A lot goes on here at Wessex Scene and it can be a bit overwhelming at first. On this page you will find answers to some questions we frequently receive; as some answers are a bit wordy, key parts are highlighted in bold. Some answers may overlap in cases where we have found further clarification is necessary.
- What do you do?
Put simply, we provide the opportunity for students at the University of Southampton (or anyone with SUSU membership for that matter) to write articles which we publish on this website; where possible we try to utilise the artistic skills of our members for our imagery. At various points throughout the year we will also compile a themed magazine which we print and distribute across various campuses.
Our members are free to take part in everything we do to the extent that they are happy and comfortable with; you will not be expected to do everything, some people prefer to just illustrate, some just write, some simply run for committee and help us run things. The only commitments are the ones you choose!
We have a variety of opportunities throughout the year for members to develop their skills. Obviously, you can expect socials and other events from us too!
- Do I have to be a writer to join/take part?
Not at all! Many of our members join solely to contribute to the imagery (illustration, photography, etc.). Even if you’re just a reader, you’re welcome to come to our meeings and socials and generally hang out with us; in fact, even if you simply have an interest in what we do you’re welcome to be a part of our community!
- Is it too late for me to join?
It is never too late to join! Come along whenever suits you, we’re always happy to have new people! If you are particularly anxious about showing up to one of our events for the first time, email us or reach out to a relevant committee member (i.e. somebody with welfare training)!
We are open to new people joining all year round! We are happy to help you and share any training resources we have on hand; a lot of the skills involved in what we do are developed with practice so you really don’t need to worry about having any experience.
Fun fact: It’s not uncommon for new people to get involved by running for committee.
- How do I get involved?
- 'Wessex Scene' VS 'The Wessex Scene'
Officially our name is just ‘Wessex Scene’ and generally our branding will reflect this, however, some people prefer to use our name with the definite article; ultimately it comes down to personal preference, and either is fine.
- I submitted an article but haven't seen or heard anything about it since!
There are numerous reasons this can happen:
- If you wrote for a magazine, we deliberately don’t publish those articles online until the physical version has been made available; though we try to get things out the door in a timely manner, any delay with any element of the magazine can hold up the entire thing.
- During busy times we can sometimes accumulate a backlog of articles, we’re entirely run by unpaid volunteers on a part-time basis so there may be times when we are not operating optimally. If your article is time-sensitive, be sure to give us a heads-up so that we can prioritise getting it published.
- It wasn’t submitted for review: when you finish an article, near where the ‘save draft’ button is, you will see there is also a button to submit for review, make sure to press this else our editors will assume it is not ready for them to look at yet.
- There may be some internal discussion surrounding the content, if there is an issue we will try to contact you to resolve it.
- Please don’t panic if this happens, it’s nearly always something trivial, and we rarely if ever penalise anyone for what they submit.
- We’re waiting on some imagery to accompany your article.
- Depending on the availability of our artistic contributors, things can sometimes take a bit longer. This is especially true if we cannot obtain a relevant royalty-free stock image.
- We’ve legitimately forgotten about it. It happens sometimes. As a general rule, wait at least two weeks, if you still haven’t heard anything after that then by all means contact us!
- The site is suddenly telling me 'Access Denied' or 'Forbidden', what's wrong?
Our site has been known to randomly throw a 403 error at users from time to time. If this happens to you, wait a few minutes and try again, it usually fixes itself. If you’re writing an article, it’s sometimes worth selecting everything you’ve written and hitting copy before you hit the save button after a long session just in case the error strikes and throws all your work away (there is an autosave which often saves the day)
We’re still a bit stumped by this issue but over the years we’ve noticed if it happens to you it can often reoccur multiple times over a short period (a few hours to a couple of days).
- How do I submit an article?
Log in to the website (if you don’t yet have an account or forget your password, contact us!), go to ‘posts’ on the left hand menu, then select ‘add new’. Write your article and when it’s ready hit the submit button on the right-hand side, one of our editors will go over it, source imagery (if you haven’t provided any yourself), and get your article published. When it comes to magazines, articles are still submitted to the site but we usually have additional steps to guarantee your article is included; more specific details will be given when we start work on each magazine.
- I want to write about <insert topic>, who do I need to ask?
For articles intended for our website, you are welcome to simply write the article and submit it in your own time. The only exception is if you are writing about something potentially controversial/offensive/otherwise sensitive, we strongly recommend running it by us first just so we can make sure you don’t write anything we can’t publish! For time-sensitive articles, we recommend reaching out to give us a heads-up but otherwise our editors will get to it eventually.
If you want any help, do let us know and we will be happy to provide!
Please keep in mind that if you’re writing specifically about entertainment, we recommend submitting it to our sister publication, The Edge Magazine. As a general rule, if your article seems like it should fit in with one of our sections, it belongs with us. If it looks like it fits better under one of The Edge’s sections, it probably belongs there. If you’re unsure, submit your article to us and we’ll work out where it belongs.
- How much do you charge for sponsored/guest posts or adverts?
This one is a bit of a grey area for us. As a non-profit student media outlet, we aim to place the content produced by our members above all else; we therefore do not generally accept guest posts.
Similarly, we do not currently run adverts on our website, however, when we are compiling our magazines, we do sometimes sell unused space for adverts. Something we do offer is PR articles and reviews. For example, in the past, restaurants have invited us to try their menu and write up a review. Generally, if you are able to offer some of our writers an opportunity to write something, we are significantly more likely to pursue your offer. Some other things to consider when reaching out to us include:
- How local are you/your opportunity to the Southampton/Winchester area? Most of our writers are based in these areas as well as the majority of our readers.
- How relevant is your business to University students? Sometimes it can be obvious but we’ve received some bizarre offers in the past.
- Ethical concerns: we cannot involve ourselves with anything which may cause reputational damage to ourselves, our members, the Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU), or the University itself, this includes not violating any policies or being counter-productive to the goals of the mentioned parties. (For example, we often get requests from essay writing services which we will never associate ourselves with.)
You are always welcome to reach out and ask, the worst that can happen is nothing!
Please note that due to the volume of emails and messages we receive asking about this kind of thing, it is not practical for us to persue or even respond to every query we receive. If we are in a position to persue your offer, we will get back to you. As our ability to work with businesses and similar varies throughout the year, we prefer to negotiate prices on a case-by case basis.
Got a question that we haven’t listed here? Send us an email!