Submission Guidelines

Can you write thoughtful articles on the subject of Film & Television? We’re always looking for new talent, so why not contribute to Frame Rated? [Last updated: 19 Jan 21.]

If accepted after this initial approach, please do the following…

If you have a Medium account:

  • Write or import your article.
  • Follow Medium’s Style Sheet to correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation (we prefer British English, not American English). This post will teach you how to create lists, embed content, etc.
  • Make sure it doesn’t violate the Medium Rules.
  • There’s no requirement to add images because we source those. But if you do, please ensure they’re of high quality (1200 pixels wide minimum). Try and make any ‘featured image’ 1500px wide. IMDb and TMDb are good sources. We reserve the right to replace your images.
  • Remember to cite sources directly using hyperlinks. The same goes for images using captions — if said images aren’t marketing material made available online. Making an image’s copyright clear with a © credit beneath is also appreciated.
  • Proofread! There’s nothing more frustrating for an editor than having to laboriously correct grammar and spelling. Everyone has access to spell-checkers nowadays, so there’s no excuse. It’s also a good idea to check the ‘readability’ of your piece by running it through this site, too.

If you HAVE a Medium account:

  • Make sure your article doesn’t violate the Medium Rules.
  • Follow instructions to ‘Share a Draft’ with us.
  • If your article’s accepted you’ll be added as a ‘writer’ for the site.
  • Once a writer, you must then submit your work as outlined here.
  • We will edit submissions to correct mistakes and improve readability, but mostly to ensure it adheres to the style of our site. The closer you can reflect our style from the start, the more likely we are to want to work with you further! Sorry, but it’s true. After approving major changes with you (check e-mails or private notes!¹), your submission will be scheduled for publishing

¹ If we don’t hear from you and the article is time-sensitive, we are likely to proceed without this courtesy being paid.

If you DON’T have a Medium account:

  • Just e-mail us your article, after fact-checking everything and proofing for spelling and grammar, etc.
  • Please be aware that because you don’t have a Medium profile, your work will be posted using our generic Frame Rated Staff account. However, you’ll be credited within this article, so let us know if you want your name there linked to a particular site/blog or social media account.

We get a lot of submissions, but most are rejected for the following reasons, so please take heed of this advice before you submit anything to us!

  • Focus on features. You can submit a normal review, but you have less chance of that being accepted. This is because we syndicate our website’s content to Medium each day, so reviews of that sort must debut at our main website. And that means creating an author profile for you, which is extra work for us to be doing continually for every one-off submission we might like. If you want to become a regular contributor and are happy to become part of the Frame Rated team in a fuller sense, that’s fine, but be aware your submission on Medium will initially be “refused” so we can instead use it on the main site and have you import it to Medium after publication. Please make your intentions clear when you submit to us, either in an e-mail or with a private note. If you’re only interested in contributing Medium-hosted work, that’s cool — but concentrate on feature submissions we can use as Medium exclusives and not reviews.
  • No listicles. We don’t like ‘Top 5 Such-and-Such’-type features. But if you have an inventive way of obscuring a listicle’s format, so it doesn’t read as a basic countdown list of films you like — go for it!
  • Is your submission too short? We prefer submissions that are 5–8 minutes long. Longer articles of around 10-20 minutes are acceptable if that extra word-count is clearly justified… but anything under five minutes is unlikely to be accepted. It’s just not meaty enough as an article!
  • Are you writing from a personal angle? We want articles to display your personality and it’s fine to include personal experiences to support your thoughts, but articles weighted towards your personal life are unlikely to be accepted. For example, something titled “How The King of Comedy Made Me Reconsider My Career as Stand-Up” just screams it would work better as a personal blog. Exceptions can be made depending on exactly what the angle, so this is admittedly a loose rule.
  • Is your style and formatting vastly different? We have a house style we don’t expect newcomers to grasp the nuances of immediately, so almost every article is altered to some extent. However, the best way to impress us is to read Frame Rated enough to intuit our common formatting choices and general style and tone. If a submission reads as something wildly different (often much too “informal” in nature), the work required to make it fit our standards will be a motivating factor. We may reject your work simply because adapting it will take too long, and will likely frustrate you in the process! Basically: understand the publication you are submitting to and try to match the flavour of existing content.

