WRITERS RESOURCE

This is where the Contributors of Nightmare On Film Street can find answers to their burning questions in regards to content creation here on the website. If you aren’t yet a writer, why not apply?

Roles and Expectations

Contributor

Requirements:

  • An interest, immersion, and enthusiasm for the horror genre, including an active internet presence and keeping up on the latest horror news and releases
  • Required to allot the minimum time commitment required for this position of 10+ hours per month.
  • Required to contribute a minimum of 4 articles per month consistently, with a focus on News articles contributed on a weekly basis (300+ words). Editorials (reviews, list-style posts, retrospectives, creepypasta stories, compilation, etc. 1000+ words) also available to established contributors.
  • Contributors must join and actively participate in the Horror Writers of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook Group to pick up assignments, pitch ideas, brainstorm fun/freaky articles, and prevent overlap of content.
  • Must be a team player – able and interested in interacting with our community, cross-promoting, and actively engaging with NOFS, fellow Contributors, and Fiends (fans) on social media on a consistent basis.

 

Columnist

Requirements:

  • Required to contribute 1 Editorial per month, consistently. Editorials include reviews, list-style posts, retrospectives, creepypasta stories, compilations, etc. Open to monthly columns.
  • Contributors must join and actively participate in the Horror Writers of Nightmare on Film Street Facebook Group to pick up assignments, pitch ideas, brainstorm fun/freaky articles, and prevent overlap of content.
  • Must be a team player – able and interested in interacting with our community, cross-promoting, and actively engaging with NOFS, fellow Contributors, and Fiends (fans) on social media on a consistent basis.
Our Process

You’ll see very quickly that Nightmare on Film Street is a very easygoing space and online community. Once you have familiarized yourself with our content and formatting (via this here guide), you’ll be primed and ready to begin creating articles here on the site!

As Kim and Jon solely oversee all things Nightmare on Film Street (social media / podcast duties/ editing / film & festival coverage) – we try to keep the Writing and Publishing process very streamlined. While we are available for any questions you may have, please thoroughly read and refer to this resource and peruse previous articles on the website for guidance. Once you get the hang of things, it’s a breeze!

Here are our tried and true ways to get your content/subject matter for articles:

1. Every day we’ll post an ‘Up For Grabs’ thread in the Facebook Group with available news content that needs a Contributor assigned to it. We’ll mark items off as they’re claimed, and update with new items as they become available. When you claim a news article, you’ll draft it on the site as quickly as you can, and then submit it to be published. Your news article will then get a quick edit, photos and media added, and either be scheduled in our Article queue, or published! If need be, we’ll leave you revision notes which will be emailed to you – but more on that later.

2. And, at the end of each month, we’ll create a monthly Editorial ‘Up For Grabs’. This thread will include all of the Reviews, Lists, Editorials/Retrospectives that need a Contributor assigned to them. We’ll mark items off as they’re claimed, and update with new items as they become available. You’ll have until the deadline (more on that below) to complete and submit your Editorial for review. Your editorial will then be edited, photos and media added, and be scheduled! If need be, we’ll leave you revision notes which will be emailed to you – but more on that later.

And, if none of those tickle your fancy – you’re always encouraged to pitch articles of your own in the group! Just be sure it fits all of the checkboxes on the types of content we post (more on that below), search past posts to ensure we haven’t covered it already, and then pitch away!

When you’re ready to begin an article, please pick up a News post in the Facebook Group to get warmed up. Read through this guide for details on types of posts, formatting expectations, and deadlines and you’ll be a published Nightmare on Film Street Contributor in no time!

Thank you so much for joining our team, we can’t wait to read your stuff!

Editorials n' News

NEWS POST (between 300-700 words)

  • Trailers/Teasers
  • New Posters/Artwork
  • Film Festival News
  • Movie Stills
  • Release News
  • Noteworthy Horror News
  • Films Announced
  • Films Acquired

Articles must be longer than 300 words. News posts need to fit the content of the site, and be fresh – pick one up from our daily ‘Up For Grabs’ posts in our Facebook Group.

 

EDITORIAL POST (700-2500* words)

  • Top ’10’ lists (max 1500 words)
  • Revisiting Vintage Horror
  • Second Opinions
  • Reviews (max 1200 words)
  • Interviews/Profiles of Noteworthy Horror Creators
  • Weird Web/Creepypasta Stories
  • Opinion Pieces

Editorials must be pitched (or picked up via the monthly editorial thread) in our Facebook Group.

