If you want to be a reviewer, contact me. I'll ask you to review two items appropriate for Facing North. They can be things you already own, and even items we've already reviewed. These will show me whether you read the below guidelines and give me a sense of your voice as a writer. While I don't accept every person who asks, I am willing to work with people who are just beginning to share their writing online. You'll need to be upfront about that with me and we'll be fine.
Over the years I have had a number of people ask me about whether they can submit reviews they have done elsewhere. In the interest of building the largest collections of reviews specific to the Pagan/New Age/Spirituality community, I think this is a great idea and heartily welcome all reviews.
Facing North is interested in honest reviews -- no need to sugarcoat it when an item is just plain bad. However, we don't do 'poison pen' reviews -- no attacking the author. Criticize the editing, or the poor scholarship, NEVER the person.
Review Guidelines and Style Sheet for Facing North
We are looking for word counts of at least 300, more is better.
There is no cash payment for your efforts; the review item and publication credit is your payment.
Unsolicited reviews are okay -- I can always say no if I don’t want it. So if you see something really cool that you'd like to review for us, please do. If you are unsure, by all means ask me and we'll talk.
I reserve the right to edit, correct punctuation and spelling; if you use an unusual spelling purposely, please make that clear. If I feel extensive changes are necessary, sometimes simply for length, I may return the piece to you to edit.
Authors and artists retain the copyright on the item we publish, and you retain the copyright on your review.
Multiple submissions (a review sent to more than one publication) are fine, but I don’t want to publish a review that has been accepted by another publication for the near future. Pending whatever agreement you have with that publication, I’ll gladly post it after the issue has been printed. We are happy to 'reprint' reviews from other sources (including those online), but make sure you aren't violating someone else's publishing agreement before you submit it to us.
All contributors need to complete a Contributor's Agreement before their work will be published. Contact me for a copy so you can see what you'd be agreeing to.
If you HATE an item that's been assigned to you, contact me and we’ll talk it through. I’m not interested in only having ‘we love this!’ reviews, but if we don’t like something, we need to be cogent in our reasoning – constructive, not destructive.
One thing to specifically keep in mind when writing about ‘occult’ books in general, and for Facing North specifically, is the ethical viewpoint. In general, I believe it is important that beginners (of any age) not rush into doing spells and such without a firm grounding in reasons why all this stuff is/was around, about ethics, karmic law, etc. No matter how sincere or thorough, an introduction that points out these things (ethics, karmic law) isn't enough, when many readers tend to skip introductions to get to how to cast a love spell or how to hurt one's enemies. So, if there's a book that's pretty darn good but has one or more iffy parts, please point that out.
Another ‘bug’ I have is references. If an author says “in the Orisha tradition, it is the accepted practice to insult the Goddess on every Saturday at 9pm” then I want to know how that author found that out. (Experience? A priestess of Orisha told her? She read it in a book?) The field of occult literature is long past the time of publishing hearsay as fact – or it should be.
There is no such word as alright: it is ALWAYS all right.
There is no such word as a lot: it is ALWAYS a lot.
It’s includes the apostrophe to stand for a missing letter, it is NOT a possessive. Its without the apostrophe is the neutral possessive. Possessive pronouns do not have apostrophes (yours, ours theirs, his, hers).
Names or other nouns with an S at the end: just use an apostrophe to indicate possessive; do NOT put another S after the apostrophe. (Chris’, Goddess’, Jones’)
Watch out for homonyms that the spell checker doesn’t catch and for typos that are words (not/now are very common typos and can make a huge difference in the meaning of the sentence).
Dashes: wherever there are two short dashes together (-- en dashes) they need to be changed to one long dash (em dash). There are at least three ways of spacing this, but for consistency, we use: no space between a last letter of a word and the long dash, one space after the dash.
Titles are almost always in upper case first letter, lower case rest of letters, NOT all caps. The subtitle is on the same line as the title, after a colon (Title: subtitle)
All quote marks, single or double, should be curly not straight. Straight ones are only for inch and foot marks.
Ellipses should have spaces between: . . .
Commas and periods go inside final quote marks; question marks, exclamation points and semi-colons go outside final quote marks. There are a very few exceptions to the comma/period rule.
There is only one space after a sentence, not two or more.
Please put a paragraph break after each paragraph, don’t use your word-processor to increase the space between paragraphs.
It would be wonderful if you sent your reviews in a .txt files, but .doc works as well.
For long quotes, indent the entire paragraph and put it in italics. Put a space before and after quote.
If there are one or more quotes before article/story begins, italicize them.
No underlines! They were used on typewriters; on computers, italics are used for titles and emphasis. Rarely use bold for emphasis.
Review information is at the end of the review and formatted thusly:
~review by Reviewer's Name (note the small r)
Author: (author’s name) or Artist: (if not a book)
Publisher's Name, year of publication (not the month or day, please)
number of pages, price (use small p. (period) for page, small pp. (period) for pages: pp. #, $$)
If there is an unusual or independent publication/publisher, include the URL (we don’t need to list Llewellyn, for example, but Spilled Candy is small enough that it’s nice to give them a little extra boost)
If you have specific contact information you want to add, put a paragraph break at the end and add the information after that.
NOTHING else. (We don’t need the ISBN, for example)