Top Chef Forums

Wednesday 10:00 PM on BravoIn Season

Submission Guidelines

  • Avatar of layle1


    [1]Nov 21, 2006
    • member since: 05/22/06
    • level: 72
    • rank: Happy Little Tree
    • posts: 2,507
    As more submissions are coming in (thanks everyone!), I thought it was time to post some guidelines.

    Using the guidelines will reduce your rejection rate and my stress level because I don't like denials, but I will reject if I have to. In a case of duplicate submissions coming at the same time, the one formatted correctly will be given priority.

    I tend to be pretty understanding the first few times, and I'll do formatting, etc. up to a point. However, if you abuse this you will start getting denials. I typically include a detailed explanation with a rejection, so please read it and adjust your submissions accordingly.

    Here we go:

    1. Look at what's already in the guide: It gives you a feel for my preferences in formatting, things I think are important, and quote samples. If you're unfamiliar with HTML tags, click Edit on an existing entry to see how it was done.

    2. Plagiarism: Copyrights are respected, as per's terms of service and submission guidelines (see below). Everything, except for quotes, must be rewritten in your own words. It's rough at first, but gets easier the more you do it. Quotes from articles (online or print) can be used, but only the quote, nothing that sets up the quote can be included. For example, "Sam adjusted his glasses and said, 'I don't have anything to say about that,'" would be submitted to the guide as, Sam: I don't have anything to say about that.

    3. Provide a source: I try to stay ahead of the episodes, but if you submit an episode synopsis for an unaired episode, you must provide a verifiable source in your submission comments.

    4. Quotes: Quotes should be memorable, significant, and/or humorous. They should stand on their own and make sense to someone who hasn't seen the show, and represent quality writing. Don't use quotes just to "prove" something or indicate a key moment if the words aren't otherwise memorable, significant, or humorous. Try to focus on the key line or lines and avoid three paragraphs of "set up" quotes. Bold the speaker name, then put in an un-bolded colon, then a space, then the line quote. Don't put quotation marks around each line. Hit a single Return/Enter for the next speaker's line. Contextual explanations should be used as little as possible, be as short as possible, put in parentheses, and italicized. Quotes take a certain dedication; accuracy is important. This means rewinding and listening to the quote several times. [Thanks to Gislef for this section.]

    5. Grammar and punctuation: Proper nouns (names, titles) and the proper pronoun "I" are capitalized. Sentences require an ending, please use periods, exclamation points (sparingly), and question marks as appropriate. A single space goes after all punctuation. Although two spaces are typical after the end of a sentence, double spacing is eradicated by scripts here so if you use them, know they won't show. Homonyms can be confused, for example "you're" is "you are" and "your" is the possessive; "it's" is "it is" and "its" is again the possessive form. "They're" and "their," "we're" and "were" are also commonly mistaken. If a speaker in a quote uses the name to whom they're speaking, a comma goes before and after the name, for example: Max: Heavens, Joe, is that really yours?

    6. If you are making a correction, use Comments to specify what was fixed: Please be clear, "made it right," will make me cranky. Something along the lines of, "Corrected quote: removed and in first line, added missing third line," or "Trivia fixed to show actual goof," make the submission easier to process and more likely to be approved. If something needs to be deleted, mark it for deletion and put the explanation in the Comment box; if it's a duplicate say that, if the information is wrong please include a link to the site you used to find the error, so I can verify it.

    7. Notes: This can be a little confusing, because notes seem to imply additional or helpful information, and sometimes that falls into trivia. For's purposes, notes should be considered production notes. This includes music in the episode, special credit, relevant background on the cast, behind-the-scenes drama or info, in-jokes, and for this series, many of the guest judges. Although the background information on guest judges is given on-screen, I am following the convention of putting guest stars who are not part of the industry in the notes section. Most of these chefs will never appear on tv again, so creating a guide for them is not appropriate.

    8. Trivia: Trivia is all on-screen stuff. Goofs, equipment visible, etc. belong here.

    9. Allusions: This is a reference to other media—books, another TV program, movies, etc. If one of the chefs says, "Bam!" it is clearly referencing Emeril Lagasse and Emeril Live! and an allusion blurb is appropriate. I am also accepting unusual terms here. Unusual means I don't want to see definitions for whisking and chopping, they should be something referenced in the episode and be esoteric enough that even a chef might need to look it up. If you have a question, please PM me before submitting.

    10. Avoid duplication: If a quote is entirely in Allusions, don't resubmit it in the quotes section. Please click on the "Trivia & Quotes" button to see the complete Notes, Quotes, Trivia, and Allusions for the episode. The episode's main, or overview, page has only the top five for each blurb type.

    11. Don't use previews for submissions: Sometimes scenes are cut, or another take is used in the broadcast episode. The same rule applies for spoiler sites and pre-broadcast scripts. The broadcast version is your bible.

    That's all I have, I'm on the site at least once a day, so please feel free to PM me anytime with questions. I've included some links below that may be helpful. I greatly appreciate all your work on the submissions and look forward to working with everyone .
    Edited on 08/30/2011 12:18pm
    Edited 5 total times.
    You must be registered and logged in to post a message.