Acceptable Content Checklist
Nightmare on Film Street predominantly covers mainstream horror film and television. We have listed a few guidelines for acceptable and permitted content to help with your pitches. If in doubt, feel free to ask!

  • Our primary focus is Feature Film and Television. We do veer into video games/fiction/paranormal/comics/merchandise on occasion (particularly when they tie in to horror films/adaptations).
  • Only mainstream/noteworthy horror. Films must be considered notable: with production value, festival inclusion, distribution, or representation. When we feature indie talent/kickstarters/fan-made content/short films – they need to have VIRAL potential, and be something really unique and amazing.
  • No self-promotion or friend/family promotion. We will not accept posts of you interviewing friends/family or plugging personal projects within articles to prevent conflict of interest. Please use your author bio for all self promotion.
  • Keep it professional. Please retain journalistic integrity in all of your content. Avoid biases, taking major stances on hot issues, and refrain from posting or promoting any content that incites violence, one-sided opinions, hatred, or bigotry.
  • Keep it formal. We aim for a ‘magazine’ tone in all of our articles. Yes, we want every journalist’s voice and personality to shine through – but please keep it formal. Proper grammar, spelling, paragraphs and all that stuff you learned in English class. That also means keep swearing and conversational dialogue to a minimum.
  • Don’t Be a Negative NancyWhen posting editorial content, be a positive contribution to the site. Write about what you love. Excessively negative reviews and themed articles will not be posted. Yes – sometimes we have to talk about things that are, well.. terrible. Please try to be as professional as possible, and always try to find something, even in negative reviews, that you enjoyed or appreciated. Remember, a single film can take up to 3 years of a filmmaker’s life to complete, and employed hundred of people, all passionate (most of the time) about that project. Even if it’s not executed well.. there’s likely a love and respect for the genre.
  • Avoid Politics, Social Politics and Non-Horror Discussion of Controversial Topics. Nightmare on Film Street is an inclusive website – in that it is for everyone. We make it so by stearing clear of any and ALL political, social, and controversial discussion. Nightmare on Film Street is a home for horror appreciation, and escapism from a world still needs work. Our focus is and will always be the films.
  • Always Give Credit. If posting short films or fan-made content, always credit the artist. Link back to their Youtube page, social media – whatever link you have. Cite sources when providing Box Office numbers, or if your news post is based on an *Exclusive* from another news outlet. When citing a source, ensure they are the original source. (Tip: If the title doesn’t say EXCLUSIVE.. they aren’t the original source.)
  • Don’t repeat. Use the search function to ensure you are not pitching duplicate content. If you’re worried someone else is working on something similar, head to the Writers Facebook Group and ask there!
  • Be timely. Internet news has to be fresh- Within 3 hours is BEST, Within 12 hours is OK, Within a day is SCRAPING BY. Any longer and it’s no longer news.
Deadlines

Articles need to be 100% complete, proof-read (and then proof-read again), formatted, and in the Pending Review box by their listed deadline. General Deadlines are as follows:

News posts: Within 12 hours of assignment. Within 3 hours is ideal.

Reviews: No more than 2 days after the release. If theatrical, this means SATURDAY. If reviewing a screener or press screening, within 48 hours of receiving the link. If review is embargoed, 48 hours prior to embargo date. 

Retrospectives: A minimum of 48 hours prior to the date of importance. Please allow yourself time for edits if need be.

Interviews/Event CoverageWithin 24 hours following event.

Lists: A minimum of 48 hours prior to the date of importance. If your list is dated for a particular week in a calender month, posts should be submitted no later than the Wednesday of that week.

These deadlines allow for edits, scheduling, and revisions if need be. Articles that are not submitted by their deadline risk not being published.

How to create a post

New to the WordPress Dashboard? Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through.

