Guidelines for writing and editing

Format

Articles should be 400-500 words. 500 is a hard cap; we don’t have space for longer pieces. For a piece that will only be on the blog, you may have a longer article.

Single spaced with no gaps between paragraphs

The tab for each new paragraph should be 3 spaces. Do not use the “Tab” button.

There should be only 1 space after each period, not two.

Garamond 11 font.

 

Expectations regarding articles

There are a few things that we want you to think of while writing your pieces.

1. Think of your audience. This might change depending on the idea you are presenting and the style you write with. But generally, we are targeting adults, especially young adults. They are most likely college educated and secular, and either lapsed Catholics or non-Catholics. It is likely that practicing Catholics will pick up the H of the M, but they are not our target audience. God willing, we inspire them to deepen their faith, but that is not necessarily our goal.

2. The goal is to evangelize. Everything we write should serve this goal. This means making people want to be Catholic. This goal can be served in many ways, whether through writing about farmers markets, the Mass, abortion, the centrality of Jesus, social justice, modesty, or an experience of charity. But from start to finish, think about how your piece will attract readers to Christ and His Church. Also, think about if what you write may push people away (avoid pushing people away).

3. Don’t be preachy. Present the Yes of the Church.

4. Use Scripture

5. Keep things concrete. Try to ground your ideas in experiences, details, art, local issues etc. Try to relate to your readers, especially non-believers.

 

The editing process

First we want to explain our basic vision of the editing process.The goal is to have polished pieces that express the views and voice of each writer.To do this, we decided we would have each article be edited twice.This involves an editor from our editor-volunteers making recommendations to the writer, and then we look over everything and make final changes.

The 1st step in this process is that the rough drafts should be sent to theheartofthematterblog@gmail.com on the date determined in the schedule of issues.

2nd step. We look over the articles and send each one to an editor. At this point, we may make a recommendation to the writer. This would likely be focused on including something or excluding something from the article. Usually, this advice is pretty general.

3rd step. The editor of each article reads the article and makes corrections/recommendations. Corrections include grammar, spelling, sentence structure etc. Recommendations involve either stylistic comments or content proposals. All of these corrections and recommendations should be made using track changes and/or text balloons.Any recommendations should include a brief explanation of why the editor thinks these changes should be made.

4th step.The article with track changes is sent back to the writer. The writer than makes the necessary changes. It is up to the writer to decide which recommendations to accept.

5th step. The corrected articles are sent by the writers to theheartofthematterblog@gmail.com. At this point, we will edit them one last time. Generally, these edits will not be sent to the writer.

6th step. We format the articles into The Heart of the Matter.

This process requires that the editors, the writers, and the three of us meet our time frame for completion.The editing stage is 3-5 days long.

 

Final Notes:

Writers, please send us a title with your piece. We may or may not       use it but it is helpful.

Please send an image/picture that connects to your article.These are helpful for the blog.

One last note, please understand that once you have submitted your piece to the H of the M, it “belongs” to the H of the M. You may repost it or publish it elsewhere. However, we may make edits to it without checking with you. We understand that this is a matter of trust. We will never alter your piece in a manner that distorts your views or style. We just reserve the right to make alterations as needed.

 

Please, please give us feedback.We are all learning how to do this and we need your help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: