How Can I Contribute Content to the TechWell Community Sites?
Email article ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. See below for detailed submission guidelines and and FAQs.
Article Submission Guidelines and FAQs
Better Software magazine, AgileConnection.com, CMCrossroads.com, and StickyMinds.com
Article Length: 800-1,500 words
Topics: agile, ALM, analysis, build engineering, change management, cloud, configuration management, continuous integration, design & code, development, development & design, devops, enterprise, environment management, kanban, lean, mobile, people & teams, performance, planning, project management, process improvement, QA, release management, requirements, SAFe, scrum, security, test automation, testing, test planning, tools, version control
We reserve the right to publish submissions where they're best suited, no matter which site/publication they're submitted to.
Submission Format: Submit documents in Microsoft Word (or other commonly used format) and in an easy-to-read font (for example, 12-point Arial or Times New Roman). Use only plain text, bold, and italic styles.
Attach graphic files separately in .jpg or .png format.
Submissions should include:
- An outline or abstract of your proposed article (300 words maximum). If you've already written the article, send the complete article along with a summary.
- An author biography (no more than 80 words) that includes your name, current job title, and email address. A biography can also list a book you've written or cowritten, your areas of expertise, and a brief professional history.
- A list of all of your areas of expertise or specialties, links to any writing samples, your email address, and telephone number.
All content you submit must be original material that you wrote in your own words. This also applies to figures, diagrams, charts, tables, and any other graphics you submit. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
Anywhere from fifteen minutes to a month. Please be patient. Average response time is one to two weeks, but longer wait times are not unheard of.
Reasons you might not hear back from us:
- Our spam-blocking software thought you were a Nigerian prince trying to recoup his fortune.
- We think that we have responded, but we really haven’t, and we (accidentally) deleted your submission.
- You have spam-blocking software that suspects us of being fortune-seeking Nigerian nobility.
What Happens after I Submit an Article or Abstract?
When we receive your query, we send it to the appropriate technical editor for evaluation. Editors might suggest that you make additions to the article, that you refocus the article to meet our target audience and topic needs, that we accept the article without changes, or that we reject the article.
If we determine that your article is a fit for one of our publications, we will contact you to write or submit the article or to inform you that we're sending your article on to the next stage in the process. At this point, you will also receive a copyright agreement to sign and return.
Once we accept an article, the technical editors evaluate the article for technical accuracy and may make additional revision recommendations. If a technical editor has substantial concerns about your article's accuracy, we'll notify you and give you an opportunity to resolve or respond to the concerns. If resolution can't be achieved, we remove the article from consideration for publication.
After you have worked with the technical editor, your article moves to copy editing, where our editors clean up grammar, punctuation, flow, and adherence to our house style. Once your article has been copy edited, you will have the opportunity to review it once more and address questions and comments from the editor. Please note: When the article is being produced for publication, the editor might need to revise it to fit space requirements, which can include cutting material or asking you for additional material or graphic elements.
When Will My Article be Published?
When the technical editor accepts an article, we add it to our publishing schedule. Community site articles will usually be published within two months of submission. Better Software magazine articles are scheduled farther out because the magazine publishes less frequently, so it may be six months or more before your article publishes. Your editor will let you know what time frame to expect.
What Can I Do to Improve My Odds of Getting Published?
1. Establish credibility
- Tout relevant credentials or expertise in the subject matter.
- Show you’ve got a track record of writing for legitimate places.
2. Don’t send us a sales pitch
- Submissions must be vendor agnostic.Our readers don’t respond well to unlabeled advertorials.
- Showcasing your knowledge by writing practical, usable content is the best marketing for you and your company.
3. Tell a story
- People want to read about people. Anecdotes and vignettes (used sparingly) are good.
- Write about personal experience, e.g., how did your team tackle X? What worked? What didn’t? What were the lessons learned?
4. Use active voice
- You can tell passive voice because the subject that is doing the verb-ing is left off scene, e.g., “The requirements will be gathered …”
5. Do your research
- Back up your words with facts.
- Use proper attribution.
- Avoid self-promotion. Even experts need additional resources.
6. Take a stance
- Don’t be afraid to be opinionated.
- See #5.
7. Change the world (i.e., say something new)
- Write about something that is new or different for some percentage of the population.
- Browse our publications before submitting to see if we’ve covered your topic ad nauseam.
8. Know our publications
- Familiarize yourself with the topics we cover (hint: each site has a Topics menu on the homepage).
- Read several articles to get a feel for the tone we are looking for.
- Keep it short. Anything more than 1,500 words is too long.
9. Write for readability
- Write a concise story pitch that shows you can write well in few words.
- Don’t make the reader work to understand you. Remember, you are writing for the web, not a dissertation review board.
- Keep it conversational, but avoid colloquialisms and regional terms as we do attract an international audience.
10. Review before you submit
- If English language rules and usage aren’t your strong suits, enlist a grammar guru to review your submission before you send it in.
- Articles that require substantial rewriting by us will usually not be considered, even if the topic is spot on.
11. Contribute to the broader conversation
- Get active in our communities to establish yourself as someone our readers want to hear more from.
- Include a call to action at the end of your article.
- Share your content via social media outlets.
When in doubt, Contact Us!