For Writers

Be A Columnist

Do you have things you want to say about the next political campaign? Are there issues that you feel strongly about? Perhaps you consider yourself to be something of an expert, or perhaps you just want to share your views with others.

If you want to be a columnist, send an email expressing your request to writers @ (without the spaces), including your full name, address, phone, and email address.

The Nolan Chart is dedicated to providing an outlet for people to publish their ideas and opinions regarding the news and political issues of the day. If it’s important enough for you to write about it, and if it’s current, we’ll give you the opportunity to publish it here.¬† We welcome all political viewpoints.

As a Nolan Chart columnist, you are responsible for editing and proofreading your own work.

All articles are subject to an approval process before they are published on the website. We have a small team of approvers who will be checking for newly submitted articles on a regular basis. Please allow up to 24 hours for an article to be reviewed. Most articles get approved more quickly than that.

Article approvers will apply these rules to a submission before approving the article for publication:

  1. The article must not violate our terms of service, which includes the following basic criteria:
    • No spamming the website.
    • No promoting other websites (i.e. commercial ventures).
    • Honor and protect the rights of others, including copyrights.
    • Avoid ad hominems.
    • No republishing content already published elsewhere on the web.
  2. If the article contains profanity, it must be rejected.
  3. If appropriate documentation is lacking within the article for factual claims, reject it. This is particularly important where a columnist claims to quote someone or some source but doesn’t provide any information about where to find that source. Links to sources are required whenever it is possible to link to them online. The preferred method of linking is to select a small section of text in the article (one to five words in length) which identifies the nature of the source to be linked and turn that section into a link. Instructions for creating links may be found by any columnist by viewing the article editing page for the article in question. When no links are possible, we require TWO separate sources confirming the fact or quote included in the article.
  4. Only articles about current news or political issues should be accepted. If the article is not about a news event or political issue, or if it is primarily an attempt to squelch debate of the event or issue in some way, or if it is primarily an attempt to insult or demean one or more opponents regarding the issue, reject it. An example of an unacceptable article would be an article primarily about religion or religious views, whether pro-religious or anti-religious.
  5. If the topic selected by the columnist is inappropriate for the article’s content, reject it.
  6. If the article has obviously not been proofread by the columnist, reject it.
  7. If the article is nothing more than a rehash of another article that has already appeared on this website, it can be rejected as spam. In this instance, advise the columnist who wrote the article that they have to provide new information, and be sure to provide a link to the article already published, so they can review it.
  8. If the article is nothing more than a short reader comment rather than a full article that stands on its own merits, reject it. As a general rule-of-thumb, an article is too short if it is not at least 400-500 words in length. The approvers should add a comment pointing out that articles should be based on original information provided by the columnist and suggest that their article could be approved if they write a full article instead of a short reader comment pretending to be an article. Typically, “articles” that are little more than reader comments make only one point.
  9. If the article has already been published in whole or in part on another website, or if the article uses phrasing from another site without attribution in the form of linking to that source, it must be rejected. Google News penalizes duplication of articles, and we have already run afoul of their policies once before. We do not want to do so again.
  10. If the article uses racial terminology where racial terminology is not necessary to the article, reject the article. Now that the U.S. has elected its first non-caucasian male president, we will studiously avoid referring to President Obama as a “Negro President” or a “Colored President” or even a “Black President” unless the article under consideration is specifically and mainly about racism. Articles that attempt to slide under this rule by including a brief discussion of racism in order to justify including the term under another article topic should be rejected. The exception to this rule would be an article that is
    specifically about racism as an issue, in which case the issue MUST be discussed respectfully to all parties concerned.
  11. If the article deviates significantly from the visual style of presentation used by all other articles on the site, it must be rejected. This includes, but is not limited to, avoiding indentation of paragraphs, using the site’s standard medium-size type, no excessive use of bolds, italics, or other forms of emphasis, no excessive use of headlines or subheadlines, etc.

Article approvers are not permitted to approve their own articles. These rules were last revised and updated November 19, 2011.