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The Syndkt is put together in Winnipeg but in many ways geography is irrelevant for us. We have staff, contractors and freelancers throughout the country and elsewhere. Still, if you decide to call us, it’s always good to know where we are so you can avoid ringing in the middle of the night.

Our phone number is 204-298-4932

Email addresses: content proposals – pitches@dispatches.ca; once you have an assignment – editor@dispatches.ca

Where are your guidelines? writers | cartoonists | photographers

I have a Dispatches Syndkt assignment what do I need to know?

  • Read the assignment summary we email to you which will have all the key details and agreements.
  • Respect your deadlines.
  • When your first draft is complete, file it to your editor.
  • When you file your draft, fill out the content slug form which ensures we have all the vital statistics on your work.
  • The slug forms are here: written | cartoon | photo
  • Expect editing. Everyone gets edited (and sometimes it takes several rounds).
  • Be prepared for rewrites and work quickly with the editor to get them done. Remember that the goal in editing is to ensure you produce your best work. Everyone gets edited… even the guy who runs the Syndkt.

Story gathering attribution. While researching and interviewing an assigned piece, you may say you are “producing an item for Dispatches (or the Syndkt), which syndicates to Canada’s 800 weeklies”. You may not say you are “working for Dispatches”.

Why are you asking for a ‘public’ email address (in the slug forms)? Some newspapers like to include an email address for writers so that their readers can connect directly. Since this may result in lots of email, it’s not a bad idea to have another email address from your usual one to handle this kind of traffic, some of which may include spam and nasty comments. We recommend generic Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail/Outlook addresses. Something web-based with decent spam filtering which is easy to set up and monitor. However, if you prefer to use your regular email address for the public, that’s fine too.

We use Canadian spelling as per the Globe & Mail style guide. That means colour not color, humour not humor, tedious not… only kidding!

While working on your first assignment, be warned that we’ll need a good mug shot of you for the creator bio so be prepared.

Here’s the process once you finish an assignment:

  • File it to your editor
  • Complete the slug form: written | cartoon | photo
  • Tackle rewrites quickly with humour and grace
  • If you have big files (photos, graphics, etc) ask your editor how to get them to us
  • Once your work is finished, file the finals with your editor right away
  • We’ll let you know when the go-live date is for your item and then watch for it in your local newspaper
Written:
  • Canadian spelling as per the Globe and Mail style guide
  • Good grammar and punctuation
  • Ensure accuracy of names, numbers, citations, etc.

Photo:

  • 300 dpi, jpg, 144 line screen
  • short, descriptive file names with no spaces (use underscoring _ to fill the gap as in tibet_valley5.jpg)
  • clear, evocative captions
  • succinct contextual copy for the essay
  • Size to __ x __
  • File colour but ensure it looks good in one colour
  • When editing bear in mind that images will be reproduced on all sorts of presses on varying paper quality; nuance in darker areas will likely disappear.

Cartoon:

to come

Dispatches determines what we will charge newspapers for your work. A variety of factors go into the pricing but you can generally expect your item to be between $5 and $20. That might seem low but the idea behind an syndicate is to make your revenue in volume which means a smallish ticket price but sales to hundreds of buyers.

Dispatches keeps 35% of gross sales (exclusive of tax) and with that pays for editing and formatting, posting and creating the weekly email, maintaining the customer database and handling customer queries, e-commerce fees, marketing and advertising costs, general overhead and the salaries of those of us here. What’s left over is our profit, which is closely tied to your revenue too. We want you to sell to hundreds of newspapers not dozens since that way we all earn enough to keep doing this and our clients get fascinating material for their newspapers.

The gross revenue is the number of newspapers that purchased your content x the purchase price. Thus a $15 story purchased by 425 newspapers yields a gross income of $6,375.00. You receive 65% of the gross ($4,143.75 in this example) with the Syndkt keeping 35% for overhead and expenses.

It needs to be clearly understood though that Dispatches Syndkt is not purchasing your content and therefore, if only 10 newspapers buy your story, your gross/net (in this example) will be $150/$97.50.

One month or so after your go-live date (which is when your piece appears in the weekly email) you will receive your payment in your bank account. We only pay electronically and once the payment is issued, we’ll also send you an accounting of how your piece sold.

After that one month window, we will keep your piece in the Syndkt archives (unless it has stale-dated or you ask for it to be removed) where newspapers may continue to buy it. These residual sales will be tallied and paid-out once a year.

Terms and conditions

An assignment from Dispatches Syndkt means you are giving us exclusive rights to the work for a period of three months from the go-live date.

After those three months, you are free to recycle the work and the idea.

Dispatches Syndkt has the right to sell your work (syndicate it) to community newspapers and other media outlets – that right is exclusive during the initial 3-month window and then shared afterwards.

Unless you request otherwise (or it has stale-dated), your work will remain in the Dispatches Syndkt archives after the initial 3-month window and will remain on sale.

Dispatches Syndkt has the right to use your work on the Dispatches website and associated materials.

The Syndkt is selling one-time print publication and single website publication rights to your work to Canadian community/weekly newspapers. Those newspapers are forbidden to resell the work or package/aggregate it in any way however, if they violate their terms and conditions Dispatches Syndkt is not liable to you.

Our privacy policy for contractors and freelancers

We respect your privacy and take all steps to protect it.

We do not disclose personal information about you to our clients or anyone else (unless compelled to do so by law).

We store personal information, such as banking details, in encrypted formats.

Copyright:

You retain copyright to your work but share it with Dispatches Syndkt which in turn shares it (for one-time publication) with community newspapers. This sharing is exclusive to Dispatches for a three-month period after the go-live date, following which the copyright reverts to an open sharing.

If you file associated material (i.e. a photograph to accompany a written article) it is your responsibility to ensure you own the copyright or are in a position to fully assign it to Dispatches Syndkt.

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