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Submission guidelines

Dateline Houston author guidelines

This page provides information for Dateline Houston writers and editors.

Content and style

Dateline Houston provides information of professional interest to technical communicators and others involved in preparing technical documents. Potential submissions include

Before making a submission, review recent newsletter postings to make sure your topic and approach are appropriate to readers. Consider also that the Houston chapter is home to an active population of independent consultants and contractors.

Write in a clear, informal style, avoiding jargon and acronyms where possible. All decisions on style and usage should be guided by common sense: What is the clearest way to present the information? Please refer to the chapter style guide for usage matters.

Submission deadlines

As a blog, submissions are posted as available.

Manuscript preparation

All submissions are subject to editing. You will not receive a copy of the edited article prior to posting on the newsletter page. Upon request, you will receive notification when your submission has been posted.

  1. Submit an electronic file containing the text of your manuscript to the Managing Editor.
  2. Provide the article’s title, author names, bio of each author, and a picture (GIF or JPG) of each author. (Contact the Managing Editor for an example bio.)
  3. Use up to three levels of headings, and indicate them clearly.
  4. Use a word count that conveys your subject, but also is of a length that will hold the reader’s attention. Generally, 500 words is a good length.
  5. Insert figures and tables into the text of your submission. Also, include a separate graphics file for each figure and image. Each graphic should be saved as a GIF or JPG file.

Feature articles

Feature articles should be no more than 1000 words in length. Topics should cover issues faced by technical communicators.

Book reviews

Book reviews should be no more than 500 words. If you would like to get ideas for books to review, please refer to the list of books received in each issue of Technical Communication. You will find this list online in the Book Review Collection. The list of books received is at the end of the book review list for each issue.

For guidelines on reviewing a book for the newsletter, we suggest you refer to the Technical Communication book review guidelines.

Software or equipment reviews

Software and equipment reviews should be no more than 500 words in length. If you have a topic idea, please contact the Managing Editor to verify that it’s appropriate for the audience.

Letters to the editor

We request that letters to the editor be no more than 200 words. Comments can be regarding anything relating to chapter, newsletter, and international STC activities. If appropriate, we will arrange for a response to be posted along with your note.

Column Description Length (words)
Feature article Feature article pertaining to technical communication (e.g. How to, new hardware, software) <1000
Letters to the editor Feedback regarding chapter, newsletter, or Society activities <200
Book review Reviews of books pertinent to technical communication <500
Software or equipment review Reviews of software or equipment pertinent to technical communication <500