Writing Guidelines & Style
Optimistic Futurist Writing Guidelines and Style Sheet
There are two ways to submit an article for the Optimistic Futurist:
- Using a lead provided by the Optimistic Futurist
- Using a lead you found. If you elect this option, prior to writing an article, the writer must submit a paragraph that describes the thrust and direction of the article for approval by Dr. Francis Koster. Absent this guidance, well intentioned writers can create very interesting articles which do not have the focus we had in mind, rework is required, and irritation abounds.
Article should clearly state the issue being addressed as well as how the local solution was successfully implemented. The article should be presented as follows:
- Please use Microsoft Word when you transmit the article to us.
- All articles should be between 750 and 1,100 words.
- The article should use Arial font, size 10, and Single line spacing
- Headlines are to be Arial font, size 12, and no more than 20 words. Capitalize the first letter in every word of the headline. Center headline at the top of the page.
- Please use 2 spaces after punctuation
- Also required is a “Crawl,” not to exceed 55 characters (including spaces). The Crawl should contain a simple declarative statement about the project’s success (for example: Inner-city hospital reduces caesarean births 11 percent!). Capitalize the first letter of the first word of the crawl
- The articles should be written at the 10th grade reading level or lower, according to the Microsoft Office Word evaluation tool.
- Any fact stated must be documented using endnotes (not footnotes) as to a reliable source – not Wikipedia.
- Embedded images and video usage is encouraged. Any image or video must be used in accordance to licensing permission requirements (see also #7, “legal to use,” below).
- Avoid using a headline or crawl already appearing on the site.
- The end of the article should list research sources and helpful links related to the article.
- Writers may elect to have their name associated with the piece, or not.
- We have a standard file naming protocol that should be used (remember, you cannot use punctuation in a file name - but you can use underscore):
TheOptimisticFuturist_(name of lead)_(date of latest draft)_(last name of author)_(time of day of latest draft)
Example would be:
TheOptimisticFuturist_Innovative Haircuts_May 23 2011_Koster_2 pm
Once submitted, Dr. Koster will proofread the article for language, grammar and content.
Writers meeting the criteria below, and who have submitted and received approval on the paragraph mentioned above, will be paid $50 by check upon posting of the article. Posting takes about three days. Articles accepted for publication but not posted will result in a $25.00 “kill fee.” No article will be published unless it:
- Contains a clear goal statement of the project being described;
- Cites documentable metrics showing progress toward the stated goal of the project being featured;
- Details whether a project is ongoing. (We will publish reports of a project which succeeded and then ceased operations.);
- Describes major challenges overcome;
- Shows a positive cash flow after start up (volunteer labor must be assigned a free market comparable value in these calculations);
- Demonstrates that the project can be replicable elsewhere; and
- Is accompanied at a minimum a “legal to use” still photograph, although short “legal to use” videos are preferred.