FAQ about The Tartan

Are you looking to be a part of SFU’s new student-run magazine focused on long form journalism and creative writing? This guide is meant to serve as your introduction to The Tartan, a new bi-annual magazine created by the Peak Publications Society and should give you the low-down on how you can get involved.

What is The Tartan?

The Tartan is the name of a new subsidiary semesterly magazine to The Peak, Simon Fraser University’s Student Newspaper, which will focus on long-form journalism and creative fiction writing. It intends to be the home of both longer investigative and historical pieces which would have formerly been found in The Peak’s Features section and also be the place for SFU’s talented creative fiction writers to publish their short stories and poetry (or whatever else they might write). The Tartan’s purpose is to allow writers a chance to have their work published somewhere other than a weekly newspaper, which is not always the ideal location for all types of writing.

How can I get involved?

The best way to get involved is to send an e-mail to tartan@the-peak.ca. We can answer all your questions and you’ll be encouraged to join our mailing list so you can be the first to know everything we’re doing!

How do I submit creative writing (short stories, poetry, etc.)?

Send it to tartan@the-peak.ca! The deadline for the Spring Issue will be Monday, November 9, 2015 but you are encourage to send it in ASAP. The Tartan’s Associate Fiction Editor will review your submission and either let you know it will be published or give you notes on how you can get something published. It’s simple! There aren’t any real guidelines, if we like it, think it’s of artistic merit or think student will enjoy it, we’ll publish it.

How do I submit non-fiction?

From the start of the semester until Thursday, October 15, 2015 we will be accepting pitches for feature stories (historical investigations about SFU, current investigations about SFU, human-interest pieces related to SFU, etc.). For those on our mailing list and at our meetings we will also be pitching ideas to you that you can pick up if you’re interested.

What should I include in a pitch?

When sending us a pitch through email, you should briefly explain your idea, say why you think students will enjoy it. If you want to write the idea alone or in a team or and finally, include one or more pieces of writing that prove you can accomplish what you’re setting out to do. So, if you want to write a history of the Maggie Benston Centre, you might want to include an investigative article you’ve written in The Peak or for a class.

What if I don’t have any ideas?

If you’re looking to write non-fiction, don’t worry about it, just be sure to check your email frequently. Throughout the pitching process we’ll send out cool story ideas for anyone to pick up. Just let us know you want to write and again, send a writing sample to show you’re the strongest candidate for the assignment. If you want to write fiction though, you’re going to have to come up your own ideas, sorry.

When is the deadline for pitching ideas?

The deadline for submitting pitches is Thursday, October 15, 2015.

How do you decide which pitches make it in the magazine?

We will consider every submission equally and let the magazine’s collective decide what they want to see most in the magazine. Every acceptable pitch will be written on a board and discussed at a planning meeting on October 15 that everyone will be invited to attend. At the meeting we will go through all the ideas in as much detail as possible and determine what goes in the allotted spaces of the magazine and who will write them (you will have first dibs on your own pitches, don’t worry). You should definitely come to this meeting and explain your idea in person to make sure it makes the cut.

What if I’m not a writer? What if I like to draw or take photos instead?

That’s great! We will definitely will need illustrations and photographs. Just join our mailing list and we’ll be putting out calls to have contributors do illustrations, take photographs and even help lay out parts of the magazine if they want! Again, just like for writers, be sure to send in a sample of your work for a better chance at getting an assignment.

What types of fiction writing will you accept?

Anything that is great! Short stories, poetry, visual stuff… whatever you’ve got. Priority however will be given to work that best fits into the student experience and are relatable to SFU community members.

Can I make any money out of this?

You sure can! Writers for the magazine will be paid based on The Peak’s current contributor pay scale. This means you will have to have written a minimum of three articles for The Peak/The Tartan before you can get paid for a submission, but since it is highly encouraged you also write for the newspaper anyway, that shouldn’t be too much trouble. A long form non-fiction piece (2000-5000 words) will be worth $50-75. A long fiction piece (2000-5000 words) will also be worth $50-75. Short fiction and long poems (500-1500 words) will be worth $30 and short poems will be paid $10.

What if I have more questions?

That’s great! Please send us an email at tartan@the-peak.ca and we’ll be happy to answer anything!

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