By on January 5, 2016


Hello, 2016.

Last month/year, I promised you that I’d post details on how to submit your written work to The Truth About Cars. This is the fruit of that promise.

If you’d like to be featured at TTAC, here’s what you gotta do.

Unlike prior instances of TTAC putting out a call for new blood, this is not a contest. This is not that. Instead, in no uncertain terms, this is what and who we’re looking for at TTAC. This is how you can reach us. This is what you should say to get our attention. This is not an invitation to ask if we publish “guest posts.” This is an invitation for those of you who have something to offer to show what you can do.

Without further ado …

Car reviews/stories

Have you recently driven an interesting/not so interesting/amazingly horrible car? Do you have a story about your own vehicle that you’d like to share? Personal cars, friends’ cars, dealer cars, race cars, truck cars, movie cars — if you’ve driven it, we’d like to know about it!

First, send us me email ([email protected]) and inquire if we’d be interested in your auto. Tell us why your story is interesting. If we agree, we’ll respond. If not, well, better luck next time.

We have a format we’ve been using recently and we’d like to stick with it. You can check out our recent reviews here. If you have a non-review-style story, we’ll chat about format before you put pixel to screen.

Photography and images are key. Bad and non-existent photography are main reasons that keep the majority of reader submissions in my inbox. The lead image is the second thing a reader sees after the headline; sometimes it’s the first. Remember that. Stock photography doesn’t cut it anymore. Take your own photos or source good ones that we have the right to publish. Proper imagery will go a long way to us accepting your submission.

News/industry analysis

Have you done time in the state penn Detroit Big Three? Do you live in Chattanooga? What about Beijing? Or Delhi? If you are exposed to the automotive industry on a daily basis and/or have information to leak pass on to us, I’d definitely like to hear from you at [email protected].

For industry veterans, we’ll let you share your stories — within reason. Political and/or corporate soapboxing is not allowed (unless your name is Michael Horn and you want to tell us exactly how Volkswagen plans to fix all those diesels). However, if you have an anecdote to share, would like to explain a particular technological innovation or you have insight into a dark corner of the industry, we can be your forum.

For tipsters with sensitive information, we always keep our sources private and confidential. Reach out to us from a burner email account and we will instruct you on how to proceed. In the future, we’ll have a better method for securely submitting tips.

General tips

If you’ve read something interesting, and think TTAC’s Best & Brightest would enjoy it too, send an email to [email protected].

What not to send/pitch

– Fiction
– Satire

[Image credit: By Kalmar, Works Progress Administration [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

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70 Comments on “Want To Be a TTAC Contributor? Here’s How...”

  • avatar

    Hi Mart,-

    Do u publish any guest post?

    Thx, Civic SI Wishful Owner
    R32 Enthusiest
    Driving: 1993 Eagle Vision, 3″ stance, Bilstienes

  • avatar

    Please clear this up for me — are you looking to hire/contract for TTAC contributions or are you hunting for free content?

    • 0 avatar

      We do and will pay for written content/photos. Tips, not so much, unless it’s incredibly juicy and worth the coin.

      • 0 avatar

        USD is $1.40 to Canadian Dollar.

        I will hold my reviews of fine Cadillac Premium Motor Vehicles in escrow until exchange rate is calculated and price is established & agreed to on that basis.

        The Beer Store & Window Ballet isn’t cheap, you know (though the latter may actually see some serious deflation if things continue as they now exist).

        • 0 avatar

          Windsor Ballet or Windsor Ballet – ;-)

          (Not that I’m allowed to go there anymore :-(

        • 0 avatar

          My buddy is the sales manager at a Lexus store. Lets get an LX570 and head over to the Ballet.

          • 0 avatar

            Finally, a reason to come to the “D”.

          • 0 avatar

            Only if we can stop for a Supino’s pizza first*.

            (*Not really a condition, but can we stop for a Supino’s pie first?)

          • 0 avatar

            [email protected] yeah we can get Supino!

            Dang it DW. I want Supino right now.

          • 0 avatar

            I want Supino’s now too.

            I fear I went too far, and some inferior pizza may have to do for tonight.

          • 0 avatar

            Jet’s ain’t bad for a chain pizza place.

  • avatar

    Dealer cars…oh God. You don’t want reviews of dealer and auction fodder.

  • avatar

    I have too many tales to tell, Ill make a list here and write up something more elaborate, I want the Bnb to decide which:

    Fun with a Honda Z600.
    Citroen 2CV storage.
    Age and Absence: Why odometer miles arent everything.
    The one thing I hate about old Volvos.
    Why does nobody take care of their Hondas?
    Why an air cooled VW is a great first car.

  • avatar

    I encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to do it. I had a positive experience a few years back submitting an article, and even if it’s only a one-off like mine was, it’s still gratifying to see your work published.

    As has been often stated, some of the best writing happens in the comments section. A recent example of a successful call-for-submissions was on Curbside Classic. A lot of people stepped up and a lot of diverse voices are now heard on the site to cater to the many niches of modern-day automotive enthusiasm.

