News Story Guidelines

Writing Guidelines

When chapter or alumni news breaks, we want to know about it. Write the editor or fill out a News Submission Form to report interesting news or suggest a story idea.


Summer/Fall editions

  • Content due to the editor: September 16
  • Approximate publish date: December 1

Winter/Spring editions

  • Content due to the editor: February 22
  • Approximate publish date: June 7

Alumni or chapter news briefs

News briefs are short updates on chapters or individual members that are no longer than 250-350 word in length. Suggested topics include:

  • Individual or chapter awards received
  • Results from chapter-hosted philanthropies or service events
  • Significant career achievements, honors or promotions
  • Alumni reunions, activities or events
  • Sports championships won
  • Significant campus leadership positions- e.g., Student Government Association, Interfraternity Council, Campus Activities Board, honor societies, Orientation Team, Admissions, etc.

Other Guidelines:

  1. Articles that appeal to a limited audience or which contain incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information will not be published
  2. Due to space restrictions, we will not publish articles advertising events or activities that have not happened yet. To promote a local event, use our Facebook fan page instead
  3. Be specific- provide concrete facts, numbers, names and details. If your news brief says little more than “our brotherhood is really great!” then it is not appropriate for publication in The Rattle
  4. Write using the third-person perspective. Do not include bulleted or numbered lists. How would you share your update with a friend or chapter brother?
  5. Include a photo (or three)

Feature and cover stories

Do you have an idea for an interesting, thought-provoking, or emotionally moving story about alumni, undergraduates or chapters? We want to hear from you!

The most compelling articles will examine an important issue or problem, or tell a story about how someone was able to overcome a specific challenge. Focus on what’s new and exciting about a topic- not just the topic itself. Your article should tell a story, not give a report.

Planning an edition of The Rattle begins months before the actual publication date. Writers who wish to contribute a story exceeding 700 words in length should discuss their ideas directly with the editor well ahead of the content deadline to ensure that their work can be included.

Time-sensitive news

Due to the long period between editions, time-sensitive or breaking news should instead be reported to The National Eagle, Theta Chi’s official news blog. Sending these kinds of stories to The National Eagle will ensure that your news is published in a more timely fashion.

Please note

The editor reserves the right to edit or omit story submissions prior to publication. Not all submitted stories will be selected for publication.

Due to space restrictions, we will not publish wedding announcements, stories about recruitment results, or events that haven't occurred yet.