So you want to contribute to Cultured Perl. That’s great; we’d love to have your input. Here are a few things that you might find useful.
Becoming a User
You’ll need a Medium account in order to submit stories to the publication. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up on the main page. You can sign up using an existing social media account (Twitter, Facebook or Google) or you can set up a Medium account.
Once you have your user account, email your account name to me (dave at perlhacks.com) and I will add you as a writer on the publication.
Writing a Story
When you want to submit a story, you have a couple of steps to go through. Firstly, you need to write the story on Medium. You can either write the story directly in Medium (there is a lot of help on how to write articles on Medium) or you can import a story from elsewhere. When you import a story, Medium will do its best to interpret the HTML from the source page, but you’ll probably need to tweak the result before publishing.
Another option is to automatically publish posts to Medium. I use the Medium plugin for Wordpress which copies all of my blog posts on Perl Hacks to Medium — I assume that similar tools exist for other blogging engines (if you know of one, then please leave a comment). If you can’t find an existing tool, then Medium has an API, so you can write your own. I believe that there will be a CPAN module for the Medium API very soon and I’ll update this article when I know it’s ready [Update: it’s ready already!]. Also, there’s a Medium channel on IFFFT which you might find useful.
If you are cross-posting an article from elsewhere, I am very happy for you to include a link back to the original version. This will usually go at the end of your article and will consist of a line break followed by the text “Originally posted at [name of original site]” where “[name of original site]” is a link to the original version of the article. See the bottom of this article for an example.
Submission and Publication
Once you have written a story, you can submit it to Cultured Perl — there’s a option on the publication menu to do that. The editors will be notified that a new submission is waiting and we will look at it. We might publish it right away. We might make some small changes before publishing it (probably if it’s just correcting a few typos or simple grammatical errors). We might get into an email discussion with you and suggest some improvements that we would like you to make before we’ll publish the story.
Eventually, we will either accept or reject your article. If it’s accepted, it will appear on the publication’s main page and you can sit back and bask in the glory.
We’re looking for high quality articles. Here are some things you should bear in mind.
- Pictures are good. I know that code isn’t very photogenic, but I’d be very surprised if you couldn’t find some image that illustrates your story — even if it’s a terrible visual pun.
- Good spelling and grammar are important. I know that many people in the Perl community don’t have English as their first language and we will be happy to help you fix any errors that you make. But it would be great if you could find someone else to read it through before submitting it to us.
- Medium is very much aimed at long-form writing. I’m hoping to publish articles that run to several hundred words. Please don’t submit stories that are short pointers to articles on other sites.
A Note on Code
Medium was written by (or, at least, for) journalists and writers. And they don’t write much code. So there is no support for writing code samples on Medium. There are a couple of things that you can do.
1/ You can write your code as formatted text. Put the Medium editor into this mode by typing Ctrl+Alt+6. This is sub-optimal as you don’t get syntax highlighting.
2/ You can embed a Github gist. Just paste the URL of the gist into your story and Medium will expand it.
Thanks for your interest. I look forward to publishing your articles on Cultured Perl.