Tell your story

Do you have a story to tell or a view to air about aniridia in the UK? Great!
Email us an article to post or just an initial proposal if you prefer. Include your:

  • name
  • contact information
  • reasons for and capacity in which you are writing.

Below are some guidelines and tips for article submission. They are all common sense. But read through them to ensure you stay on the right track and so get your stuff online as quickly as possible!

What to write about

As our name suggests the Aniridia Network UK (ANUK) is for people in the UK, who have or are connected to the eye condition aniridia. So posts on our blog should ideally have an aniridia and UK slant to them rather than being about visual impairment generally. That said, we usually consider stuff about visual impairment issues written by/about people with aniridia in the UK to be relevant even if it is not aniridia specific.

There are many other organisations dealing with wider blind, partially sighted and disability issues. We tend to defer to them to publish articles about such subjects. Similarly we do not normally publish articles about aniridia related issues in other countries that do not have, for example a UK based comment or direct impact.

If you have a subject/article that does not fall into the ANUK topics, we suggest you either:

  • revise it to make it relevant
  • find another suitable places to publish.
    You or we may then write an aniridia/UK related post on the ANUK blog as a follow up and link to the original article.

To boost readership, we are also very open to dual-publishing of articles along with reciprocal links to the other source.

How much to write

Blog posts can be quite short or long. We’d suggest not much more than 500 words – 1000 maximum. We’d like to have several short posts rather than fewer longer ones so we can publish something new frequently. So try to break stories down into topics. This will also make discussion in the comments section more focused. The articles could even be (loosely) in a series if you wish.

Naming people policy

Do not write family names. Use first names only when referring to most people. For professionals, either simply refer to their role. For example ‘the doctor’ or if necessary to distinguish between more than one doctor use ‘Doctor A’, ‘Doctor B’ etc. Also try to avoid implicitly identifying specific people – for example by commenting om a Consultant Ophthalmologist (or even their whole department) and naming the hospital where they work.

These rules are to protect the privacy and reputation of post authors, the people featured in posts and ANUK. We want to avoid for example:

  • a doctor suing for libel.
  • a person with aniridia being adversely affected by something written about them as a child.

While posts can be removed from the blog, that will not remove the text from the internet. So our approach is not to publish material that can easily be found and attributed to an individual person by entering a name into a search engine etc.

If you would like to write a review, online, of a UK doctor you may like to use iWantGreatCare.

Editorial policy

Aniridia Network UK (ANUK) maintains a blog at aniridianetworkuk.wordpress.com herein known as ANUKB. It is run by the ANUK Webmaster (ANUKW). We encourage submission for publication of relevant blog posts by people outside of the ANUK board – guest bloggers. Our policy for these submissions is:

  1. Submissions are subject to review and approval of ANUKW.
  2. By submitting material to ANUKB, you certify that the material is not protected by copyright and are the author’s original thoughts, opinions, musings, writings, etc.
  3. In submitting material to ANUKB you waive any future claim to ownership of that material. Once we have reviewed the information and posted it on ANUKB, ANUK has sole discretion to remove, edit or continue publishing it. ANUKB will publish submissions at a time and date of its choosing and does not guarantee to meet any deadline requested by authors.
  4. Submissions must be relevant to ANUKB readership which is predominantly people who have or are connected in some way with the medical conditions of aniridia or WAGR. This includes children, family members plus educational and medical professionals.
  5. Submissions that are not relevant to ANUKB readership will not be accepted.
  6. Submissions must be the property of the author, factual, original and as much as possible: well crafted and free of grammatical and spelling errors.
  7. Submissions are more likely to be accepted if they are informative, easy to read, pithy and share the author’s unique expertise or experience. Including tips, case-studies, analysis, opinions and commentary is strongly encouraged.
  8. Press releases, advertisements, promotional copy, blatant and excessive self-promotion, and materials for another company’s SEO purposes only will not be accepted.
  9. ANUKB does not accept submissions that have been published in small form or in their entirety on other blogs, websites or in print. Only original, unpublished submissions will be accepted.
  10. Submissions on topics that were previously blogged about on ANUKB will not be accepted unless they contain new and unique insight, commentary based upon current events, or changes and trends. Please review ANUKB archives prior to submitting a blog.
  11. Submissions must contain appropriate language and subject matter, and not be offensive, inflammatory, in violation of any law, considered defamatory, libellous, or infringe on the legal rights of others, or otherwise inappropriate in nature. This is not an exhaustive list. ANUKW will make final determinations as to whether content violates these guidelines.
  12. Guest bloggers should consider the impact of what they write upon the reputation, well-being or finances of people or organisations they mention or other connected with those subjects. Removing identifying details may be advisable or even necessary to avoid (the risk of) causing harm.
  13. Guest bloggers offering insight on medical or other complex matters should consider the level of knowledge among the ANUKB readership and avoid jargon or else give or a link to an explanation of terms used.
  14. All submissions that express views of individuals beside the author must contain proper citation and / or the expressed written consent of the individual whose views are represented.
  15. Hyperlinks to quoted information must be included in the body of the submission when possible. All links should also be included at the bottom of submissions for ANUKW review and approval. ANUKW is not responsible for any blog content that is inaccurate or misrepresents the views of an individual or source that is quoted by a guest blogger.
  16. Any images, video, audio or other content in a blog post must either be the writer’s property or have the expressed written consent of the owner or be embedded in accordance with the source’s policies.
  17. ANUKB does not provide payment for guest blog posts.
  18. ANUKB is not responsible for views expressed by guest bloggers, i.e. those who are not part of the ANUK board
  19. ANUKB reserves the right to make any necessary changes when uploading guest blog posts. Submissions which do not meet these guidelines will not be accepted or will be edited before publication. ANUKB reserves the right not to edit a submission. Instead a submission may be returned to the author along with ANUK’s guidelines, for them to edit and resubmit if they wish.
  20. ANUKB reserves the right to refuse contributions that do not meet the above criteria or adhere to the standard ethical guidelines for publication.
  21. The guest blogger shall indemnify and hold ANUK, its employees, agents or independent contractors harmless against any claims, liabilities, damages, and expenses including, without limitation, reasonable legal fees in defending or compromising actions brought against ANUK arising out of, or related to, the acts or omissions of guest blogger, in connection with matters arising as the result of a guest blog.

