At Excalibur, we publish online during the school year and accept article submissions ranging across all sections. We welcome and encourage submissions from artists and writers of every nationality, race, religion, and gender, including experts, novices, or writers who have never been affiliated with a publication and who want to try their hand at periodical writing or photojournalism.
We are committed to both informing and inspiring the York community with the added bonus of reaching a national audience. How do we intend to do this, you may ask? We aim to publish campus news, stories about student life or that may affect student life, and diverse content — we recruit students and writers looking to research stories, voice their ideas, be a platform for the voices of the York community, and do so while also having fun!
Our editorial board is made up of students who embody those values, who will expedite the editing process, and who will help you get published.
CONTRIBUTORS AND STAFF WRITERS
Pitch List Signup: We publish across a variety of sections, including: news, health, arts, sports, editorials, features, comics, and more! Our section editors send out pitch lists every week via email for contributors to sign up, or contributors can join our volunteers group on Facebook where editors also post the pitch lists along with instructions about submission.
Contributors must get back to the editor who sent the pitch list by the end of the day that it is posted. Keep an eye out every week for pitch lists to sign up! Instructions on how to write the articles (ranging from 400-700 words) and get quotes are on the Google documents shared in the group. You may also contact the section editors and work with them.
Pitching Your Own Article: Contributors may also pitch their own article ideas to us. If there is something you want to write about, just pitch it to us with the following information:
- the topic/issue
- the angle from which you will approach it
- why it is relevant/interesting/insightful
- a list of voices/people to interview for the quotes you will get
Pitches must go through section editors (for example, if you have a health pitch contact our health editor) and be approved before you can begin writing. If you are unsure as to which section your article may fall under, please email our editor-in-chief at email@example.com or our managing editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Op-Eds: Excalibur also accepts* opinion pieces written by non-editorial board members, i.e. members of the York community. An op-ed is typically 400-600 words in length, and includes the following components:
- the issue/topic being discussed
- the author’s stance/opinion
- a call to action or resolution
If you are unsure about your topic and wish to pitch it, email our editor-in-chief with the following information:
- the topic/issue or some background information
- your opinion or stance you wish to take
- how you intend to address the “other side” if applicable
- your call to action/resolution
Features: Our editorial board writes feature articles every week, published on Fridays, and these articles are typically longer ranging from 2000-3000 words. However, we are always open to hearing pitches from our contributors! Email our editor-in-chief with the following information:
- the topic/issue and background information
- the areas you intend to cover
- why it is relevant/interesting/insightful
- a list of at least 5 individuals you intend to interview and get quotes from (must be a combination of experts and student voices)
- the explanatory arc: what are you explaining?
- the narrative arc: what/whose story are you telling?
- the goal of this piece: what do you hope to accomplish with readers?
- the images you intend to submit, this can include graphs/charts, graphics, or a photo for the featured image showcasing what you are discussing
Photo Essays: If you wish to create a photo essay, this must also be pitched to our editor-in-chief with the following information:
- your theme or narrative
- what you’re trying to convey to readers
- what you’re trying to elicit out of an audience
- the number of photos
- whether you will submit text, and if so, a brief explanation of what you want to write and the word count
Photos must be submitted with the following requirements:
- Submitted as JPGs or PNGs for all photos
- Approximately 2500 x 1600 pixels ONLY for the featured image/cover photo
- Minimum dpi of 300 for all photos
- Maximum size of 35 MB per photo
Letters to the Editor: Excalibur welcomes letters to the editor and other opinion pieces published in print pending space, but will be online*. Please email your letter (no longer than 300 words) to our editor-in-chief outlining your name, your major and your year of study (if you are a York student), and which article you are writing in regards to.
As with any good journalist, your writing begins at research. Contributors and staff writers alike are required to source their articles, where applicable, and get quotes!
Quotes can be statements from York professors and experts, where applicable, as well as students, other faculty, businesses, clubs and organizations, the Osgoode Hall community, the Schulich community, and administration, to name a few. Any and all in-person or phone interviews must be recorded and submitted.
Any and all sources consulted (external, interviews, both primary and secondary research, books, websites, people, experts, professors, students, statistics, studies, something you saw, a conversation you had, etc.), we require you to submit those sources.
For any student quotes you obtain, please provide proof of their quotes but also include a screenshot of them stating their name, year of study, and program. Sourcing information and quotes by providing proof for statements (via recordings, screenshots, interview transcriptions, links, etc.) is especially important so our copy editor can fact check that what is written is factual and what is quoted was actually said to the writer.
If you collect quotes via email statements, simply forward us the email thread or screenshot the response and send it as a JPG. Any and all secondary sources consulted (websites, links, videos, other media platforms, etc.) must also be included. If you have taken any photos from the event, or have ones that you took for the piece, please attach them so you can receive a photo credit as well.
Please note, not all pitches may be approved but we will work with you to refine the topic and offer suggestions so that you may still write/create it and get published.
Please do not submit material that has been previously published with other publications, without authorization to reprint or republish.
*We DO NOT accept content that is plagiarized, outdated, racist, sexist, xenophobic, defamatory or libelous, and any other content deemed offensive or hate speech that violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This includes any articles that are false, inaccurate, misleading, or submitted for an ulterior purpose such as PR. Discretion is up to our editors and business office.
Every year, we publish a certain amount of special issues we call “supplements” that we hire three different, appropriate coordinators to manage:
- The LGBTQ+ Supplement published in November.
- The Black History Month Supplement published in February.
- The Women’s Day Supplement published in March.
The coordinators will be responsible for pitching, delegating, and organizing one week’s worth of articles surrounding a particular theme or vision about the special issue. The topics will span across several sections: news, health, arts, sports, feature, and editorial. The coordinators may even write some articles themselves.
The editorial board at Excalibur will work closely with the coordinators to ensure their visions for the supplements come to life. This includes the coordinators working with our editorial team to recruit writers, finalize pitches, edit articles, and publish them. These are honorarium-paid positions for which job postings will be put up every year!
We also take on (and train!) volunteers who wish to contribute to the editing process and gain some experience — be it photo editing (see below) or copy editing. Send an email to our copy editor to work with them on some copy editing duties, including:
✔ Substantive editing
✔ Grammar and spell-checking
✔ Ensuring ‘house style’ and CP style
PHOTOGRAPHERS, COMIC ARTISTS & GRAPHIC DESIGNERS
We are always looking for photographers, photojournalists, videographers, photo/video editors, comic artists, and graphic designers (both experienced and novice) that want to get published and/or contribute!
If you would like to submit a graphic or photograph for an article’s featured image, please refer to our pitch lists and familiarize yourself with the article’s topic. Submissions for graphics and featured images must meet the following requirements:
✔ Submitted as JPGs or PNGs
✔ Approximately 2500 x 1600 pixels
✔ Minimum dpi of 300
✔ Maximum size of 20 MB per photo
Images are published based on the aforementioned requirements, overall quality, how well it reproduces online (or in print), and appropriateness.
We publish during the school year and our print issue comes out every Wednesday. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not producing print issues for the 2020-2021 academic year.
We do publish everyday online, however, so depending on the editing process and the editorial board’s publication schedule, we average a five- to seven-day turnaround from the day an article is signed up for on our pitch lists or submitted to the day that it is published.
Please note: we also publish and advertise our articles on Excalibur’s social media platforms. By submitting your work, you are also giving consent for your work to be advertised on those platforms.
See our Contributors FAQ page for more information!