While writing for Detour, you will find these tips invaluable.

The basics

  • When emailing submissions, make sure your name is in the file name.
  • Please include your name and email address at the top of the submission document.
  • All pictures/media that you want embedded in the story should be sent as separate jpg, mp3, or mp4 files. Alternatively, provide the url for existing online content. Submissions should mark where image/media will appear, If you have url links you want in your story, include the link in parentheses after the inserted hyperlink.
  • If this is a researched piece, please cite your data and findings, and any quotes you use according to AP guidelines. Detour editors will not do the research for you.

Author and editor roles

  • Editors will do no harm to content. All significant content alterations will be made or approved by the author. We will suggest or make cuts, move material, alter phrasing or diction for clarity, and copy edit for grammar and spelling.
    • In the event that more research or information is needed in a story, editors will email the writer and ask for additional information or clarification rather than reject the piece.
    • If the author declines to consider the editor's suggestions or does not respond to our emails, we will NOT publish the draft submission.
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes will be copy edited; however, we will not entertain pieces with frequent errors in spelling and/or grammar.
    • We spell the American way (color, not colour).
    • We like the oxford comma (i.e., we use "we invited the strippers, Stalin, and JFK," rather than "the strippers, Stalin and JFK.")
    • We follow AP style.
    • Lapses in grammar or spelling done with purpose should be clear without explanation. If not, lapses will be corrected.

genres and tastes

  • If you are going to submit poetry, especially free verse, there should be clear reasons and concerted attention to language. Please no lazy prose poetry.
  • While we care for genre fiction, we are not interested in giving its critics evidence of weak writing.
  • While sex and violence may appear in detour, it will not be gratuitous. Please no erotica or slasher stories.
  • Profanity with narrative or stylistic purpose is welcome.