  • Once logged in to the ADMIN PANEL, select POST on the left sidebar, and ADD NEW.
  • You will open up a fresh post to begin creating your article. There are a lot of different tabs, but don’t get overwhelmed. Many of them are reserved for functions on the ADMIN side. You only need to focus on TITLE, CONTENT, CATEGORY, and TAGS.
  • Please write your post inside the text editor, and don’t use any external text documents to create your post. While you write, there is a word count in the bottom left corner that updates live and can help guide you towards reaching your minimums (300+ for News posts, 1000+/- for Editorials).
  • If you’d like to preview what your post looks like, click PREVIEW on the top of the right sidebar to see how it will look once published.
  • Don’t forget to save!  If you’d like to save your post and come back to it, select SAVE in the top of the right sidebar. When you want to come back to it, in the admin dashboard select POSTS on the left sidebar, ALL POSTS, and then click on your saved post.
  • Read on in the FAQ for additional tips on Tagging, Selecting a Category, Post Formatting, and Adding Media/Videos/Tweets/Instagram Photos.
  • When completed, PROOFREAD.  Ensure Actors/Producers/Directors/Company names are spelled correctly. Then, PROOFREAD AGAIN.
  • When your post is ready to be sent to an editor for publishing, in the top right sidebar change the status from DRAFT to PENDING REVIEW and then SAVE as PENDING REVIEW. See the ‘Lowdown on Post Statuses’ FAQ for more details.
formatting guidelines

ALL Articles

Film/Television titles = Bold + Italics, (with year in Brackets)

ex: Scream (1996)

Individual Episode titles = Italics, “in double quotations”

ex: Black Mirror’s “USS Callister”

Novel Titles = Italics

ex: Goosebumps

Fictional CharactersItalics 

ex- Pennywise the Dancing Clown 

Actors/Directors/Producers/Real Names= No Change, (previous major film credit in brackets)

ex: Zoe Saldana (Avatar)

Sub-headers= Header 3

Quotes = Highlight text, and click the ‘QUOTE’ icon in the text editor. Looks like  < this guy. Link your source!

Upcoming Release dates = Bold. ex: Hits theatres June 21st, 1912.

Main Keyword= typically your film title or event title. Can also be lead actor or filmmaker. Should appear in the title of every article, the first sentence of the post, and appear at least once per paragraph.

 

News Articles

  • Compelling title including main article keyword. ex – THE EVIL DEAD 7 Saunters Toward Theatres This August
  • Introductory paragraph of 1-2 sentences summarizing all information.
  • Include official synopsis
  • Producer(s), Writer(s), Director, and Actors involved.
  • If quoting other interviews, original source must be cited and hyperlinked. ex: In an interview with Some Magazine, Hugh Grant said, “..”
  • If using Box Office Numbers, original source must be cited and hyperlinked. ex: making $3 at the worldwide box office.
  • If news comes from another outlet’s ‘Exclusive’, the original source must be cited and hyperlinked. ex: Deadline reports that the tomatoes were very scary.
  • Paste URLS of any external media you would like embedded in your article. Including; Tweets, Instagram Posts, Facebook Video, Youtube, Video, etc.
  • Release date information at bottom of article
  • Select Category Horror News in right sidebar. If doing a trailer article, also select Trailers.
  • Add 10+ tags in right sidebar.
  • Please Proof Read!
  • Minimum 300 words. Maximum 700 words.

Editorials

  • Compelling title including main article keyword. ex – THE EVIL DEAD 7 Saunters Toward Theatres This August
  • Introductory paragraph of 1-2 sentences, using main keywords.
  • Synopsize film in own words.
  • Use Sub-Headers to break-up main points.
  • Producer(s), Writer(s), Director, and Actors involved appear in content.
  • If quoting other interviews, original source must be cited and hyperlinked. ex: In an interview with Some Magazine, Hugh Grant said, “..”
  • If using Box Office Numbers, original source must be cited and hyperlinked. ex: making $3 at the worldwide box office.
  • If news comes from another outlet’s ‘Exclusive’, the original source must be cited and hyperlinked. ex: Deadline reports that the tomatoes were very scary.
  • Paste URLS of any external media you would like embedded in your article. Including; Tweets, Instagram Posts, Facebook Video, Youtube, Video, etc.
  • Select appropriate Categories in right sidebar. Retrospectives go under Retrospectives + Recommendations. Reviews go under Reviews. If the article doesn’t directly relate to Horror Film, it goes under Freaky Fun.
  • Add 10+ tags in right sidebar.
  • Please Proof Read!
  • Minimum 700 words. List posts Maximum 1500 words. Editorials maximum 2500 words.
The Lowdown on Listicles

Writing a ‘Top 10’ List? Here are our requirements and guidelines: (If you’re ever in doubt, take a look at recently published lists for inspiration!)

