Write For Us

Have a story that you think would make a great Diaries episode? We’re a small crew. Our stories come from friends, from friends of friends, and from you: our community. We have two formats for our episodes: The Shorts, short essays written and read by our listeners, and Features, longer episodes done in an interview/narration format. Please read the guidelines below, and email submissions to editor at ducttapethenbeer dot com.

We look forward to hearing from you!

We are not currently accepting submissions for the Shorts. Please check back with us in the fall of 2017. In the meantime, we hope you’re out making more great stories!

The Shorts Guidelines:

  • We look for stories with a conversational/campfire style that explore some bigger question, idea or truth through the lens of the outdoors.
  • We really like pieces with an anecdote and reflection–stories in which the series of events changes your perspective in some way. i.e. What do you understand now about your character ‘back then’? What’s your take-home of the story? What do you want to say with this piece?
  • If that change in perspective caused you to take some further action, even better. i.e., Do you do anything differently now because of those events? Check your figure-8 three times before you start up a rock-climb? Did you start your own non-profit?
  • We look for stories constructed out of events and moments that build toward that shift-in-perspective as opposed to blow-by-blow trip reports. Put another way: Why is the moment or detail important, not to you, your mom or your significant other, but to someone who has never met you? To getting across what you want to say with the story?
  • Stories should “show not tell.” Instead of telling us “the lake was beautiful,” describe the attributes of the lake.
  • We prefer pieces written in the past-tense and in chronological order. We have found this reduces the amount of confusion when the inevitable distraction occurs.
  • We minimize the amount of dialogue we use in The Shorts, as we have found that, in audio, listeners lose track of who is saying what.
  • Ideal length: 1,000-1,600 words in a Word document. We will not accept submissions over 2,500 words (we just don’t have the capacity to read submissions that long).

Examples:

  • The Great White Book” takes a single experience and how it reverberated through his life for many years.
  • The Beginner’s Mind” does a great job of illustrating the anecdote + reflection + action structure we look for.

Feature Story Idea Guidelines:

  • We named this section “Story Idea Guidelines” because that’s what we’re after: stories! We look for a character, a conflict, and an anecdote with some relationship to the outdoors. Ideally, we look for stories that touch on some bigger question, idea or truth.
  • We don’t do profiles or promotions of people or businesses—unless they fit into a larger narrative. (“If You Build It” is a great example of a business profile fitting into a bigger story).
  • Some podcasts/radio shows allow journalists to report stories themselves. In order to keep the voice and style of The Diaries consistent, we produce the majority of our episodes (i.e. conduct the interviews, write the episodes and process the audio). We do make rare exceptions, but typically prefer a short synopsis and contact information to audio files.