the facts) it correlates to.
  • Please write an excerpt that is provocative.
  • Please write a KEYWORD under the title.
  • We encourage you to include a cool infographic or embedded video.

Specifics

Part One: Article Editing

HoneyColony editors edit in Google Docs. Once an article is in the editing process, writers are not to rewrite material changed by HoneyColony’s editors. If you have concerns or want to suggest changes, please contact the editor working on your story. Writers will have an opportunity to accept or reject editorial changes and address comments/suggestions.

Part Two: Style

All articles on HoneyColony must adhere (mostly) to The Associated Press Stylebook. A quality and succinct reference can be found here. One glaring exception: At HoneyColony, we use italics for titles of books, poems, plays, films, speeches, songs, works of art, subjects or lectures, magazine articles, newspapers and magazines. Also, we use the serial comma, unlike AP Style. Best way to get a feel for HoneyColony copy is to read our previously published articles.

Here’s a look at some common issues regarding numbers, punctuation, and capitalization:

Numbers

  • Use figures for all numbers above nine; spell out all numbers under 10.
  • Use figures for ages, sums of money, time of day, percentages, house numerals, years, days of month, degrees of temperature, proportions, votes, scores, speeds, time of races, dimensions and serial numbers.
  • Spell out numbers, no matter how large, when they begin sentences except when a sentence starts with a year.
  • You always want to write out the word “percent” instead of using %.
  • Always use the $ symbol instead of writing out the word “dollar.”
  • Use 21 million instead of 21,000,000. Also: $39 million, $22.5 billion.
  • Fractions standing alone are spelled out: One-fourth of the students..

Punctuation

  • Put the period inside brackets or parentheses when a complete sentence is enclosed in the brackets or parentheses.
  • When the parenthetical expression forms only a part of the sentence, put the period outside the bracket or parenthesis. The day was too cold for football (or skiing).
  • Use curly quotation symbols, not the straight ones that look like this: ” “
  • Always put the period and comma inside quotation marks. Put other punctuation marks inside when they are part of the quoted material.
  • Use figures and spell out inches, feet, yards etc. However, use apostrophes (5’6”) to indicate inches and feet in technical contexts.
  • We only use one space between sentences.
  • U.S. and U.N. (use periods) in the main copy. You can write it US and UN in story titles and  headlines.
  • e.g., needs a comma after it.
  • Ellipses and dashes have a space before and after (e.g., Today is our meeting … I hope I can
    make it — I’ve been really tired lately). At the end of a sentence: It’s just that …
  • Please don’t assume the reader will know what acronyms stand for. Write the full words and then add the acronym in parentheses and thereafter without parentheses. E.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Capitalization

  • Capitalize titles preceding and attached to a name, but use lowercase if the title follows a name or stands by itself. Long titles should follow the name.
  • Capitalize every word in your headline (e.g., Should You Invest In A Skin Care Device?). 
  • Capitalize specific regions, but not the points of the compass.
  • Capitalize common nouns and their distinguishing modifiers in names of associations, societies, companies, streets, etc.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

If we provide you with a keyword phrase for your article please:

  • Include it in the title
  • Include it in the first paragraph of the article
  • Include it in at least one subhead
  • Include it in the text as often as possible in an organic way (including in the last paragraph)

Titles, Subtitles, And Excerpts

Please include them with your main copy. See our published stories on what we’re looking for.

Additional Notes

Please remove all double spaces from your article. To find all double spaces: on PC hit Ctrl +F and hit the space button twice; for Mac, hit Cmd + F and hit the space button twice.

When hyperlinking sources or other articles, hyperlink words that tell the reader what they’ll find when they click.

No: In a recent study, 93 percent of Americans tested had toxic estrogen-mimicking BPA (bisphenol A, which is commonly found in plastics) in their urine and bloodstream.

Yes: In a recent study, 93 percent of Americans tested had toxic estrogen-mimicking BPA (bisphenol A, which is commonly found in plastics) in their urine and bloodstream. 

For SEO purposes:

  • Please try to use present tense when possible.
  • Avoid sentences that are longer than 20 words.

Part Three: Sourcing

We like sources. This is an important part of reporting. We are not into Cosmo fluffy bs stories. Include sources in your copy, but please keep them limited. You should always identify the source of the information you are reporting. Furthermore, if you can find the source online, include it as a hyperlink in your text. For example:

“The drought seizing the United States from coast to coast has not been this bad in a generation, according to new data unveiled today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”  Do not write out the link in your copy like this: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/drought/201206.