  • Films are ranked and numbered in descending order from ‘worst’ to best. Your #1 pick should be at the very bottom of your article, and should be the BEST, most iconic pick 
  • Please aim for no less than 7 films per list. 10 is ideal. More than 10 is allowed, but not necessary.  Don’t do more than 15. That’s too much article lol
  • Once you have your films selected, please run them by an Editor prior to starting your article. (Create a new post and list out your picks. Mark ‘PENDING REVIEW’. Once we’ve confirmed your picks, we’ll send it back over to drafts, and you can start on your list!)
  • Every listicle needs an opening section (1-2 paragraphs), where you discuss the theme of your list.
  • Use HEADER 3 for all of your film titles – ex: #10. Insidious (2010)
  • Under each header write min. 1 paragraph synopsizing the film and why it fits the theme. You may also add a second sub-header with a fun theme-related tidbit. For example; we recently published a list on Horror Movie Eclipses, and had a sub-header under the synopsis with what type of Eclipse it was and how it related to the plot of the film.
  • You may embed trailers for your films, or leave them media-less for us to add photos/videos during the Pending Review Stage.
The Lowdown on Reviews

We’re excited to unveil a new REVIEW post-type in to the Nightmare on Film Street Website! After completing the content portion of your review, please find the REVIEW BOX below the text editor. (It  has GREEN headers, you won’t miss it!)

In REVIEW BOX CONTENTS:

  • Under ‘Review Box Title’ enter “Review: YOUR FILM TITLE (YEAR)“.
  • Under ‘Summary’ paste 1-3 sentences from your review. These sentences should be snappy, and summarize your feedback on the film.
  • Under ‘Summary Title’, write “TLDR

in BREAKDOWN:

Create 4 sub-categories (click ‘ADD BREAKDOWN’ to open additional boxes). In each, create a criteria, under TITLE. Some examples: Characters, Plot, Special Effects, Monsters, Performances, Pacing, Scares, Fun, Score, Humor, Cinematography, Camp, etc. For each of the 4 criteria you have selected, assign a percentage rating.

When the review is published, it will automatically average your Breakdown scores for a total review score. With .. not great films, try to pick some fun, unique breakdowns. Make criteria that reflects the film, and your overall percentage will accurately reflect the film in its unique goals, sub-genre, vision, etc.

Tagging Guide
Tagging your post is very important. It helps your article appear more often across our website’s ‘Related Posts’ section, in the sidebar and footer, and helps Google to index your article quicker. Tags are added in the right sidebar.

  • The more tags, the better.
  • Separate each tag by a comma – like so; horror, horror new, horror article, nightmare on film street, horror trailer,
  • Use director’s names, film titles – any keywords within your article that someone may search.
  • Use keywords that a person would type in google and be happy to see your article. If you’re writing about “10 Haunted Houses in Tampa”, your tags could be; haunted florida, florida paranormal, haunted tampa, haunted houses tampa, tampa scary, tampa haunts
Category Guide
Post Category is selected in the right sidebar. These are the following categories, and what types of posts go under each;

Freaky Fun
Weird Web , Creepypasta, Paranormal , Horror-Adjacent content, Halloween, etc.

Horror News
Recent News posts- trailers, new stills, release information, etc.

-> Trailers
Trailers. When posting trailers, you may also categorize under ‘Horror News’.

Nightmare News
This category is reserved for news about Nightmare on Film Street.

Podcast
This category is reserved for podcast release articles from Nightmare on Film Street.

Recommendations
Posts that revisit classic horror films, list posts and the majority of editorial content.

-> Lists

Listicle posts and Ranking posts.

-> Retrospectives

Posts that revisit classic horror films, typically on their anniversary of release.

-> Interviews

Interviews with Filmmakers.

Reviews
Reviews and opinion pieces.

-> Recaps

Television Series recap articles.

 

**NOTE: Please limit yourself to ONE MAIN CATEGORY, with an applicable sub-category if applicable. **

Formatting Images/Media
Image requirements:

  • Due to specific formatting requirements of our theme, Contributors are not expected to upload or include photos with their articles. All media will be added by an Editor during the Pending Review stage.

