CAROUSER Style Guide
This guide is intended to give your work at The Carouser a consistency, keeping it in line with our house style so the reader is not distracted from the content. The Carouser’s goal is content through style, rather than style over content. Personality is of course encouraged, but style should never be a distraction from the content. This guide mainly deals with conventions, common errors, and The Carouser’s style preferences/rules.
ALL ARTICLES SHOULD BE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, BALLSY, GENUINE, AMUSING & QUALITY PIECES OF WORK.
Word Count: 300+
Onine Deadline: 24 Hours
News should be written in present tense and still retaining The Carouser’s rock n roll style. It is the most important section on the website in terms of the most views. We cover booze, classic rock and events. DON’T copy and paste press releases for news/features. Rewrite them in a style fitting The Carouser if you have no other sources. Try to get quotes or a brief interview to make a piece more exclusive, especially with news.
Word Count: 500+
Online Deadline: 1 week (unless needed before a release date)
We review music, bars, booze, events, film, books and more booze written in present tense. We want to know your honest godamn opinion and don’t be afraid to show your balls.
For reviews, steer clear of pandering, cloying praise and flat-out advertisement. Be honest. Don’t take the piss out of our audience by simply kissing ass for 500 words. Tell them WHY something is good/bad. Contributors should take the following (in no particular order) into account when reviewing artworks: skill/musicianship, etc.; quality of song writing, film making, etc.; production; overall effect/feel. For events, give an impression or experience for the reader.
Word Count: 800+
Online Deadline: 2 Weeks
Think Decadent & Depraved. Think Fear & Loathing. Think TOTAL COVERAGE. For a Coverage piece, bring out your Gonzo Journalism pen and document your day/weekend from start to finish. Write in past tense, and be sure to collaborate with your assigned illustrator.
Word Count: 1000+
Online Deadline: None
We have a litrature section on both online and print platforms but it will be entirely up to you what your story consists of, as long as it fits our style. If writing for print, it will also have to relate to the theme of the issue.
ILLUSTRATIONS & PHOTOGRAPHY
Illustrations have to fit the style of our magazine. This basically means, nothing cute, fashiony or computerised. Our main inspiration is the illustrator Ralph Steadman. Same goes for photography, we have a dirty, grimey aspect, so try to capute that when out and about. Check our instagram for an idea. Works will mainly be comissioned for events. Any images you have found, make sure that you have PERMISSION to use it. Suits just aren’t our thing so please don’t make us go to court.
DON’T write unnecessarily long sentences. That is not to say dumb down your work or clip the wings of your style, but make sure your writing is clear and understandable. Our audience doesn’t need lofty, reverential, thousand-word diatribes on the hop composition of a micro brew from Plymouth and frankly, neither do I.
Be careful for American English – cars have bonnets not hoods, boots not trunks and run on petrol not gas; in both regions, however, women are still bitches (just kidding! Sort of).
ALWAYS include at least one photo in your articles. If you have multiple photos, spread them throughout the piece. They have to be at least 1000 x 666 for online articles.
ALWAYS include links, which should open in a new tab, and NOT taking the reader straight through to the linked website and away from our site.
ALWAYS keep the rock ‘n’ roll/booze/art subjects in mind, but do feel free to branch out –Sinatra was our first cover, after all.
That said, genres can be tricky and vague (just because a group might play guitar doesn’t mean they’re anything more than a glorified boy band). If in doubt, consider the style or attitude of a band/piece of art. Watch out for cardigans – they are the bane of rock ‘n’ roll and are often a good indicator of whether a band is worth covering or not.
Word counts will be decided with the contributor when commissioning, and contributors should stick to these as closely as possible. You are more than welcome to submit your pieces with headlines, standfirsts/intros, sub-heads and pull-quotes, but it’s also fine to leave them for the editors to take care of.
HOUSE STYLE, RULES, CONVENTIONS, ETC.
ACCENTS Use them if they are part of the anglicised spelling (café), part of the foreign language spelling, or in company or individual names.
ACRONYMS Even with terms generally referred to by their initials, spell them out at first mention. If further mentions are going to appear in the story put the acronym in brackets: Alcohol by volume (ABV).
CAPITAL (UPPER CASE) LETTERS Companies, countries, and people always take upper case for the first letter of their name(s).
Companies/bands are singular and impersonal (Jack Daniel’s expanded its market NOT their market). Bands, however, aren’t (Black Sabbath are a heavy metal band NOT Black Sabbath is a heavy metal band).
COUNTRIES Use The Netherlands (not Holland), the UK (not United Kingdom or Britain), the US (not United States). England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should be used where appropriate.
DATES, TIMES follow this order: day, month, year (13 August 1986).
Years are given in full (June 2008, not June ‘08). Decades are given in short as ‘70s, ‘80s etc.
Note also it is ‘70s NOT 70’s.
Times are given as am or pm (no full points), so 3 pm, 3 am NOT 15:00 hrs, 03:00 hrs.
FIGURES The numbers one to ten are spelled out. Numerals are then used from 11 up to and including six-digit numbers. Thereafter, use ‘million’ or ‘billion’ (6.3 million, 1.4 billion).
Numerals are used for sums of money, percentages, time, odds, votes, ages, addresses and sets of numbers (10, 20, 30) unless they are the first word of a sentence, in which case they are spelled out. Avoid starting sentences with a figure.
JARGON Industry speak, PR horseshit phrases, and specialist/insider terms are for cunts.
NAMES and TITLES Where possible, present a person’s name/pseudonym in full on first mention (John Bonham, drums) with job/official title.
PERCENTAGES Use % instead of per cent.
POSSESSIVES the UK’s, The Carouser’s. The ‘s’ is dropped if the preceding word ends in ‘s’. (KISS’ album; the managers’ meeting) except where it is used in place names (St James’s Palace) or where preceded by a capital letter (SAS’s).
Watch out for its and it’s: an apostrophe means it has, it is, etc. (“it’s fucking disgusting”), and its is possessive (“it had its head ripped off”).
QUOTES “” marks are used for directly attributed statements. To distinguish a quote within a quote, use ‘’ marks (“She said to me, ‘You’re a cheap bastard,’ so I just bought her an orange juice.”). ‘’ marks, or italics, can also be used to indicate unfamiliar or technical words, or for indirect spoken references.
Quote marks go outside all other punctuation for full quotes (“It is time to score some smack,” the lead tambourine player said.) but not on a partial quote (It was time to “score some smack”, the lead tambourine player said.).
TENSES The present tense should be used for all interviews (“says”, not “said”) and reviews; the exception being retrospective pieces where past tense is more appropriate.
WORKS Album, film, book, play, artwork titles should be in italics, or just standard if the body is already in italic.
Finally, having an alcohol problem isn’t mandatory (The Carouser can’t afford another lawsuit), but it does help. And with that, try and have fun – if you’re not having any, then the reader probably won’t either.
Now, fuck off and get some writing done, you lousy shitheads.