IMPORTANT: When adding a hyperlink, make sure to check the box that says “Open link in a new window.” This way, when a user clicks a link, they will not be taken away from HoneyColony. We want to include as many hyperlinks in our articles as possible.  We especially want links back to stories and products in HoneyColony.  For example, if vitamin C is crucial in a diet to ward off a disease, look to link that information in our system before linking to Mercola.

When approaching a source, if you need to describe HoneyColony please use this following blurb:

HoneyColony, is a magazine and marketplace aimed at empowering you to be your own best health advocate. The site was cofounded by the Maryam Henein, an activist, investigative journalist, and the director of the award-winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees,narrated by Ellen Page.

HoneyColony is dedicated to putting honesty back into mainstream health and our food supply! This 75-second animation explains our concept:

Expert Quotes

All articles require 1 – 3 expert quotes. Depending on your article’s topic, you’ll need a quote from a health expert with certain credentials such as Naturopath, Neurologist, Nutritionist, Scientist, etc.

A fast, free, and easy way to get expert quotes for your article is to post a query on HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Instructions are below:
  1. Go to Help A Reporter to submit a free query.
  2. Fill out the required fields, including putting rel=”noopener noreferrer” data-saferedirecturl=”https://www.google.com/url?q=http://honeycolony.com&source=gmail&ust=1555016523328000&usg=AFQjCNE0qSIg8m_1Sclb21fAMMfA0uzCLw”>HoneyColony.com as the media outlet, HoneyColony as the company (we don’t need to be kept anonymous) and for the e-mail address put your personal e-mail address.
  3. In the “Query” section, start by saying “HoneyColony reaches 5 million readers per month and any experts quoted in articles will get a do-follow link to their website in the article.” Then, ask the expert a specific question or set of questions that pertain to your article. Perhaps you want to back up a claim you made in your article with an expert’s input, or you need an expert to clarify something specific.
  4. In the “Requirements” section, detail the type of expert you need and the credentials they should have. Remind them that they must answer your query with quotable content and remind them to provide their full name, credentials, their profession / company and a link to their website.
  5. Set the due date for 3 – 5 days from the day you post the query.
Choose 1 – 3 of the best responses, and add them to your article.

Part Four: General Writing Tips

  1. Start strong. Read — and understand — your source copy.
  2. Think before you write.
  3. Write the way you talk.
  4. Write simply.
  5. Limit a sentence to one idea.
  6. Use familiar words in familiar combinations.
  7. Humanize your copy, especially when writing about health-related topics. Make it readable. Use active voice. Example: Thomas ate the taco-NOT-The taco was eaten by Thomas. Avoid a first sentence whose main verb is any form of to be.
  8. Avoid a first sentence whose main verb is may, could, seems.
  9. Use present tense verbs where appropriate.
  10. Put your sentences in a positive form.
  11. Avoid unnecessary modifiers.
  12. Use contractions sparingly. They often denote inappropriate informality.
  13. Omit needless words. (If it’s not necessary to leave a word in, leave it out.)
  14. Don’t parrot source copy as in cut and paste.
  15. Don’t raise questions you don’t answer.
  16. Read your copy aloud. If it sounds like writing, rewrite it. The art of writing lies in rewriting what you’ve already rewritten.

Part Five: Payment

$75 for listicles (700-1000 words)
$75 for curated stories (1000-1800 words)
TBD for featured, deeper researched stories.

Invoicing

When your story has been accepted for publishing, email a detailed invoice to Jorge Betancourt <jb@betcie.com> and cc Maryam (maryam@honeycolony.com). Please detail story title, type, and price and invoice number. We prefer to pay by check (US bank) or Zelle (quickpay). If these options don’t work for you (you don’t have a US bank account), please be in touch with us to see if we can work out Paypal payments.
You will receive payment within 4-5 weeks.
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We reserve the right to reject your submission if you fail to read and adhere to the guidelines. For instance, a SQAURE image means that we do not want a RECTANGLE. Please follow our directions. All material becomes the copyrighted property of HoneyColony.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Gosia’s story is spectacular and innovative. What is your story? I personally believe that by consuming the proper products, lifting our passion and finding our purpose in life, we achieve total happiness and learn to love our lives regardless to the challenges presented. It is magic!

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