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go to contents of current issue contents.jpg - 1911 Bytes Festivale online magazine, guide to reviewers, submission guidelinesGuide to contributors

Query and submission guidelines

Guidebook entries
Book or movie reviews
Software reviews
Film or literary commentary (Reel Life or The Bookroom)
The Usual Questions

Festivale publishes articles and reviews from readers, however you must send a query to the editor before making a submission.
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Check our back issues for the kind of work we're interested in.

We are chasing:

Articles about Australian (particularly Victorian) places of interest, and people of interest, including film-makers, writers, artists, musicians, etc.

Remember, this is the web, so too much text becomes overwhelming, and too many images takes too long to download. This therefore requires discipline and careful thought to balance your message. It also takes more time. Remember what someone said about not having the time to write a shorter letter?

Submissions can include items for the database of public places (gardens, parks, historic sites, galleries, museums). Again, consider the best use of images and text to give the reader the feel of the place, and an idea of its importance, history etc).

Do not submit fiction or poetry. Festivale does not provide reading or editing services.

Festivale's "house style" is friendly, informal, succinct, direct.

Copyright and stuff The content of all reviews commissioned by the Festivale editors are the property of Festivale and all rights become the property of Festivale unless previously agreed.

Festivale's editors require the right to reproduce original articles accepted and published in Festivale on the Internet (World Wide Web) and in subsequent electronic compilations such as CD-ROMs).

All materials submitted to Festivale must be the copyright of those making the submission.

Festivale is not a paying market at this time. We do, however, provide feedback to contributors. We offer an opportunity to be edited (!), published, and to gain experience.

Please keep the size of images down, remember they must be jpg or GIF. Don't go over 45K in size (without prior arrangement), and keep the images down to a reasonable size for the screens. It is best if you scan or create images at the size they will be used for. 280 pixels wide makes a reasonable screen image. If in doubt, check the images on the site, most have their dimensions in the ALT tag.

As a general guide, I scan A4 maps in at 11%.

Only send images for which you hold copyright.

Submit using the appropriate form, or contact the editor for the appropriate submissions address.

Regular contributors have access to our contributors area with additional resources for making up pages.

What is a capsule review?

Something like this:

Latest sf-romance from noir director Niko Smith, this time the heroine is a spaceship captain who conceives an impossible passion for the ship's AI computer. With Alyce Platt as the captain and the voice of John Laws as the computer. Their love duet in act III is one of the singular moments on film. Expect Oscar nominations a-plenty.

Book reviews

Questions to think about:

What does the book make you think about?

What does it remind you of?

Is it part of a tradition? Genre? Series? Does it have a 'theme'?

Is it politically motivated (including social issues)?

Is there any agenda on the part of the author?

Is it fast-paced? Does it keep your interest?

Is it humorous? Sly? Satirical?

Are the characters well-drawn? Well-motivated?

Is it filled with characters, or does it concentrate on a small group?

Is the background and setting rich and vivid?

Information required:



format (h/c hardcover; p/b paperback; trade)

RRP (recommended retail price)



Publication Date if not already in stores

Nominations: you may nominate a book for an icon such as 'highly recommended' or 'must-read'.

Movie reviews
Movie reviews usually begin with a paragraph synopsis. Please avoid spoilers wherever possible. We want people to go to the movies we recommend.

The length of a review varies according to how much there is to say about the movie and your responses to it. These are re-views not criticism, so don't feel that you need to go into a deep analysis of the film as that usually required looking at the film in its entreaty, which involves spoilers.

Questions to think about:

What does the movie make you think about?

What does it remind you of?

Is it part of a tradition? Genre? Series? Does it have a 'theme'?

Is it politically motivated (including social issues)?

Is there any agenda on the part of the film-makers?

Is it fast-paced? Does it keep your interest?

Is it humorous? Sly? Satirical?

Are the characters well-drawn? Well-motivated?

Is it filled with characters, or does it concentrate on a small group?

Is the background and setting rich and vivid?

Information required:

Release Date (if scheduled for release) and EMBARGO date if given at the preview.

Your details:

Reviewer's name and personal home page or blog(if available)

Regular contributors have a profile page.
All reviews are linked to IMDB by the person publishing the page. NOTE: If the film makes you think about something that would better be published as an essay, we can do that in Reel Life (http://www.festivale.info/film/reellife.htm).

Nominations: you may nominate a film to a Festivale Pick.

Guidelines: Pictorial Guide to Melbourne and Victoria

Guidebook Entries And Photostories And Maps

Taking a Walk or Ride (photostory)

e.g., http://www.festivale.info/melbourne/dbwesterntrail.htm

This link is an example of one or more people (furry or otherwise) following a tourist-type trail, or
making one of their own.
It is told in first person as if to a friend or tourist, the intent is to give someone the flavour of the experience. In essence,
to give them an idea as to whether or not they would like to do it too.

