Belarus.ExpatReporter.com welcomes unsolicited articles and blog posts. If you are interested in writing for us, please fill out our Contact Us form with your proposal.
Preference will be given to original reporting and analysis, but we will also consider commentary which will be published in the Opinions section. Please note that we only cover news and events related to Belarus and the expat community in this country.
We especially are welcome contributions from embassies and international organizations which have provided useful and up to date information for expats who have been living in this country and visitors who are in Belarus or just planning to visit.
Submissions should range between 3000 and 10000 characters, while feature articles generally start at around 5000 characters. For original reporting in particular, we recommend first pitching ideas to the editor.
If you seek compensation, please indicate this clearly in your pitch, and whether the article has been published elsewhere. Any payment must be agreed by the editor in advance.
Because of the very large volume of submissions we receive, we will contact you only if we feel able to accept your piece. If you do not hear from us within 10 business days, please feel free to submit your article to other publications.
You are advised first to submit a short pitch (a paragraph or two summarizing your argument and why it’s important to our readers) paired with an outline. Then we will discuss the details with you.
Before you submit, look at our style guide and recent articles for insight into structuring and formatting your piece, and make sure your submission:
- Offers a clear argument, not just a list of tips and tricks.
- Has a voice. Be bold, interesting, and human.
- Is supported with convincing arguments, not just opinions. Fact-check, and cite sources where appropriate.
Guideline for titles
For each of the text you will need to provide the following attributes:
You need to make a title on your text between 60 and 90 characters long.
Excerpt (or lead)
Excerpt or lead is the first 1-3 sentences of the text which must give and brief and precise information what is the text about. It should be around 300-400 characters.
A snippet is a text which appears in Google search when readers have found your text. It should be around 220 characters.
Guideline for the main text
Please quote all currencies in (US) dollars where possible. If using Belarusian roubles or any other currency, try and give the conversion into dollars in brackets. $1,000; BYR1,000; €1,000. For all other currencies, use words e.g. 1,000 British pounds, 1,000 Russian roubles.
31 December 2014 (day month year; no commas). 20th century (not XX century); 1980s; 1990s. In 2014-2015, between 2010 and 2012.
Spell out from one to nine (e.g. two days ago); numerals for 10 to 999,999 (e.g. 11 days ago); 1m, 2bn (e.g. $12.5m, except for people e.g. 2 million Belarusians). Use a period/full stop to indicate a decimal e.g. The population of Belarus is 9.5 million. Use a comma to make a large figure clearer e.g. There were 1,000 protesters present. 5 percent, 45.7 percent. 100 km, 100 kg.
In general, we use U.S. English according to the Chicago Manual of Style, with Fowler’s Modern English Usage taking over in tricky situations.
Only use acronyms straight-away for well-known organizations (WTO, NATO, CIS, EU) and try to avoid using less well-known acronyms. For lesser-known organizations, spell out in the first instance with the acronym in brackets; thereafter, use an acronym.
Use double inverted commas for direct quotations and for emphasis or uncertainty. The newspaper stressed that a “tough reaction was inevitable”. The IMF loan is needed as a “security cushion”.
General Content Guidelines
- Write for our target audience: expats and foreign guests of Belarus
- The piece should be in English and should not be overly technical or theoretical, but practical and engaging
- The authors are requested to provide a sentence or two summarising the contribution’s key message in the first two paragraphs.
- Texts should be accompanied by 6-8 keywords (free tags) which summarise the key themes of the paper. Authors are encouraged to include 3-4 subheadings.
- The authors are asked to follow older posts as a precedent for style, e.g. no footnotes, similar use of subheadings when necessary, a short title, short sentences.
All accepted texts are subject to editorial revision and English language proofreading.
Author bios and photos
All final drafts should be accompanied by an author bio and photo. Author bios should be 40 to 50 words long and may include links. They should be snappy, informative, and brief.
Hanna Ivanovic is a graduate of Belarusian State University and holds a degree in Journalism. Anna is a member International Union of Journalists and an active member of the freelance community.
When your text is ready
Before you submit, please run through this checklist. Have you…
- Added your name and email to the top of your post?
- Included your two-sentence bio at the top of your post? (HTML, please, if you know how!)
- Turned your post into an editable Word Doc?
If so, you’re ready to submit!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I write about?
To get a sense for the type of work we publish, read our site! We want practical, actionable advice, posts that will help foreigners in Belarus to get a clear picture of what is going on in this country. Please write in the “you” voice as much as possible, then support your advice with personal experience or stories.
Do you pay?
Typically, no, aside from the occasional assigned post. When you contribute to Belarus.ExpatReporter.com, you’ll get a byline and two-sentence bio that includes a link or two to whatever you’d like to promote — your website, Twitter feed, latest ebook, etc. We’ll also share your post in our newsletter, and on Twitter and Facebook, to help you reach as many readers as possible.
How long should my posts be?
Aim for 600-1200 words.
Should I pitch you my idea before writing the post?
If you’d like to, go ahead. But we’re happy to consider a draft as well.
Should I include links within the piece?
Yes. Please include links that will be helpful and relevant for the reader – they can be to appropriate posts on your site or on any other news site or blog. When you can link to other posts on Belarus.ExpatReporter.com, that makes us happy, too.
Should I write a headline?
That’d be great! We reserve the right to tweak it for SEO, style or just to make it more attention-grabbing. But if you want to suggest one, that makes our job easier.
Will you edit my post?
We’ll edit for content and clarity, doing our best to preserve your voice.
Anything else I should keep in mind?
Posts should be written in blog style, with short paragraphs and lots of white space. Including a few sub-headings is much appreciated, and please use only one space between sentences!
Should I include a photo?
No need. We’ll add one.
What should I do after I submit my post?
When it runs, we hope you’ll be active in the comments, responding to readers’ questions or thoughts.