Toot’n Towns USA is looking for short articles (250-500 words) to talk up the great things about the small city or town where you live, or a town you have visited. Possible topics are unlimited, ranging from the town’s recreational opportunities, its school system, architectural points of interest, local history, its people, or anything else that you feel adds to the pleasure of living there. You may also contribute digital photos of the town, but only if you own the copyright to these materials. All contributions are edited for grammatical and typographical errors, but please make sure to proof your article before submitting it. Toot’n Towns USA reserves the right not to publish any submissions that are judged to be offensive or inappropriate for a general reading audience.
Contributors receive $2 per article (payable upon publication) and retain all rights to all written and photographic materials they have submitted. Even better, they have the opportunity to see their own bylines on the Internet’s premiere Web site dedicated to promoting America’s small towns and cities!
Sending an article to Toot’n Towns USA is quick and easy. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your Name (as you wish it to appear in your byline)
- Your E-mail Address (so that you can be contacted and receive payment through PayPal)
- The Name of the Town and Its State
- Your Proposed Title (optional)
- The Text of the Article
- A Brief Author’s Bio (optional)
After we receive your article, you will be notified about whether it has been accepted and when it is scheduled to be published.
We look forward to sharing your “toots!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How many articles about one town can I submit? How many towns can I write about?
A. You can (and are encouraged to) submit as many articles as you wish about any given town. If you try to write one short article that talks about everything interesting in a town, the article will end up being too general and bland. It’s better to focus on one or two aspects of a town, which helps to make the article tighter and more engaging.
You can write about as many towns as you like, but with the proviso that you write only about towns with which you are personally familiar. This means that you have lived in or visited those towns yourself; don’t write about a town using only the results of research you have done on the Internet or elsewhere. If you do, the article will read like a Wikipedia-style article, and that’s NOT what we are looking for.
Q. If Toot’n Towns USA publishes my article, what rights does it buy, and can I submit it to other markets?
A. Toot’n Towns USA buys only the right to publish the article on the Web site. All other rights, including the right to republish the article elsewhere, stay with writers. You can also submit articles that have been published previously, so long as you still retain the rights to that work. If you wish, you can submit your article to other markets as well, even if your article has not yet been published on Toot’n Towns USA.
Q. Why wasn’t my article accepted?
A. There are a few reasons why an article won’t be accepted. The most common reason is that the article is too short, i.e. less than 250 words. If a writer revises the article so that it is longer, the article will be reconsidered. Sometimes an article is written that discusses a “town” that is really a big city. If the town you want to write about has a population of 100,000 residents or more, then no article you write about it will be accepted, no matter how well-written it is. A good way to know whether you can write about a town is to visit the state page on which the town in listed. If it’s there, go ahead and write the article.
On occasion Toot’n Towns USA receives submissions that are inappropriate for the Web site, such as those that try to advance a political agenda. These types of articles and those that are very badly written or just plain incoherent are also not accepted.
Q. Most of the towns listed on the state pages don’t have links. Does that mean you’re not able to accept articles about those towns?
A. It is true that most of the towns listed on the state pages don’t have working links. (At present, only towns in Washington state and Wyoming have their own home pages.) This is because Toot’n Towns USA is very much a work-in-progress, and it’s not feasible for one person (that would be me!) to create web pages for the tens of thousands of towns across the nation. However, when articles are published that address a town that does not have a web page, then a page is created for it at the time of publication. Thus, if a town is listed, writers can write about that town and be assured that a page will soon be created for it.
Q. When will I receive payment for an article?
A. Payments are processed through PayPal on the same day as publication on the Web site.
Q. How will I know whether my article has been accepted or rejected? How will I know when it will be published?
A. I review all articles as I receive them. Whether or not an article is accepted, I notify the author about its status. Accepted articles are then placed on a publication schedule on something of a first-come, first-served basis, and writers are notified of the projected date of publication (usually a month or more in advance). They are notified again on the actual day of publication.
If an article is rejected, but is correctable (i.e., too short), I will give authors the opportunity to make whatever changes are needed so that the piece can be reconsidered.