Embedding media:

We will complete the coding to properly embed media in your post. Simply paste the URL of the content you would like to embed where you’d like it to appear in your article, whether it be Twitter, Instagram, Facebook Video, Youtube, Vimeo, etc. and we will embed it for you in the ‘Pending Review’ stage.

If adding videos from Youtube/Vimeo, please ensure they are source videos: from either the distributor/production company, or an official account associated with the trailer/video. 3rd party videos will be removed, as they tend to get removed from Youtube and leave ugly errors on the site.

The Lowdown on Post Statuses
There are several different statuses for posts-in-progress before they reach the publish stage. Here’s a list of what they are and what they mean for you as a contributor!

ASSIGNED

A holding status for an editorial or major story that’s been assigned to a particular Contributor. Pre-Draft Stage.

DRAFTS/IN PROGRESS

Articles that are currently being worked on.

PENDING REVIEW

Articles that have been completed and are Pending review from an editor before being published. When you are ready to submit a completed article, mark it PENDING REVIEW.

NEEDS REVISION

Articles that have been submitted for review and need revisions before being published. Author will receive EDITORS COMMENTS on the post. Once the post is revised, it needs to go to PENDING REVIEW to be added back to the queue.

SCHEDULED

This means your article has been scheduled and is in the queue to be posted on the site. You will receive an email when a post has been scheduled. Articles can be juggled and re-scheduled at this stage, but you can always check the most updated schedule time by hovering over the post in the Dashboard to see when it is scheduled for.

PUBLISHED

Woohoo! This article is live on the site! If your article has just been posted, please allow up to 30 minutes for it to be posted on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Readability and SEO

Search Engine Optimization happens at both a site level, and a content level. You – the writer can help impact your article’s rankings just by keeping SEO at top of mind when writing your content. Here are some best practices we follow at Nightmare on Film Street:

  • Short, optimized sentences. Easy to read, avoids misinterpretations, less complicated. 
  • Know your article’s keyword (typically the film title, but can also be an actor/director/etc. Whatever the main focus of your article is) and use it! It should appear at least once every paragraph, priority being the very first sentence. Make sure it’s in your title!
  • Not going overboard with academic phrasing, difficult words, etc. Try to write for a high school reading level, to target the largest audience and not to alienate any potential readers. 
  • Use Transition words: Do you use transition words like ‘most importantly’, ‘because’, ‘therefore’, or ‘besides that’ to tie your text together? Using these words improves the flow of your article as they provide hints to the reader about what is coming next.
  • Sentence beginnings: Do any of your consecutive sentences start with the same word? This would cause repetition for your reader, and that might be annoying. Always mix up your sentences to keep your article readable and free of obstacles, unless you want to prove something or use it as a writing style, of course.
  • Paragraph length: Some people tend to use extremely long paragraphs. Doing so makes your text look daunting as it becomes just one big blob of text. Break it up, use shorter paragraphs and insert subheadings.

 

Author Bios

In the WordPress dashboard, you can edit your profile under USERS.

  • Create a short bio for yourself (Think Twitter-length, 140 characters or less)
  • Select your preferred name
  • Add any applicable social media URLS
  • Upload a professional(-ish) photo

You author card will begin appearing under your posts.

The Pending Review Stage
Once you submit your article, please allow 24-48 hours for us to review and edit it. We will then update the post and either SCHEDULE/PUBLISH IT, or mark it as NEEDS REVISION and leave EDITORIAL COMMENTS for you in the post. You will then need to make updates and re-submit.

To avoid multiple revisions, be sure to proof-read and frequently Preview Your Post to ensure your formatting is correct.

