Department Head: Ryan Jordan
Senior Editor: Molly Smith
Official accounts: @LWOSSouth @LWOSRugbyUnion @worldrugbywc
We ask for one piece per week minimum in season and one every two weeks out of season. Generally, the pieces you are submiting will fall under one of four categories – News/Current Affairs, Feature Articles, Histories and Press Releases.
As Last Word on Sports identifies itself as serious sports news site providing independent analysis, writers are encouraged to develop their writing style to reflect this and to steer away from generic previews, reviews and minute-by-minute game reports. These can be found anywhere on the internet and are hard to promote.
This is the shortest form of article and is a current club storyline, player profile, or editorial breaking down something happening within a club or franchise. It is typically 500-800 words in length. Try to avoid articles shorter than 500 words. Be sure to have a clear thesis statement, preferably in the title of the article. For example: “Dominant Scrum Ensures England Victory Over Wales”. “England Versus Wales Review” is not as engaging.
Mid form articles can also be on a club, but typically they are on a bigger topic. Good examples of these are officiating, corruption, health concerns, competition format changes, etc. These are typically 1000-1300+ words and have a very clear thesis states near the beginning of the article. Use established facts and figures to back up your thesis statement, giving the necessary accreditation to the source. Examples of good sources of information are http://stats.espnscrum.com/statsguru/rugby/stats/index.html , http://www.rugbydata.com/ and http://www.goalkickers.co.za/ . Quotations can be used, but follow the guidelines in "Special" section below.
If you haven’t delved into the history of the game and its teams beyond the obvious , then you are missing out on connecting with the game you love on a much deeper level. I would HIGHLY recommend finding a topic and talking to someone “in the know” about it and then writing a story. In an off season, research successful teams, players, memorable tours and the like. As you research your subject, you will broaden your own knowledge of the sport and often pick up important clues on what to write about in future articles.
Press releases can be a fantastic source of content if used correctly. Making contact with local franchises and national governing bodies to get onto their press release mailing list is the first step to getting media accreditation to attend matches as a member of the press, as well as attending special events. Having media accreditation also opens the door to attending press conferences as well as player interviews, which gives you exclusive content which is highly marketable.
I advise only using press releases as published content from National governing bodies, such as England Rugby or New Zealand Rugby that can be used to direct traffic towards the site. If you do use a press release as a published article, always change the author to “Press Release” and state ahead of the first paragraph: A Press Release by England Rugby. As we are an independent news site, publishing original content, contributors should use press releases as an exception and not the norm.
All other press releases should be used as information gathering for yourself so that you are totally up to speed with the franchise, club or league you are following. You can also use the main theme of the press release as content for your twitter account, but speed is critical. Tweet the main fact along with the most relevant hashtag.
Always be careful to research your subject thoroughly and vet any facts you use. For interviews, use correct formatting. When quoting from another writer’s piece, YOU MUST LINK THAT PIECE. If you didn’t get the quote yourself, or it didn’t come from a press release, you MUST give credit to that person (ask an editor or Ryan for help if unsure). If you use another piece for source material – statistics, charts, heat maps, etc – you also must link that piece. This is not negotiable as plagiarism is not acceptable and will destroy your reputation. As a writer, you would appreciate it if someone else offered you the same professional courtesy.
Submitting an article and not promoting it is as good as talking to yourself. Tweeting your article a number of times for up to 48 hours afterwards is a good start. You are encouraged to visit the LWOS Rugby Union page daily and tweet all new articles to your followers, and if you can spare the time, do so twice. If all contributors do this, our reach is multiplied across all of our Twitter followers. Posting your article in Facebook chat/fan groups also brings your work to the attention of readers. Actively search for these groups on Facebook and do the page owners the courtesy of asking for permission first. Ideally, drop an occasional comment into a chat thread and like a post or two so that you are not viewed as someone who is a group member there for gain only – so participate.
Reddit is also a valuable tool to promote articles, but DO NOT post an LWOS article there until you have received and read the LWOS Reddit guide (ask for a copy) and that you have been given the go ahead by one of the Administrative staff as incorrect use of the site will hurt the department.
The value and benefits of media accreditation are covered in the Press Releases section above. If you need assistance in applying for media accreditation, make contact with Ryan Jordan (Rugby Department Head). If you are granted media accreditation, you would attend matches and events as a professional member of the press, so please remember to portray yourself as such. If you come over as a fan and not a professional, you may not be invited again.
Rugby Dept Exemplars
News/Current Affairs 
Feature Articles 
Press Releases