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Guidelines for Authors

The Carolina Communiqué has seen many incarnations — from print to PDF to web site, from monthly mailings to quarterly publications. Now articles in the Communiqué are published regularly, and the articles are published as an ebook every quarter.

Here are a few tips to get you started. Thank you for contributing!

What should I write about?

Choose a topic that interests you as a technical writer. Consider how you can help someone else be a better tech writer. Write two to four paragraphs on the topic.

  • problem solving at work (regarding tools, writing, peer editing, meetings, interpersonal communication, productivity, and so on)
  • tech writer humor, such as situations with subject matter experts or software bugs
  • how you've developed your skills as a tech writer
  • a conference or webinar you attended
  • an upcoming chapter meeting
  • what you learned or enjoyed the most at a chapter activity
  • your vision of effective technical communication
  • the benefits of STC or chapter membership
  • advice on landing that first tech writing job
  • advice for switching careers
  • trends in the field

  • Keep in mind that articles "live forever" on the vast Internet. The audience includes your employer and coworkers — current and future. Have fun and remain professional.
  • The topic dictates the tone: serious, humorous, light, or concerned.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in your area of expertise rather than posting an ad for your products or services.
  • Political and religious opinions are prohibited.
  • Browse the archives to get a sense of the types of articles published in the past.
  • Read the style guidelines.
  • Most importantly, this is an opportunity to demonstrate your superior writing and editing skills.

Where do I start?

  1. If this is your first article, email editor at stc-carolina dot org. You'll receive a link to create an account and log in.
  2. Log in at http://newsletter.stc-carolina.org/login.
  3. In the left column, enter your blog title in the Create new article box and click Create. If an existing article by that title appears, enter a different title.
    On the Edit page tab, you'll see placeholder wiki markup for your name and title at the top and email address at the end. Examples of heading and other text formatting are also provided.
  4. Update the placeholder text. Your name and title are required. Your photo at the top and contact information at the bottom are optional.
  5. Delete the sample wiki markup and write your article.
  6. Click the Properties tab and enter your article's title in the Description field. Use alphanumeric characters and spaces. Non-English characters (such as â or ó) are acceptable, as are punctuation characters (such as : or !). This title appears above your byline.
  7. Click Preview below the window to view the article.
  8. Click Save.
The editor is notified to review the article within three days. The editor reserves the right to change the article title, edit the tone, assign tags on the Properties page, and correct grammar/punctuation/spelling. You'll be notified when the article is published.

You'll find more details about the authoring process at Authoring Instructions.

Note: If you have problems creating a page or have other questions, feel free to email editor at stc-carolina dot org.

  • After you save and return to editing the article, the Save button appears. After an article is published, clicking this button notifies readers via the RSS feed that the article has been updated.
  • To display the article full-screen, click the Full Screen Edit button ( Image ).
  • The editor changes options on the Categories and Properties tabs before publishing. For example, tags are added to the Properties tab.

How do I format the article?

  1. Click buttons on the formatting bar (H1, H2, etc.) to format text on the current line, or enter wiki markup.
  2. For help, click the Help button ( Image ) in the upper right corner of the editing window or visit the Tiki Wiki website.

Enter the URL in brackets. To show a short description of the web page instead of the URL, include the vertical bar ("pipe" symbol) followed by text.
[http://newsletter.stc-carolina.org|Blog home page]

Details about creating hyperlinks

How do I insert a graphic?

Resize your graphic to a maximum of 600 pixels wide before importing. Otherwise, you must enter the height and width attributes as part of the wiki markup. Graphics are added to the wiki's file gallery.
  1. Click the Choose or upload images button ( Image ) on the formatting toolbar.
  2. Click Choose File.
  3. Browse to select the graphic.
  4. Click Upload File.
  5. Click Click here to use the file.
Markup code for the graphic appears in the editing window.
{img fileId="821" thumb="y" rel="box[g]"}

You can assign additional attributes if you wish.
{img fileId="1020" width="175px" height="250px" alt="image of Sheila Loring" desc="Sheila Loring" align="right"}

  • width and and height to override the default size of the image.
  • alt to add an alt attribute (alternate text) to the image.
  • desc to add a caption to the image (that will appear below the image).

  • .png, .gif, and .jpg file formats are supported.
  • To enter the markup code for a graphic that has been uploaded, use img fileId with the numeric ID. See the preceding examples.
  • Resize the image before you upload it, or add proportionate width and height attributes to the image wiki markup.
  • Images are left aligned by default.
  • A small version (or thumbnail) is displayed unless you change the img thumb attribute to "n".
  • To add a caption, enter text in the img desc attribute.
  • To select a graphic that's already uploaded, click Image , click Browse Gallery, and then click the name of the graphic.
Details about inserting graphics

How do I tag my article?

Each article is tagged with specific keywords (that is, a tag). We use these tags to create a folksonomy for categorizing each article. Think of each tag as an index entry, and our tag cloud as a category index. We use articles' tags to determine "similar" articles (shown in the Articles like this button at the bottom of each article).

Before adding tags, take a moment to explore the existing tags. Try not to introduce new tags, if there's a similar one that exists. Additionally, don't create variations of tags; if there's already a tag for technical writing don't create a new tag called tech writing.
If you do create a new tag, take a moment to review the existing articles... can some of them be added to your new tag?

To add tags to your article:
  1. While editing your article, click the Properties tab.
  2. In the Freetags area, enter one or more tags for your article.
    How to tag an article.
    Adding tags to an article.

    Separate multiple tags with spaces. Enclose multi-word tags with quotes.

    The system will display popular tags that you can use. Simply click the tag and it will be added to your article.
  3. Click Save. The tags will now appear at the top of your article.
    An article with tags.

To remove a tag from an article, simply delete the tag from the Freetags field (in step 2, above).


Thank you for contributing to the Carolina Communiqué! Don't hesitate to email questions to editor at stc-carolina dot org.

Fuel for writers
Fuel for writers