Adding a Story guidelines

Guidelines for public submissions to The Prow

One of the most exciting aspects of this project is that you can add your own stories to the website using Web 2 and other digital technologies.  Here are some guidelines and writing tips on how to share your stories.


  • Stories don’t need to be historical but should be about significant events which contribute to the character, culture and heritage of the Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman regions.
  • Stories should be around 500 words long- 600 words maximum
  • We would appreciate it if you could list the sources used (including people), if there are any.  Footnotes are not necessary.
  • Stories should come from the top of the South (not including Kaikoura or the West Coast).

Tips for writing lively, accessible stories which people will want to read:

  • Before you begin, read some of the stories on The Prow to get an idea of things such as length, style and readability.
  • Don’t crowd your story with lists of dates – but some are good to provide a context.
  • It is not essential to write chronologically, but it is a good way to organize the facts of a story and also create an easy-to-read style, rather than jumping back and forth in time.
  • People bring historical writing alive- whether it’s anecdotes about them or first person recollections. If you can, put a person or people at the heart of your story, to breathe life into it.
  • If your material comes from personal communication(s), it’s a good idea to attribute either by using quote marks and ‘he/she said’ or place a name and the date of the interview at the end of the segment of material.
  • Vary sentence length. Shorter paragraphs help to organize and divide the material and also make the information easier to read and digest.
  • Facts, figures and references from other fully researched sources, add weight and substance to personal recollections.

If you would like further information about submitting stories to the Prow, or would like to arrange a training session for a group, please email us.