  • avatar

    Dang it…I should have taken pictures of the tachometer of the Nissan Versa Note I just had the misfortune of renting as I drove up from Phoenix to Flagstaff a few weeks ago…now THAT was a truly horrid driving experience that may have made for good reading.

  • avatar

    So, only recently driven cars? If a potential contributor once owned a car with an interesting story (and can provide a variety of good photos) but sold the car more than 20 years ago, would such a tale be excluded?

  • avatar

    No love for the fiction. What gives?

  • avatar

    Set up a paywall for premium content, please.

    I’ll happily pay to read Grango!

    And that guy who occasionally comments from Japan, ccode81? He’d be awesome to have some lengthy articles from.

  • avatar

    I have a dual review of my last two cars (LS460 vs. G8 GXP, with some story content) almost totally written. The challenge is, just as you point out, imagery. The more I look at my photos of both cars, the more I realize they stink. I can’t get more of the GXP, and taking good pictures of the LS in Seattle winter light is next to impossible. Once I can figure out how to make the images as good as the text, I’ll be submitting.

  • avatar

    Back in ’09 I received an invite from Robert Farago:

    RF: “Are you a potential TTAC blogger? I sense so.”

    me: Care to elaborate?

    RF: “I’d like someone to blog for us on the autoblogoshere. I get the feeling you know something about tech and . . . stuff.”

    Not long after he disappeared along with my invite so I guess the question now is:

    Was it wise to bring him up as a reference or did I just sabotage my chances? ;)

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque

    You can expect to see my submissions for a column in about a month. I have a bunch of articles that seems to only stay coherent when they’re written together first.

    I’ve wondered what to do about pictures. They say a thousand words, and I’d like to stay on the right side of copyright, but it seems getting them from stock photo services would be financially ruinous. Just send the pics with the attributable source/links and let the editors deal with it?

  • avatar

    Would you be interested in Formula 1 Race reviews? Just something I am really passionate about and wish I could read more of on here.

  • avatar

    We’ve received five emails already. Keep them coming.

  • avatar

    I kind of liked the old format. I got a lot of votes without telling anyone about it.

  • avatar

    A tale of two submissions

    By Bunkie

    A couple of years back, I wrote a review of a loaner SRX with an emphasis on the contrast between a CUV and a wagon from the same manufacturer. Derek (the editor at the time) liked it (complimenting me on my writing) and ran it. The resulting discussion was considerable and I remember getting several compliments from the B&B.

    This summer, I had another loaner, a 2015 CTS base sedan when my CTS wagon was in for warranty service. I contacted Mark asking if he would be interested in seeing a review. He said yes, so I wrote one, focusing on the car as a value proposition, trying to evaluate the car honestly. I submitted it and never heard another word. Re-reading the article, I can see how it could have been a bit better, but as a published author (I was a columnist for a technical journal for a number of years), I know that even the best articles need the help of a good editor.

  • avatar

    It’s interesting that the likeness of Paul Comly French would be attached to an article about how to submit writings to TTAC.

    He was definitely controversial in his day, helping found an organization of conscientious objectors that was very active during World War II.

    My father was very about NSBRO. He considered them traitors and cowards for helping men dodge the war while a million or so of his comrades in arms were killed defending their way of life.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I don’t come here for the car reviews. There are already tons of other (and usually better) sources for car reviews. The primary reason I come here is for the interesting stories that are in some way related to automobiles. You guys should solicit more of that type of content.

  • avatar

    I’ve been mulling over the prospect of writing about millenial car culture (or relative lack thereof) from the perspective of a millenial. I’ve liked cars since 2001’s The Fast and The Furious. I am 27 years old, mediocre college educated, middle class, Mexican-American-but-everyone-thinks-I’m-white-anyway, and single.

    My qualifications are that I have driven and owned a variety of sporty-ish cars due to my impulsive nature and the fact that I have foolishly ignored concepts such as “practicality” and “budget”. I’ve never bought anything more than 5k and my cars are typically in OK condition and mostly stock.

    Things I can write about:
    I take a gal to an unsponsored Millenial FUBU car show under a freeway over pass.
    Buying an rx7 for a drifter wannabe.
    From MyFirstOilChange to attempting an engine swap in 3 weeks.

    I currently own
    1989 CRX Si
    1988 Starion turbo
    1988 Prelude Si 4ws
    1982 RX7

    Have owned:
    1987 MR2
    1986 Civic Si
    1989 Acura Legend Coupe
    1992 BMW 750iL

    During the recession (2008-2010) the church was my guiding light:
    93 Buick Century
    2000 Chevy Lumina

    Had the privilege of being caretaker for my father’s collection from about 2005 to 2010:

    1964 Mustang 289
    (2)X 1979 Ford F150 (390 and 400M)
    1975 Dodge Powerwagon 440

    I have never owned a car for more than a year or two, bar the CRX, which has been with me since 2011. I have a disdain for the practice of driving sedans, automatic transmissions, and crossovers just for “reasons” and not needs.

    B&B, is there any interest?

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