We DON’T own the article you submit, so you can remove it whenever you want, for whatever reason. But we hope you’ll contact us to discuss your decision before taking that drastic step! Be courteous. It’s only good manners if we improved your article with rewrites, gave you feedback, or offered suggestions that influenced its quality. (We aren’t here to give free assistance and support to writers who quickly remove their work and use it elsewhere!)

If we created bespoke graphics for your article when it was hosted by our publication, these must NOT remain as part of your article if removed. (If they are, we’ll kick up a stink with Medium’s administrators.)

While your work is hosted on Frame Rated, you agree to let it be used for marketing purposes, which is a mutually beneficial promotion for the site and yourself.

Writers have complete control over whether or not their submission is only accessible behind Medium’s paywall (more details on that in the section below). We strongly advise you don’t keep it behind this paywall forever, so weigh up the pros and cons of keeping something paywalled for longer than 14 days. If your work is making you money even months after publication, obviously keep it there!

We may add bespoke graphics, logos, or links to other content within your article, to encourage readers to recommend and share your work and other relevant content. Writing imported material into Medium from an external source will automatically include the following footer: Originally published at [link to your site or blog].

Payment & the Medium Partner Program (MPP)

We can’t pay anyone directly for their submissions, but you can enrol in Medium’s Partner Program. This means you can “meter” your article behind a paywall where only certain people can access it:

  • Medium members”. Subscribers who pay $5 per month for paywalled content and other privileges.
  • Anyone sent a special “Friend Link” to access a paywalled article without requiring a Medium subscription.
  • Anyone accessing an article through Twitter.

This means authors are paid each calendar month based on an article’s engagement (i.e. how long a paid subscriber spent reading your submission). ‘Claps’ no longer affect payments much, it’s only a way to show appreciation, but leaving a response/comment perhaps helps a little. It’s a grey area!

The publication owner is NOT paid a percentage of what an article accrues each month, currently, despite us often having a lot of input with editing and formatting. Hopefully, this will change soon, to help cover the costs of running www.framerated.co.uk, together with compensating us for the added work we undertake. (What about it Ev Williams? Fair’s fair!)

Authors are paid by Medium each calendar month, but this requires signing up for a Stripe account. Stripe’s the company Medium has partnered with to manage payouts to each user’s bank account. You don’t have to be a paying Medium member to set this up, but we recommend you consider enrolling in the MPP because members seem to have work curated more often. (Curation is when Medium staff select your work for promotion on a topic page, which can bring it to a wider audience. This makes it more likely your work will be engaged with, thus earning you more money!)

Please note that not every country can participate in the MPP and Stripe isn’t available everywhere either, so some writers simply can’t be paid at this time. A handy list of countries where Stripe operates can be read here.

We’re happy to accept work from writers who don’t want to enrol on the MPP, of course, but you won’t be compensated financially by us right now.

Regular Contributions:

While payment isn’t guaranteed because it mainly relies on readers engaging by your monetised article in large numbers, being a regular contributor does give you some perks when joining Frame Rated:

  • Copy discs for review; either posted to your home address or sometimes accessible online. Let us know your preferred disc format, so we don’t send you something you can’t play. [UK focused, but some options available for US contributors like Arrow Video and Blue Underground.]
  • Press screening invites, mostly in the central London area for film and TV premieres. These sometimes include audience Q&As with cast and crew or the chance for roundtable interviews afterwards. [UK only.]
  • Interview filmmakers and actors, either in person as part of an aforementioned press screening event, or sometimes via phone or video-call. [UK focused.]
  • Attend film festivals with press accreditation, which sometimes means a discounted enrolment fee and additional perks. [UK only.]
  • Feedback and guidance to improve your writing, develop your talent, and sharpen your administrative skills (working to a deadline and brief).

Freelance writer and TV addict raised on films • Support me at BuyMeACoffe.com/danowen