The really very important APILN submission guide

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People holding their noses

So you’ve found a funny news story to submit to Angry People in Local Newspapers. We get hundreds of submissions every day, which we whittle down to about ten or so for your delight and/or fury.

The whole idea is that APILN is a fun look at people’s everyday frustrations about BINS, parking, pencil-necked desk jockeys at the council, and BINS which have boiled over enough to go to the local newspapers.

That means we can’t publish every story we get, largely because they’re unsuitable, or we’ve seen it about 600 times before. Honestly, we cannot emphasise this enough – we’ve seen it about 600 times before or it’s about something that’s not funny.

What we need here are some guidelines.

  • We prefer submissions from local newspapers. The clue’s in the title. But…
  • We don’t take submissions from The Sun, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express or The Daily Telegraph. This is because they are shite.
  • We do take submissions from other national titles like the Mirror, the BBC, ITV, Metro etc, but only if they’re not available in a local title, or they’ve covered the story in a uniquely humorous way. Every story is local somewhere, and “local newspapers” is a guideline rather than a fixed rule.
  • This is a visual medium. That means if it hasn’t got a picture of the angry person, then – unless the story is very special indeed – it isn’t going in. What we’re looking for is man’s (or woman’s) impotent rage against authority, acted out through the medium of posing glumly in a local newspaper photograph with thumbs down or clutching a sheaf of parking fines.
  • We don’t do court reports, unless the story is very funny indeed. Note that domestic violence cases are not funny. You’d be both depressed and amazed at how many domestic violence cases we get. NOT FUNNY.
  • At least make some sort of cursory check that we haven’t already featured the story. If it’s not on our Facebook page or on our Twitter account then it’s likely we haven’t seen it yet.
  • If it’s about Pontins, YES WE’VE SEEN YOUR PONTINS STORY A MILLION TIMES ALREADY.
  • Done a poo stories are about people crouching down pointing at something like they’re doneing a poo. We’re not keen on stories about actual poo, unless there’s somebody pointing at poo, then that’s a winner. Nuance, people.
  • Cat stories are about people who claim to have seen a tiger on the loose in Surrey, when they have in fact just seen a very fat domestic cat. Cat can also be applied to UFOs, bigfoot, or the Loch Ness Monster. It’s always a cat.
  • Stories with children coming to harm: No. That’s anything above getting their head stuck in a toilet seat. Kiddiewinks getting their head stuck in a toilet seat is never not funny.
  • Punching up vs punching down: We’ve stopped doing stories about people living in slums because we don’t punch down on people’s misery (unless they’ve brought it upon themselves, then it’s fair play). The idea is that we mock people further up the food chain (For example: those faceless pencil-necked desk jockeys at the council) rather than the poor bastards suffering. Once again – nuance, people.
  • Bad poetry and letters: God yes. Local newspapers are filled with self-appointed experts and people who cannot write verse, and they deserve a far wider audience. We feed from this energy.

So:

Is it funny?

Is it about Pontins? We’ve seen it.

Does it have a funny picture?

Has it not already been shared?

Then go ahead and send it in.

Have fun in the comments, but don’t be a dick.

I cannot emphasise this enough: DON’T BE A DICK IN THE COMMENTS.

Alles klar? Gut. Because every time you break these rules, this rabbit appears in your dreams.

Don’t make the rabbit appear in your dreams. He’s a dick.

Oh, and one final piece of advice: Don’t take it too seriously, otherwise it ceases being funny.