How To Present Your Article

How To Present Your Article

Have you done something active and interesting? Want to tell the rest of the RAF about it? Here are some tips for producing your article.

When you have put down your thoughts on paper after your exped, event or competition, it is easy to get lost in the emotion of it all and forget that the sub-editor will probably receive other articles from similarly-enthused people. Whilst it is not impossible, it is sometimes difficult to keep track of what he has received from whom and which photos go with which article. This is particularly difficult if you send your material by email. Try to follow the guidelines below and you won’t go far wrong: how interesting you make it, is up to you!

Content

Include the following details WITHN THE WORD DOCUMENT ITSELF:

  • Your name and contact details
  • The author’s details if that is not you
  • The word count of the document
  • A one-line taster for the front cover
  • Details of any photographs associated with the article and relevant captions
  • Details of the photographer
  • Name of the sub-editor
  • Nature of your sport

Be sure to pick a title that will sound appealing; make sure that your opening paragraph draws in your reader and makes him/her want to read on.

Take note of the time of year before you write your article. Are you reporting on an event that has just happened? If so, get it drafted and submitted quickly; if it’s too out of date, we won’t include it. Do you want people to be inspired and join you for a future event? In this case, submit it early enough for the magazine to be distributed in time for your event. The table below identifies the latest dates that the sub-editor would need to receive your article for it to be considered for your chosen edition.

Try to write from a personal perspective eg the drama of the event and the emotions involved in taking part; don’t simply report a list of fixtures, sequence of facts or personnel involved (this is likely to be a bit boring to non-participants).

Remember that we are a general sporting magazine, so try to avoid using too many specialist terms and descriptions as this is likely to be off-putting to many readers; they are likely to find it interesting if they are reading about human endeavour and not just the technicalities of your sport.

Remember who you are writing it for: it is unlikely to be useful to us if you just send your exped report or the version that your station magazine used.

Make the word length appropriate to your activity; don’t write a 2000 word epic if you had an afternoon’s activity. Conversely, if you have done 2 weeks’ of various activities, you might have lots to say. However, please don’t pad out your narrative with details of admin issues and miscellaneous travel diversions; we are interested in the activity itself.

Photographs

Label your photographs with a relevant name: don’t just number them as this is meaningless to the sub-editor, and lots of photos he has for other articles will probably have numbers with a similar format.

Limit the photographs you send to about 10 (the sub-editor probably hasn’t got time to search through your entire photo gallery); identify any photos that might make a good front cover (ideally will be A4 portrait).

Don’t just give us mug shots or team stills: try to include some action shots or ones with outstanding scenery. (In the next few months, we hope to bring you some tips on producing better photographs.)

If you send your photos on CD, include your details and those of your event/exped ON THE CD ITSELF (if it gets separated from the narrative, it can still be easily identified).

Send the photos separately from the narrative if you can; this will save the publisher some time when putting the article together (it is also easier for the editor to manipulate for onward transmission to the publisher) .

Sending it in

Send it to the relevant sub-editor eg if it is a mountaineering exped, send it to the Land Activities editor, Leigh Posthumous. (If you are unsure about the correct sub-editor, simply ring one of us to ask.)

Don’t send it to more than one subeditor; otherwise they’ll both work on it and one will have wasted his time.

Don’t send it direct to the Editor, Deputy Editor, OIC or Editor-in-Chief; it is the job of the sub-editors to read it first and assess its merits against others they may have received within their field of interest before forwarding it to the editor if appropriate.

Edition

Author To Sub-editor

Editor To Publisher

Drafted by Publisher

Printed, ready for distribution

WINTER

1 Oct 07

22 Oct 07

Mid-Nov

Early Dec

SPRING

21 Dec 07

21 Jan 08

Mid-Feb

Early Mar

SUMMER

1 Apr 08

21 Apr 08

Mid-May

Early Jun

AUTUMN

1 Jul 08

21 Jul 08

Mid-Aug

Early Sep

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