We welcome submissions to The Otter ~ La Loutre at any time, in French or English. Take a look at some of the existing posts to get a sense of style and length. Blog posts typically feature some original material and draw connections to broader issues (and sometimes current events) in environmental history. We welcome a range of styles and content types: formal or informal, poetry or prose. Generally, submissions should be roughly 750-1000 words in length. It’s also important to have a few rich visuals that we can share with the post. Images should be in high-resolution format and accompanied by permissions (or licensed for non-commercial reuse). Videos and other media are also welcome.
To submit a post for consideration, follow the steps below to post it to the site, and an editor will contact you.
Adding a Post
- Click on the + New menu on the top menu and select ‘post’
- A WYSIWYG editor will open up with many options. The first thing you’ll need to do is provide a suggested title for your post. Type your suggested title in the field labelled ‘Enter title here’.
- NOTE: shorter titles are better! The presentation of posts on the WordPress site makes short, punchy titles (avoid colons if possible) the best choice.
This is the main text editor window. Thankfully there are not that many options to worry about and adding content to WordPress is about as easy as could be. That said, there are a few basic principles to follow.
First, you need to give the post a category. If the post is featured on The Otter, then you do not have to select anything (it is the default)—but if the post will be going anywhere else make sure to select it from the list of categories.
This is the text editor. Most of the options it provides are superfluous but a few of them will help with your posting. Reading across the top row:
- The B icon is to make text bold—use it sparingly, ideally just for headers.
- The I icon is for italics—use it for titles or text that is to be emphasized.
- The next icon is strikethrough—you probably will not need this.
- The fourth icon from the left is for bullet points—just like this list. Highlight a list of items, click this and voila! they will be organized as a list.
- The next icon is for numbered lists—use it as you would for bullet points.
- The icon with the quote marks is for quotations that are indented in your posts.
Now that you are familiar with basic formatting, go ahead and write your post!
Adding links to your post
To link text within your post to other websites, highlight the text you wish to link and click on the insert/edit link button in the text editor. Copy your link in the space provided and hit “apply.”
Please set your link to open in a new tab. You can do this by selecting the linked text, clicking the edit button, and then clicking “link options.”
In the pop-up “insert-edit link” window that appears, check the box that reads “open link in a new tab.”
Adding images to your post
Adding media to posts is relatively straightforward. To begin, click on the ‘Add Media’ button.
The Media Library window will pop open.
- Drag your image to the central column of images. It will take a moment to upload and then appear in the rightmost column
- NOTE: high resolution images (minimum 1024 px wide) will display best on the NiCHE site. Images must be accompanied by permissions or licensed for non-commercial use. If you are searching for images using Google Images or other online sources, use the tools settings to set the search parameters to “licensed for non-commercial reuse” or equivalent.
- Please use the caption field (identified below) to document source information and permissions.
Controlling how the image appears in a post
- If the image has a caption, you can enter this in the caption field. This will appear underneath the image when the post is published. Please add the image’s source here, and any permissions required for its use (e.g. “Public Archives and Records Office of Prince Edward Island, [collection title, name of photographer, accession number, item number]”). You may also enter html in this space, if say you want to add a link to the image source.
- The next thing you’ll want to do is determine how large the image will be in the post. There are three options: Thumbnail, Medium and Large (full-size).
- A thumbnail will be approximately 1/6 the width of the text column. It is unlikely you’ll make images this size.
- A medium image will be approximately 1/2 the width of the text column.
- A large or full-sized image will fill the width of the column. This is our recommended size: the format of the WordPress site makes this the best choice for most images in the body of your article.
- The final step is to select alignment. It is usually best to centre your images at the end of a paragraph. You can also align your image to the left or the right and the text will wrap around it. If you select no alignment, your image will appear edge-to-edge. This works best with high resolution, full-size images.
When you’re done selecting how your image will appear within your post, click on the ‘Insert post’ button in the lower right corner. You can then preview how it looks with your text. If you want to change the image settings click on the image, and then hit the picture icon that appears.
Selecting a feature image (required)
Each post on the NiCHE site must have a ‘Feature Image.’ This should be a high resolution image (min 1024 px wide) as it will appear at the top of your post and on the home page. Upload your suggested feature image to the media library using the steps above. Then, scroll down the right sidebar of the content entry page and select ‘Set feature image’.
The same menu you use to add images will appear. Follow the same steps (you don’t need to pick the size/alignment, though) and then click on ‘Set featured image’.
Adding a PDF to a post
PDFs are added to posts in the same way as images, above. Once inserted into the text, the title you select will appear next to a small Adobe thumbnail.
Submitting your post for moderation
Your post is now ready to add to the site. Scroll up to the top right of the post-entry page and click on ‘Submit for Review’. The site will go into a moderation queue and once the NiCHE administration team approves the post and its format, it will be published on the site.
Editing your post
As long as you are logged in you can edit the posts you have contributed to the site. Either directly navigate to the post you’d like to edit or access it through the posts menu, accessible from the ‘Posts’ option on the left sidebar of the WordPress dashboard.