Read this before submitting an article or letter to the editor.
By Ryan McGreal
Published December 14, 2004
We accept both letters to the editor and article submissions for future Raise the Hammer issues, and would love to hear from you!
Before sending us your work, please bear in mind the following considerations.
In general, try to keep your article submission around 800 words and your letter to the editor under 300 words. Remember Strunk's immortal rule: omit needless words. We may consider longer pieces, particularly if they can be published in parts, but would appreciate a query letter and a writing sample in these cases.
For a letter to the editor, be sure to include the following information:
For an article submission, please also include the following:
We will accept articles in plain text, RTF, HTML, ODT, DOC, and PDF format - but PDF makes us grumpy. You get bonus karma if you submit plain text in Markdown format, which this site uses to format comments from registered users.
Please send only a polished, final copy. Check and re-check your work before submitting it. Read it out loud and upside-down, and get a literate friend to proofread it for you. We're all volunteers, and we would prefer not to have to edit a rough draft full of spelling and grammatical errors. :)
Generally, we publish articles related to urban revitalization, sustainability, and economic development, though we sometimes publish interesting pieces about a wider range of topics. We are not looking for a particular ideology or approach (in fact, we welcome a variety of approaches), but it should be related somehow to our core theme.
Remember to "write for the web". Keep your paragraphs short and consider using the inverted pyramid essay format: put your conclusion on top and your background information in diminishing order of importance below.
Since online readers are notorious for 'scanning' articles rather than reading them in depth, you can't guarantee they'll slog through a laborious introduction, literature review, and painstaking argument before getting to your conclusion.
More information on writing for the web:
All that being said, break any of these rules before writing something outright barbarous. A really good story may benefit, for example, from drawing the reader out and holding some information back until the end.