Writers' Kit Introduction
Welcome to the Obscured Team
We're really glad to have you on the team! We've assembled a Writer's Kit here to help you get started.
Please also note that this kit is not meant to be distributed outside the team.
Types of Features
- Art/Design/Photo & Film/Music/Fashion/Literature/Elsewhere (Features)
- Happenings (Event)
- Opinions (Opinion Editorials)
The following pointers are applicable for all types of features unless stated but are more focused on the first one. The other two would be discussed further later on.
After the Editor-in-Chief informs the writers about the next issue and theme sometime within the first week of the month, please submit 1 write-up after 3 weeks by the deadline stipulated. You’re allowed to pick any category but the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor may direct you to certain categories/features if needed. If possible, do your best to find a feature whose works/story/style fits the theme for the month. If you aren't able to find one, you may either select the options we have from you or pick your own outside of the theme.
If you’d like to, feel free to work on additional articles – you can choose the category of additional write-ups.
You’re expected to curate and edit their own articles. Be on the constant look out for talents and potential features. Conduct sufficient research and interviews before writing.
Lastly, spread the word of Obscured.
Obscured Local Artists, Creatives and Small Creative Businesses
We’re all about unearthing beautiful and underrated work – your job is to spot such talents, curate and feature a selection of their work.
We suggest sourcing these from:
- Your friends
- Creative folks whom you admire
- Our database of suggestions
Use your obscuredsg gmail account to contact potential features whenever possible.
- Update the Tracklist with details of your selected feature: name, email address, website and social media links (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)
- Seek approval for your feature from the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor
- Once approved, contact your feature, interview away, and write your article
- Upload your article onto Squarespace
- Update the Tracklist again with date of submission and title and fill in any missing social media information (you may need to ask your feature for them)
- Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor proof-reads and edits article
- Creative Director checks article’s layout
- Article gets scheduled to be posted on Squarespace by the Editor-in-Chief
Avoid simplistic questions like, “How old are you,” or “How long have you been singing for”. Instead, provide questions that might provoke intriguing answers, especially if it helps reveal the feature’s thought process behind his/her/their work. It’ll help greatly in shaping your write-up.
Whenever possible, it is best to interview your feature in person rather than a fixed list of questions via email. Ask them questions that invites more in depth responses beyond what others had already asked them and can be easily found on the Internet. Depth of interviews to be beyond informative. Do observe behaviours, mannerisms, body language, dressing and the like.
Always write with the intention of enlightening the reader on the feature and his/her/their work and ethos.
Feature the Individual/Group/Entity
When writing from this angle, consider:
- Showcasing the thoughts, styles, influences etc. of the feature – try to reveal the feature’s personal voice
- Showcase their work – this should work in tandem with the above point. Writers should get features to suggest what works they’d like featured, while also deciding which works best accompanies their write-up.
In short, try to tell a story that offers insight into the feature’s processes, rather than merely offering a smattering of pretty images.
Feature a Project/Collection/A Follow-Up
This approach takes a more work-based approach. Still, consider the following:
- Showcase the works of a particular project/collection/new works of a previous feature
- More importantly, offer insights into the inspiration behind the project/collection, e.g. what message was meant to be conveyed
- Even if the artist has been featured before, include a short introduction in the new article, as well as a link to the previous write-up
We want our readers to recognize that there is a passionate individual behind the article.
We’ve had writers who’ve included details about their interviews (e.g. the environment they were in, what their interviewee wore, what they drank etc). Be creative.
- Word-count: 500 words or less. The focus is on conciseness, coupled with quality
- Always request for high-resolution images (i.e. minimally 1000 pixels wide)
Grammar and spelling – Avoid awkward syntaxes, overly long sentences, and worst of all, misspelling the feature’s name
Whatever writing approach you take, based on the suggestions on the right, it’s also equally important to impart a personal voice to your articles.
After the article has been written and submitted, it would be good to contact feature to:
- Inform them when it would be published (check Tracklist for update on publication date and time)
- Ask if they would like to give away any of their works/products or offer a special discount on Obscured, which would promote readership and increase exposure for both the feature and Obscured
- Request them to promote and share the article/issue (follow up with necessary links and information)
It is important to find feature, seek approval and contact features as early as possible.
If a feature is not responsive after a few days, contact them again or try reaching them on social media. Subsequently, if they don’t reply at all, move on and choose another feature. If this is the case, let the Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor know of the situation and your new feature before the deadline.
If necessary, approach the Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor early on to give an update on an unresponsive feature, the inability to be interviewed at this time or to ask for an extension to the deadline. We are more willing to give an extension before the deadline than on/after the deadline itself.
HAPPENINGS (in the works)
A Happenings feature is an additional write-up.
The Editor-in-Chief or Managing Editor will be assigning writers to cover events on our Happenings page.
Other writers or anyone in the core team can tag along if they are interested
Should assigned writer be able to make it, the media release will be given to the writer. The PR Manager will liaise with the personnel who invited us and RSVP for the writer assigned and others in the team who are going.
If writer can take their own pictures for use in the article, that would be good. Otherwise, we can request for official photographs if necessary.
Venue to do PR and hand out namecards and talk to other media people about Obscured
Also, have fun