How to contribute to the Observer—or at least have a beer
We’re having a party. Please join us.
On April 22, 6–8 p.m., the Heights Observer is hosting an informal get-together at the Bottlehouse Brewery, 2050 Lee Road. There, you can talk with many of the people who are involved with the Observer on a day-to-day basis—the editor, publisher, volunteers, members of the Observer Advisory Committee and anyone else who walks in the door.
The purpose is to have a beer and talk about our favorite subject: our community. Please join us to understand the Observer better, ask questions, float ideas or just chew the fat.
No reservations are required and it’s free (but you’ll want to bring money for the bar).
As I mention regularly, the Heights Observer is written and edited entirely by volunteer members of the community. The only requirement is a desire to participate.
In the past month or so, more people than usual have reached out to ask how they can submit articles to the Heights Observer.
It's a simple do-it-yourself process and no advance permission is required. If you’ve ever placed an order with Amazon.com, it’s no more difficult than that. Here’s what you do:
- Visit www.heightsobserver.org.
- Enter the "Member Center:" This is where all contributions begin. It's in the left-hand column. You'll need to register and log in.
- Click "Submit new story:" Once registered and logged in to the Member Center, look in the left-hand column again for “Submit new story.” (It’s nested under the “Writer” category.)
- Write your headline: Fill in the box labeled "Story Title" with a headline and click “continue.” If you’re unsure about your headline, it’s OK; you can change it later.
- Paste your article: On the next page, there are a few self-explanatory boxes to fill in. The text of your article goes in the box that is very cleverly labeled “Article.” (I recommend writing your article in advance on your own software and then cutting/pasting it into the article box.) Be sure to add a brief writer bio. as well, in the box marked “Author Bio.” We require a byline and bio. for each article we publish.
- Add photos if you like: You can add photos at the bottom of the same page. Photo files should be at least 1 MB in size or they'll look fuzzy in print.
- Send to editor: You can save the article as a draft if you want to come back later to polish it up. When finished, remember to click "send to editors"; we’ll take care of the rest.
All submissions are reviewed by one of our volunteer editors, who will contact you with any questions. So if this is all new and a little bit scary, don’t worry; there's a safety net.
Answers to all the most common questions are on our website, as are some basics on story length, monthly deadlines, and more. Start with "Become an Observer" in the all-important left-hand column.
Or come see us at the Bottlehouse on April 22; many of us work better with a beer in one hand.
Cleveland Heights resident Bob Rosenbaum is co-chairman of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and is responsible for its advertising sales and market development.