Calling all high school student journalists, writers, and reporters: Beginning on January 1, Voxitatis will seek to publish one work of student writing per day, at least, and we’re asking you to send us news stories or commentary from your school, your school life, or your community for consideration.
Who is eligible?
High school students who attend a private or public high school in Maryland or Illinois can submit reports for consideration. We can’t accept stories from homeschooled students or those who attend virtual schools only.
Although students at any high school can submit stories, we want to send a special invitation to students at smaller schools that might not get the coverage they deserve in local newspapers or on TV news stations.
What should you write about?
It doesn’t matter, but stories should have some value as news. Any statements that purport to be factual should indeed be factual. Preference will be given to stories that explore more than one perspective or side of an issue that is newsworthy to high school students, their teachers, and their families.
Here are some suggestions:
- The election or incoming administration
- Advice you gave to a friend
- Your football season
- Something noteworthy a teacher or student did
- Your orchestra concert
- One of these 600+ writing prompts or these or these
You aren’t limited by our suggestions, though. If you feel a story from your life, school, or community needs to be told to a wider audience than your Facebook friends, write it up and send it in. Remember, a good story is about something the audience decides is interesting or important. A great story often does both by using storytelling to make important news interesting, according to the American Press Institute.
How does it work?
First, write your story and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take a look at it and get back to you within 24 hours. Try to get it to us before December 31.
We’ll probably have suggestions for changes you can make or that we will automatically apply in order to conform to our relevant style guide. We’ll check your facts and look for any plagiarism, correcting any problems before we publish it. We may also need to confirm quotes with anyone you talk to for your story, but that will depend on the nature of your work.
Once everything is set, we’ll establish a day for publication on our website, where it will be published side by side with our original content, aggregated news stories, and content by other community and student contributors.
Our initial plan is to publish at least one student-produced article a day, beginning on January 1. If we get more than we need, we may publish more; if we get fewer, we may publish fewer. Stories will be selected for publication based on more than quality, though, as we seek to provide readers with a variety of viewpoints and perspectives.
Will you get paid?
Not initially. However, Voxitatis has every intention of seeking out quality writing from the most industrious student reporters and columnists we can find. You never know where this could lead.
In truth, though, you probably don’t want to get paid for writing at this point, since being paid means you’ll have to take on responsibilities, like showing up for work, producing good content on deadlines, and such.
We work on a nearly 24/7 schedule here to produce content for delivery on our blog and we also pay lots of money to various organizations in order to use content created by others. For high school students, a job as a writer would most likely be impractical. What I think is more desirable is the freedom to write about what you want to write about, when you want to write about it. That’s not how it works for paid writers.
Plus, you probably don’t want to become a reporter or writer in your adult life, which is understandable. Write about something you know well, and keep doing that other thing, developing your skills in biochemistry, math, politics, or whatever.
But some people get paid for writing
Voxitatis has paid students to write articles in the past, but not all student-written content on this site is paid.
If you hone your writing skills for online journalism with our help, someone will pay you for writing, believe me. Maybe you’ll find a career as the communications director for a big company, a school district, or a political candidate. All these jobs require a finely tuned writing ability.
For the moment, all we can promise you is exposure, which may mean anything from nothing to a shot at a new interest or a fulfilling career. That is something beyond our control.