Other reasons why your post may not be published;

  • Didn’t follow post guidelines. Posts must relate to Mainstream Horror, must refrain from extreme bias, not veer to closely into personal opinion (and when necessary must remain professional), posts cannot be excessively negative in tone, post cannot be self promotion.
  • Too similar to existing content. Always pitch your editorial ideas in the group – you’ll get feedback, and you’ll also learn if someone is already working on something similar. Use the search function on the site to ensure nothing has already been published of that nature.
  • Grammar/Format. Always proof-read your articles and check your post preview. It saves us boatloads of times when editing and approving posts if they are formatted correctly, and contain few errors. More Formatting tips are located on this page, hooray!
Maximize Your Article's Audience
  • Write viral-worthy content. Be active on the Facebook group so you can grab the *biggest* news articles as they become available. For editorials, write concise, easy to read content. Follow our SEO guidelines, and create List style posts – readers love them!
  • Share on Social Media! When an article is published, it is automatically promoted on our Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest feeds. Articles that are relevant and exceed expectations also get plugged on our Instagram feed and in our Fan Facebook Groups. You can help grow your article’s reach by also sharing the articles on social media. This not only helps your audience see your posts, but also helps it to rank higher in Google, as you are increasing the backlinks. Utilize your Twitter, Facebook Profile, and Tumblr pages. Also, join some Horror niche Facebook Groups and share your new articles there.
  • Share in our Group and SubredditThe key to group and community engagement is interacting and participating beyond dropping links – so be sure to be a regular commenter and your articles will rise to the top of the feed!
  • Write Consistently. We internally link articles within every post we publish. If you write often, and even better- often about the same subject – your articles will get linked more frequently! Think of it as almost a spiderweb of content stretching out from the initial article. The more consistently you contribute, the more your articles will appear in that web!
  • Share your status! Tell your audience in your bio that you write for us! Most of our team uses “Contributor at Nightmare on Film Street“. If you click your name on either the Team Page or in your Author Bios – it will also take you to your article page, where all of the articles that only YOU have written are organized. You can set this link as your homepage, add it to your social media bios, you name it! Anyone that clicks on that link will only see the latest posts you’ve contributed.
I cannot meet my minimum post requirements/I need time away
Please notify us via email prior to any extended leaves of absence or hiatus. We are happy to accommodate regular contributors.

Contributors who allow their accounts to go inactive for 4 weeks, and/or who do not meet the minimum post commitment for 2 months without prior notification will be automatically deactivated. For security purposes, access to the group and post dashboard will be revoked. If your status has been deactivated, you may re-apply for Contributor status in the future, and we’ll be sad. Super sad.

How do I get considered for screeners, interviews, and/or festival coverage?

We delegate screeners and  interview opportunities to our Senior Contributors and longstanding/established Contributors. Our minimum requirements for consideration is that a Contributor is up-to date on their required posts for the month, and consistently meets their minimum post requirements. We will occasionally offer on-the-fly opportunities in the Facebook group, and Contributors will only be considered if they have maintained those requirements. We will also reach out to a particular contributor if a project/film opportunity that contributor has expressed interest in becomes available.

Festival coverage on behalf of Nightmare on Film Street is very limited and subject to the approval terms above in addition to requiring exclusive coverage on behalf of Nightmare on Film Street. Festival coverage is by assignment only and typically reserved for Senior Contributors.

Please do not organize or apply for coverage/interviews/applications on behalf of Nightmare on Film Street without prior consent of an Editor. 

Can I re-publish my articles on my own website?
You may re-post articles on personal blogs, personal websites, and journal-ling websites like Tumblr. We do ask that you please wait 7 days from the article going live on the Nightmare on Film Street website before re-publishing. Please also link back to Nightmare on Film Street in the body of your article – “This article was first published on Nightmare on Film Street.”
The Senior Contributor Role
Senior Contributor is an assigned position at Nightmare on Film Street, exclusive to Contributors who have consistently gone above and beyond their regular duties and professionally embody the Nightmare on Film Street brand. They have contributed or are on pace to contribute over 50 articles to Nightmare on Film Street in a single calendar year. In addition to being spotlighted at the top of our Team Page, Senior Contributors also receive a dedicated Nightmare on Film Street email address for conducting interviews, press requests, and coverage!
The Nightmare on Film Street Email Client
Note: Custom Nightmare on Film Street Email addresses are limited to Editors and Senior Contributors at this time.

To access your Nightmare on Film Street email address:

Login Here

To setup an Email Forwarder:

  1. Login to the email client.
  2. Select your email address in the top right corner to display a dropdown menu.
  3. Select ‘Forwarders’
  4. Enter the email address where you would like all emails to this account forwarded and save.
I have more questions!
Don’t fret! We created our Writers Facebook Group just for situations like this! Ask your question there and our community of other writers will be sure to help!