How to write a listsicle

Writing pen

Readers love listsicles because they offer lots of information in easy-to-digest form. They are easy to share and easy to write, so we love them, too. Many Hypergrid Business stories can be written in the form of listsicles.

We’re looking for lists that relate to how virtual reality is used in non-gaming applications, such as business, education, government, and non-profits. We’re also always looking for trends and insights into virtual reality software, hardware, and platforms — and, in particular, about OpenSim and the hypergrid.

Send ideas for listsicles to [email protected]. The more useful, the better!

Do not write articles “on spec.” If we can’t use them, it’s a waste of your time and ours, and annoys everyone you interviewed.

Here are the guidelines for a news story.

Length: Anywhere from five list points on up. There is no upper limit.

Headline: Should start with a number and focus on the value to the reader.

Outline:

  • Start with an overview of the topic.
  • Follow up with numbered sections, each with its own subhead.
  • For each list item, include at least a paragraph of text, relevant links, and an image or embedded video.
  • Put the best item first, the second best item last.
  • The conclusion can invite readers to suggest their own items for the list.

Sources: Your own interviews, press releases, videos, Kickstarter campaigns, new apps, other publications, and research reports.

Photo sources:

  • Press releases, product images on shopping websites, images from promotional websites.
  • Stills from video games or videos.
  • Flickr images licensed for commercial use.
  • Any public domain images, including images from Wikipedia Commons and government websites.
  • Images that previously ran in Hypergrid Business.
  • Original photographs that you took yourself.
  • Photographs provided by sources, when those sources own the rights to the images, and give us permission to use them.
  • We cannot use images that belong to other publications — editorial privilege only goes so far.
  • Attach or link to the largest version of the image. Write a caption describing what the image is. Write a credit line describing the source of the image.

Format:

  • File as plain text or RTF file.
  • Use systematic filenames. For example, HB-2015-month-StoryTopic-AuthorName-v1.rtf
  • When filing a rewrite, use a different filename. In the example above, for instance, change the -v1 to -v2 or -v3.
  • Include a title and your byline at the top of the story.
  • Include links as relevant in the text.
  • Include at least one image for each list item, either as link or attachment, with a caption and credit.
  • If there’s a video instead, include the embed code for the video.
  • If this is your first time filing, include your photo as an attachment, a one-or-two-sentence bio, and a link to your website.

Examples:

Rights:

  • Unless we ask you to sign an all-rights contract, by default, we only get one-time publication rights to freelance contributions.
  • You retain your original copyright to the story, and are free to publish it in other publications.
  • You can publish it on your own website, or include it in a book. Really, you can do anything you want with it.
  • If you like, you can include a link back to the Hypergrid Business story, but you don’t have to.
  • If we want to reuse your story for another purpose, such as inclusion in a book, we will ask your permission first.