I enjoy getting tips on stories News of the Weird, and I and the other readers thank you for thinking of us. However, I have to ask your indulgence on a few things, please:

• I can't use personal experiences; I only run "news" that has already been published.
• If online: Please, no attachments or scans. Please send either the text version of the story, or just the URL (Internet address).
• Please don't send stories from Reuters's Oddly Enough or the Associated Press's Strange News. One way or another, I'll see all of those stories.
• Please don't send me Internet pass-around stories, even if people swear they're true. (And even though News of the Weird is mostly funny, please don't send me ordinary funny e-mails because I haven't the time to read them.)
• Before I can use something in News of the Weird, I'll need to know both the source and the date, but if you don't know one or both, tip me, anyway; I'll try to find out, myself. In fact, if all you know are just a few isolated facts about the story, I'll try to find out the rest.
• I don't have any t-shirts or coffee mugs to give you if I use your story, but if you're an early sender of something I use, I'll put your name on the Thanks This Week list when the story runs, provided I know your first and last names. (The Thanks list runs in electronic versions of News of the Weird but not in newspapers.)

Please send tips to WeirdNews@earthlink.net or P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL
33679. Thank you.

The Top 10 Reasons Why I Might Not Use Your Story

10. Even though it's a good story, it's just too old (more than, oh, 3 months); this is, after all, " News" of the Weird.
9. Even though it's a good story, that genre of stories has popped up too frequently on the radar screen (and may even have become part of my No Longer Weird list).
8. Even though it's a good story, that particular story has been all over the news and therefore would bore too many News of the Weird readers, who expect me to tell them things they don't already know.
7. Even though it's a good story, it might be too rough for even some of the most devout News of the Weird readers. In principle, no story is totally off-limits, but a
few categories must be rarely used, e.g., cruelty to children and animals, nonconsensual sex.
6. Even though it's a good story, it comes from a newspaper or news source not part of themainstream national and international news establishment, and consequently, I don't quite trust its authenticity.
5. Even though it's a good story, and it purportedly comes from the mainstream news establishment, the story is not written credibly, e.g., proper names of
people and places are not given, obvious implications about the facts are ignored or sloppily dealt with.
4. Even though it's a good story, and it apparently comes from the mainstream news establishment, I could not track down the exact date or the exact source. I'll try to authenticate its publication, but if I can't, I just move on to the next story.
3. Even though it's a good story, it might have just barely missed making a
column. (Since I write mainly for print newspapers, I have a word limit.)
2. Even though it's a good story, I'm a one-person shop, and sometimes I just screw up and put a good story in the wrong pile, and it gets lost until a point when I can no longer use it.
1. Of course, another reason I might not use your story is because I don't think it's weird.

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