FootTheBall is looking exclusively for stories from the world of football / soccer. In the body of your pitch, explain your idea concisely. Important: Think like a journalist, not a fan. We’re looking for common or niche articles or photo essays or even graphic novels – it should be interesting, where quality meets passion, fact and individuality.

GROUND RULES

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or a beginner looking to make strides in the football world, we’re interested to see your work. Thought-provoking opinion pieces to player profiles, to tactical analysis to transfer market and even Graphic Novels on The Beautiful Game – if you’re a football writer looking for a platform with a global audience in its millions then, you have come to the right place.

REWARD

And this too! There is a REWARD. Enter our grand competition to win from our monthly pot. Every month, we will keep an open kitty of INR 10,000. This will be rewarded equally (INR 1,000 each) to the top 10 stories every month. And maybe the chance of a permanent writing job at FootTheBall, one day.

And the contributor on the top of the pile will be featured as the Author Of The Month on our social media platforms!

WHO GETS REWARDED

Easy peasy!

Social media and reader engagement play huge roles at FootTheBall.

While the editorial team decides whether your submission is fit to be published on our website, the top 10 most read stories on our website will win the kitty.

FAQ

Q. What happens when my submission/article gets selected but is not in the top 10?

a. Unfortunately, you don’t win anything from the reward kitty. But you get published and you can showcase your byline, tom-tom it on social media. Also, we encourage you to keep getting better at it and keep writing.

Q. Can I submit a photo essay?

a. Yes. But it has to be offered exclusively to FootTheBall and should not be published anywhere else. Once published, FootTheBall will have the exclusive rights to the pictures.

Q. Do you publish academic work?

a. Absolutely we do. We also care about how sports intersect with the personal, political, and social.

Q. Do you accept Illustration series or mini-comic strips or Graphic Novel based on football?

a. Hell yeah!

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

If your work meets our standards, you will be published! If not, we will encourage you to try again in the future. FootTheBall is committed to developing writing talent, and we can’t wait to read your stories. Please remember : PLAGIARISM is a short-cut to getting banned forever.

• Send only completed work

• Your article should be not less than 1000 words

• Your photo essay should not be less than 20 pictures and a 300 word note

• Every article must be proofread, fact-checked by the writer and will then be assessed for suitability by an Editor prior to publication.

• We expect you to run a spell check, double check all facts and re-read articles before submitting them.

• Articles must conform at all times to high standards of spelling, grammar, punctuation and prose.

• Provide context with other articles and past news linked to your article (reference with links).

• Avoid use of third person in your articles.

• Use full names and proper nouns (e.g. “Manchester United” not “Man Utd”).

• No foul or offensive language.

• In general, readers don’t like being hit with a huge block of text. Using paragraphs allows for breathing space Each claim and or quote must be attributed and not presented as your own.

• The first time a source is attributed, it must be linked to. Further uses of the same source must be unambiguously identifiable as a continuation of that. If you use more than one article from the same source, each must be linked to.

• Links should point to the exact page, whether in English or in another language, where the claim or quote can be seen (i.e. the original article). It is not sufficient to link to the sources homepage.

• ALL quotes must be attributed to credible English language or foreign language sources, for example: newswires, regional and national press, broadcasters, official press releases, press conferences and officially authorised media.

• ALL claims must be substantiated with reference to credible sources, which must be recent.

• Sources referenced in articles that are publicly available online must be linked to. Linked sources must be suitably close to the claim/quote used and not cited out of context. Sources that are not publicly available online must be referenced with sufficient information to allow readers to verify the claim or quote. Language such as “according to reports”, “allegedly”, “it is thought” must therefore be avoided.

• Transfer valuations may only be used when the valuation quoted derives from a recently completed transfer deal or else is substantiated with reference to a credible source, as stated above (3).

• When producing transfer round-ups you must reference each source with a link.

• Rumours, speculation and supposition – do not present them as statements of fact.

• Features are designed to create conversation and debate

• Choose topical questions which will be very relevant at the time, try not to be generic We want informed opinion pieces, not rants. Don’t be afraid to be controversial so long as your work is based on fact and context.

RIGHTS

• FootTheBall reserves the right to delete or remove articles or comments which are deemed offensive, abusive, threatening, obscene, racist, inflammatory, or otherwise breach the terms & conditions.

• By sharing any contribution, you agree to grant FootTheBall permission to use the material in any way FootTheBall deems it fit (including modifying and adapting it for operational and editorial reasons) in any media worldwide.

• We reserve the right to decline any submission.

TIPS

• Your story should reveal something most readers don’t know about a sports figure, event or team. Writers should have the courage to be different, introduce a different flavour in a seemingly conventional story. Attack the story with a distinctive voice or a perspective.

• Look at what people will read. What sells? Tactical Analysis, best ever, worst ever, Top 10 lists, pop-culture, contemporary controversies, match reports, Illustrations.

• Last but the most important. Never PLAGIARISE. Remember, we will pass it through stringent plagiarism checks. And you will be banned forever from submitting if you submit plagiarised content.

PHOTO ESSAY

Submissions for Photo Essay should consist of at least 20 images from the proposed series, along with a written description of 200-300 words, all in a single word / PDF file. We prefer photo essays that offer a narrative, but we also love ones that offer news coverage. Please provide the link to your folders of high-resolution images with your proposal.

GRAPHIC NOVEL OR ILLUSTRATED SERIES

The secret is to believe in your dreams; in your potential that you can be like your star, keep searching, keep believing and don’t lose faith in yourself.” – Neymar

Remember Roy of Rovers that debuted in 1954 in the pages of the Tiger comic, featuring teenage football nut Roy Race signing for his beloved Melchester Rovers in the unspecified, but probably northern, town where he lived. That has always inspired us.

If you are an illustrator, specifically focussing on Football / Soccer, we are here to give you a platform. Because comics are amazing.

From mini-comic strips to graphic novels, submissions will include a pitch of your project, an author bio, the titles of any previous publications, a link to your portfolio, and finished chapters.

Since this genre belongs to the highly visual product category, the entire plot of the project should be ready for submission.

Know More

YOU HAVE THE IDEAS, WE HAVE THE AUDIENCE!

At FootTheBall.com, we breathe, eat and dream of ‘The Beautiful Game’. If you are just like us, we can help you share your thoughts with the world. All you have to do is to send us your writings on Football using a proper format. The article should be at least 1000 words long.

If we like it, we will publish it. And if millions of our readers love it, you will win cash from our monthly reward kitty! You also have a chance to get featured on our social media as the “Writer Of The Month”.

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