On this page you’ll find resources about writing for us and pitching article ideas to us.

The following site contains:

  1. Pitch suggestions
  2. House Style Guide

PITCH SUGGESTIONS

If you’re not sure what to write about take a look at our past articles to see what kind of articles we publish. Below we have listed different areas that you can write about.

We love to hear expressions of interest from writers who want to contribute, we also want to here your own ideas so please send us an email with the subject line FEAURE PITCH and put forward your ideas.

LIFESTYLE

Lifestyle covers a wide variety of topics. You may want to write:

  • a food review;
  • share recipes;
  • talk about Bath’s shopping scene;
  • or share home ideas for students moving out of halls.

Of course there is so much more you could come up with, so write about what interests you!

CULTURE

That’s an easy one. We live in Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There’s always a cultural event on throughout the year, and so many great places to visit locally. Don’t just stick to Bath though, if you had a great experience in Bristol, London or somewhere else close by go ahead and write about it.

If you’re an international student then you’re bound to have been confronted by a few cultural differences, some good, some bad and there’s sure to be others out there who want to know what it’s like to be an international student or have felt the same things as you.

ART

Bath always has art exhibitions happening in the many galleries that we are lucky to have. There are also great European galleries not far away from us. But as a university with a great Art & Design school you don’t have to travel far to get involved in the art scene.

We have many local artists who could be interviewed, or you might be an artist yourself with some work being exhibited or an event that you are contributing to worth getting the word out about. If art is your passion, we’d love to hear what you have to say.

MUSIC/FILM

There are some great things happening in music all the time. There are so many up-coming talents in the Bath Spa community, so why not review a local gig or interview some student musicians? Moles and Nest are a couple of clubs with live music events and many of the local pubs have some great home-grown talent playing there.

Films are huge on the entertainment scene and sometimes we just want to know if it’s worth our money and time to go and see that hyped up movie that’s got the world talking. We love to get film reviews, whether a big motion picture or indie film, it’s worth writing about.

TRAVEL

We are so close to Europe, that travel time short and cost is cheap. The UK itself is so small that travelling across England and to Scotland, Wales and Ireland can be done in a road trip or a short flight. Why not write about one of your own experiences? Share some of the best places to visit with other students. If you can provide good quality images with your piece, that would be highly appreciated!

OPINION

Maybe you had a heated debate with some of your mates, maybe you heard it on the news, or maybe something just got you questioning things in your life – well why don’t you write about it?

Get your voice out there and pitch your ideas for an opinion piece to us. We want to be starting healthy debates and conversations among the student community about things that affects us. There’s no one side to a story and there are no wrong opinions, be brave and voice them!


HOUSE STYLE GUIDE

If you’re about to write an article for our publication, or you’d like to send us a draft of your idea without pitching to show us what you can do, please have a look at the following guidelines. For questions email spalifemag@bathspa.ac.uk.

General
Articles and features for Spalife Magazine require to be understandable. Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought. Think what you want to say, then say it as simple as possible. Remember George Orwell’s six elementary rules (“Politics and the English Language”, 1946):

  1. Never use a Metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut out a word, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the Passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a Jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Be concise but desprictive enough so that the reader enjoys your writing and continues reading. But most importantly your voice, as an author, needs to shine through. Be different from others.

Endings
Use –ise endings, instead of –ize
–ed endings preferred to –t: learned, rather than learnt

Spelling
UK spelling, not US e.g. honour, not honor
Where there are two spelling options for a word, use the spelling with an ‘e’: e.g. judgement
In most cases, try to use doesn’t, isn’t, it’s etc. instead of it is, does not etc.

Numbers
Spell out up to and including figures to ninety-nine but figures from 100 onwards.
Exceptions:
Round numbers of a million or more (eg 58 million)
Use a comma in numbers of four digits or more: 3,000
Units of measurement: 30 kilometres
Ages: “She was a sprightly 58-year-old” but “She was an exhausted twenty-year-old”. (i.e. avoid the double hyphen)
Times: 8am and 8.20am
Percentages: 3 per cent, avoid %

Dates
21 July 2016 (day month year; no commas)
21 July-6 August, 6-10 August, etc.
In the 21st century, but 21st-century boy
Use figures for decades: the 1960s, the swinging 60s, etc.

The en-rule
Use en-dashes in most scenarios, unless it’s a hyphenated adjective or number.
Dates within a range, e.g.: 1904–1989
Numbers within a range, e.g.: pp.28–48
The parenthetical dash, e.g.: There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so worth doing as messing about in boats.

Quotation marks
Single speech marks for ‘Hippie’, ‘FaB’, etc.
Double quotation marks for quotes within an interview.
Single marks for a quote within a quote.

Abbreviations
JK Rowling, not J.K. Rowling
But use a full point at the end of an abbreviation: e.g. assoc.
There is no full point for contractions: e.g. Dr or Revd

Hyphens
No hard and fast rules so consult your OED to determine whether two elements should be hyphenated, run together or set as single words and apply consistently.
Compound words may require hyphens:
Her books are well known.
She is a well-known author.

Book and magazine titles
Use capitals for the main words of a title and italicise titles of books, films, videogames, magazines: e.g. The Bookseller, Vogue.

Titles
Lower case for job roles: e.g. managing director.
Job titles that are usually given as initials, use upper case with no punctuation: e.g. CEO.
Course titles – Uppercase 
Actors’ names – Italic

If in doubt consult:
The Guardian House Style
The OED
Hart’s Rules