Style guidelines

In addition to ANUK’s house style guidelines:

  1. The use of ”I” and “you” is permitted,
  2. Irrelevant or excessive personal anecdotes will be removed for the sake of clarity and length.
  3. All posts must include a by-line at the top of the post with the author’s name, and the (professional) capacity in which they are writing,
  4. All titles and posts should be keyword rich.
  5. Sites to which blog copy is hyperlinked should be accurate, credible and respectable. They must contain appropriate language and subjects, not be inflammatory, in violation of any law, considered defamatory, libellous, or infringe on the legal rights of others, or otherwise inappropriate in nature.
  6. Do not overuse of hyperlinks

Tips for blog post authors

  1. Know your goals – Note down what you want from your blog post. Study the previous guest articles on the blog and their reader response, then see what works for you in terms of your goals. Only once you know what you want should you get started
  2. Cut to the chase – Often people send an initial email asking if they can blog, second email discussing the topic, third email with the article, fourth email editing the format.
    Simply follow these guidelines, study the format of previous guest articles, study which type of articles get the most comments and backlinks – and then send in your article with the first email you send. If it is a great article, the chances are very high you cut the email exchanges, saving us all time and the article goes live faster.
  3. Get original, be yourself – No one wants to publish rehashed content. You want to write your best stuff and share your viewpoint about an issue or topic. Write about what you truly feel and speak from your genuine experience and your passion for the subject will reveal itself.
  4. Proof read. Do it again – We like a well formatted, grammatical error-free copy that we can instantly post without much editing. Many spell checkers agents will pick up wrong spellings, but may not be able to correct sentence structure etc. Proof read thoroughly. Then do it again.
  5. Create a good image for impact – If you can add an original image to your article, it will make an impact. Try to avoid use of free icons, free stock images, linked flickr photos which someone else snapped – instead get in some original photos related to your article which can create an impact.
  6. Ooze credibility – Research your facts thoroughly before posting them. Reference the sources of information by linking to them, as it gives more credibility and authority to your article. If you are discussing a controversial topic, it is essential to have the facts right. We will not publish defamatory articles, rumours or unreliable information without references.
  7. Participate actively. Once the article is live, your job is not over. Now is the time to draw the readers in. Get ready to discuss and interact with the readers via comments. It’s your articles, your platform, your limelight, so reply to comments and keep the discussion going. Submit it to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and social bookmark sharing sites like Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious. Get more readers to read your article.
  8. Don’t embarrass yourself. – Blog smartly and comment intelligently. Our readers know their subject, themselves and their family. They will critically analyse and comment on your article. Be prepared with the answers and support your views, tips and tools. Wrong facts, ill informed views and ignorance about your subject content can backfire easily and work against your and our goals.
  9. Don’t embarrass us – If we are gracious enough to publish your article. don’t put us in an awkward situation by posting retractions, requesting post edits after it has gone live, modifying and re-posting the article elsewhere, demanding money, spamming commentors and readers etc.
  10. Get analytical – Guest blogging is a learning experience which makes you a better blogger too. Track the response to your article in terms of traffic, feed count rise, comments etc and analyze if the guest article met your goals. If it did not work, then rethink what went wrong, learn from your experience, write another new article with more passion, and do it better.
  11. Write again – If the first guest article got you a phenomenal response, prepare and send us another guest article. It will mostly be accepted as we will know our readers are interested and receptive to you.

5 Responses to Tell your story

  1. Pingback: Conference 2013 – a parent’s review: ‘Good Vibrations’ | Aniridia Network UK

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