Include information on travel, how to get there/leave. Public transport is especially important as we make an
effort to include instructions for people who rely on it.

Take photos of anything of special interest (unusual, historic, etc). I take photos of all the signs as I go along
using the camera as a note-taking device. This is where digital cameras are great.

Any facts that are included will need to be fact-checked, for which we usually use brochures and the PR contacts
for various venues. The fact-checking doesn't have to go in the article, just to the editor. We're being cited as
a credible reference so we need to be accurate, and to fix any errors/changes when they are identified.

(This is what I'm doing right now, checking 1300 pages!)

When the bug buttons are working again, everyone is encouraged to point out spelling and outrageous grammar,
layout, anything that makes us look dopey.

Guidebook entries

1. A single page that describes the venue/site.
        includes one or two photos, the logo
        contact details, including website
        opening hours
        address and public transport information
  Most of this information is on the brochures/web sites

e.g, http://www.festivale.info/melbourne/historic/dbrippon.htm

2. One or more pages describing the sites of interest on a walk.
        includes each venue/site
        a thumbnail image
        contact/opening hours/address where available.



Visits follow the same friendly style. We usually contact the venue first and organise permission to enter
and take photos for the site. So far, we have had free entry organised as a result.

Best-practice photos.

Take establishing shots. That is, the outside, and the entry sign(s). A photo of the path leading to Rippon Lea
ended up in a national magazine, so we know people like them.

Photograph what is interesting, attractive, fun. Photograph activities, like frolicking furry friends, swimmers.
Remember to ask permission if photographing people. They usually oblige and are glad to know the URL.
Be careful photographing children, we never use last names or put contact details unless the person has
a good idea of what it involves (viagra, mail-order brides, sex site offers).

If you look at a map of the site (where available), you'll see the important items of interest.
If you have the opportunity, get a map of the site and use that to help plan photos.

There are photographs that are part of the photostory, illustrating your tale.

Photographs can also be accessed from our click-able maps, so even if you don't think a gate
is exciting, it might be something people would like to click to see from a map.

Images are kept down in size to keep the speed of the pages to a reasonable level. Images that you would like to sell as prints need to be larger, but large 2MB+ images shouldn't be sent, just smaller version.

Some images are being used for free wallpapers or calendars. We will contact you if we would like permission to use an image in this way.


If you want to put your copyright notice and/or captions on the image, remember that web images will probably be
resized by the coder/editor.

Look at the images on a couple of pages. Thumbnails are 220 pix across. Illustrations are often 240x330 or so;
or 300x230 in columns. Large photos can be across two columns, or linked. That is, they are not large, and they are compressed. If you are unsure, you send the images
with the captions and send a sample of how you would like the watermark/credit.

for example: http://www.alikayn.com/

Selling Photos.

If you take photos you think people would like to buy as prints (8x10, 18x24 etc),

See how the images are documented on http://www.alikayn.com/.

Images need to be of sufficient size, clarity and resolution to be accepted for sale by artist aster_L1.orh rising and they
are a bit painful to deal with, however if you want to make images available for sale in a gallery there and upload
high-quality images to their site, we can make the appropriate links.

More money has been made from selling photographs that appeared on the site than from selling books and dvds.
Most money has been made from commissions for articles or photographs by organisations who have seen Festivale
and contacted the editor.


The maps on the site have all been prepared by Ali Kayn. They are gifs and use a specific Festivale palette to
keep them small and make them look alike. They are usually based on brochure maps or similar.

Maps in Festivale are usually clickable.
For example, Map of Victoria, click on Melbourne, Melbourne click on St Kilda Foreshore, then click on Rippon Lea.

In theory, all maps drill down to a specific place, either a map or a guidebook entry.

Once down to a site level, clicking on the places of interest can display a photograph.


Map pages are also link pages.

Map pages have the following sections:

If relevant, contact and address details (same as guidebook)
Places of Interest
Related links

Software Reviews

Is it easy to use? Does it behave as you expected?

Is it value for money? Does it DO what you thought it would?

Who is it aimed at? Who would get the best use out of it?

Does it offer anything new or different?

What is the user-interface like?

How good is the documentation (for installation, for troubleshooting, for learning the basics, for discovering more advanced features)? What is the printed documentation like? What is the online help like?

What other products do this kind of thing? Are they better? Profoundly different? Inferior? Comparative?

What other products are there to work with this (sister products)?

Text boxes:

Product name
Language(e.g., English, Spanish)
Operating System
Rec. Retail Price
Release Media
System requirements
Target audience (for kids, age)

Very Good
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Satisfies Functional Expectations
Continuing Interest

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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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: Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia : copyright © Festivale 1999 - 2016 All rights reserved
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Filed: March 1997
Last updated 01-Nov-2022: Last tested: Aug-1999 : Last Compiled: 01-Nov-2022

Entire site refreshed: Feb 2016 - Jun 2016 | Site URL transferred: Jan 2005 (previously www.festivale.webcentral.com.au)

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