Contributing  your work

 

Writing style

If you can write in British English, great. Here are some good do's and dont's when pitching your work too.

 

Length

As a loose rule, write in multiples of 600 words (this is roughly one page), no more than 3600 words. So for example: if your work is 1200 words, perfect, if it's 1567, try and bring it down to 1200 or under or bump it up to 1800. This helps prevent run over and large areas of white space. Plus you'll be helping us out.

If you're submitting imagery alone, this can be discussed on an individual basis.

 

Editing

Your written work will be edited where necessary to accommodate tone, style, page layout and design – it will not be compromised and you will always be credited for your work. I will work with you on these edits. Some edits may happen when the design stage has begun – these will be kept to a minimum where possible.

 

Biography

Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do? Tell the reader a bit about yourself and include a link to your website, blog or twitter account in your document too. No more than two or three sentences. Something like:

Coco Chanel lives in France and is one of the world's most recognised fashion designers. She is currently working on a new collection. You can find her at www.chanel.com

 

Format

A word .doc attached to an email is just dandy. Use your name and article title in the filename of the document, eg, coco-chanel-how-i-created-no-5.doc. If you're sending in imagery alone, just zip them up and apply the same naming convention to the zip file.

 

Payment

Regrettably, payment of work is unavailable at this time. ODOU is a two-person operation. In due course, when the magazine makes considerable profits, contributors will be fairly paid. To note, content in previous issues were kindly submitted with this in mind.

 

Sharing

If you want to share your work after the issue has went to print with your work in it, say on your blog or website, just give a nod to ODOU that it was published here first. Please also refrain from publishing your work until the issue you are featured in has went to print.

What exactly can I contribute?

 

A story

It can be fictional or not. Perhaps you have fond memories of your grandmother's perfume, or the smell of your family home. You could retell the story around an odour memory or share your love for the smell of your local neighbourhood. Maybe you fancy yourself as the next Patrick Süskind or Margaret Atwood and want to share some fictional writing that involves beautiful fragrances or horrid stenches. Take the reader on a journey through your odour world.

 

An interview

If you're a student, reporter or just love getting to know people, why don't you find out something olfactorily about your next interviewee? You could talk with your mother about that time you accidently dropped her No 5, or quiz a science lecturer at your university about organic chemistry. Open it up, uncover what friends and family remember about smells growing up and share this with the reader. 

 

An essay

Are you a professor researching the latest development in headspace technology? Perhaps, but maybe you are really getting into that book that you're on and are discovering some similarities to the odour descriptions and the narrative of the story? What was really going on with Delila in the scented parlour? Or maybe you have your own theories about why smell and memories are so inextricably linked? Show the reader how detailed your theories really are.

 

A perfume review

Oh boy. If you Google this, you're not going to be short of content to find.  Consider this, what are you saying about the latest perfume release, or established classic that someone online isn't? There is no one true marker for good and bad so be honest, be critical (positively and negatively), be yourself, and really get to the heart notes of that juice. Convince the reader your review really tells the truth (even if it is J Lo's 111th release).

 

A poem

"The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap of soggy peat". You don't have to be one of the greats like Seamus Heaney or dareth, William Shakespeare. You can rhyme and wax all the pages long over odours or succinct a smell to a few verse. Create a reaction in the reader that gets them thinking about the smells you're referring to, the poem itself is up to you.

 

Photography and illustrations

A summer's day, a spring morning, cool autumnal evenings... These all smell great, so photograph or draw them. What about your holiday to Spain, or your backpacking adventure through Tibet, what did they smell like? What were the locals eating and what did it smell of? Was the air different? Photograph your friends and family and odour profile them. Odour profile your pet cat with a doodle. It's your work so share the smell meanings with the reader.

 

Art and sculpture and technology and whatever else have you

If your work doesn't fall into the above, even better. Honestly, it's refreshing. Surprise ODOU readers with your smell-related, prefab, miniature, life-size doohickey.


Some things to note about ODOU

 

It's international

ODOU is sold internationally to people of all backgrounds. Currently it is only available in English. Not everyone is clued up about specifics like locations, people, fragrances, perfumers, celebrities, bloggers, scientists, artists, perfume materials, books, your neighbour next door or any other number of things. When contributing work, don't assume ODOU readers will get these references either. Elaborate and explain, be yourself and assume you're contributing your work to someone not in the know.

 

It's original

It's great reading something knowing that it's the only place you'll find that kind of material. From day one ODOU has always aimed to be a publication of original content that you can not find anywhere else or on the web. If you have submitted your work elsewhere just say so we can acknowledge it and work with you to put it in the magazine.


Hope to see your work, just email liam@odoumag.com