How to Write For the Animal People Forum

Do you want to share an original article, essay, poem, video, or artwork to appear on the Animal People Forum homepage? Here’s what you need to know to get your work published and seen!

Other Options

If you want to express short thoughts or share media and links with other AP Forum users as you would on Facebook or Twitter, you can instead post to My Feed by logging in and selecting it from the top or righthand menus, or from the Activity section of your own profile page, reached by clicking your name on the righthand menu.

Getting to My Feed

Getting to My Feed


First off, make sure you’re registered and logged in to your account. You can do so from the righthand menu that appears on every page of the Forum:

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If registering for the first time, be sure to check your e-mail for a confirmation message. Look in your spam folder if you don’t see it. It contains a link you’ll need to follow to activate your account.

Once logged in, you can then start on a new story, either by clicking the “Submit” button on the righthand menu or selecting “Submit -> New Story” from the top menu:

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Either route will take you to this page:

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Scroll down to the text editor. Enter your title, then begin writing in the main text box. There are a wide variety of options available on the toolbar, allowing you to customize the text style, color, and formatting of your work. You can also create links to external sources, and embed videos from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or DailyMotion simply by pasting in the URL.

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Our preferred language for submissions is English. However, if you are not fluent in English and would rather write in another language, we will attempt to review your work in translation, using software and/or the help of a fluent speaker. If accepted, we will publish your piece in both its original language and in English translation. We cannot guarantee accurate translations for all languages.

To insert a picture, place your cursor where you want the image to go, select “Add Media” at the top of the text editor, and upload the file from your computer.

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This option can also be used to upload articles in PDF format, a useful feature if you have previously published work in that format which you lack the time to retype (note, however, that PDF files do not translate automatically to other languages using the site’s built-in translator, and may not display in all browsers).

Once inserted, you can change the image’s size and placement by clicking once, then choosing the pencil icon. You can also add a caption describing the picture and/or crediting its source.

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You can also crop, flip, or rotate the image itself by selecting “Edit Original:”

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Any images you upload should be owned by you, used with permission, in the public domain, made available through a public copyright license (such as Creative Commons), or eligible for “fair use.” See Copyright and Fair Use for more information.

Every published story requires a Featured Image, which displays above the article and alongside it on the homepage and in the archives. If you want to provide a Featured Image, select one at least 702 pixels by 336 pixels in size, that can be safely cropped to those dimensions, and place it at the top of your story. If you don’t provide a Featured Image yourself, the AP Forum administrators will attempt to select an appropriate one for you.

All other images used in your story can be any size you’d like.

Before you submit your story for publication, you should also assign it to a category and give it some tags, to make it easier for your intended readers to find. You can do this underneath the text editor. You can also enter a brief excerpt or summary of your story, which will display next to it on the homepage and archives.

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Most stories are broad enough in subject matter to qualify for multiple categories. If you’re only able to select one category, don’t worry. The administrator who reviews and approves your work will add any additional categories relevant to the story.

Save your work! There’s nothing worse than spending hours writing about something you care about only to lose it all because your browser refreshed. Saving also allows you to break and return to your work at any time.  Select “Submit -> All My Stories” from the top menu, and you will see a list of your published and unpublished work, with the option to edit the latter (published stories can’t be edited without help from an administrator).

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You’re now ready to submit your story for publication! To do this, change its status from “Draft” to “Pending Review” and save. This will signal an administrator to review it. The administrator may choose to correct obvious typos or make minor formatting adjustments themselves, but will contact you if any significant changes are deemed necessary to meet our policies and standards of quality.

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You will receive a notification when your story has been published. Congratulations, you are now an author for the Animal People Forum!

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