Philadelphia Jewish Voice
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Guidelines for Submissions to the Philadelphia Jewish Voice

Deadlines: Material should be submitted to the section editor or editor-in-chief well before the middle of the month prior to publication. We recommend that you contact us as early as possible in the writing process. We might tell you that we already have an excellent submission on the same topic, or we might be able to give you helpful advice. Our community calendar is updated continually. Send submissions to calendar @ pjvoice.com well in advance of the event's date.

Email Addresses: Please send mail to the "pjvoice.com" addresses listed on our masthead instead of our personal email addresses The official email addresses may be archived for quality control or redirected to a backup person when the usual person is on vacation, so your submission will be handled more effectively if you send it to the "pjvoice.com" address. With your emailed submission, please include your name and phone number so that we can reach you if we have any questions.

Length: Many prospective authors ask about the desired length of a piece. Articles should not ramble but rather they should be focused and make a point. The length of a piece should be determined by the material. It should be long enough to make its point, but concise enough to retain the attention of the reader. One of the longest articles we published to date was unusually compelling, and was well received by our readers. Conversely, even a short piece can lose people's attention. The shortest pieces (less than a couple of paragraphs) will be considered as a "letter to the editor" or compiled with other material to create a composite piece.

Tone: We seek an even tone, (1) not too scholarly or academic and (2) not too folksy or casual.

  • Casual usage to be avoided: 
    - Contractions (use "do not" instead of "don't").
    - References to the author: "I", "me", etc.
    - Slang.
    - Use of ALL CAPS (even in titles).
    - Informal styles (blog, letter, solicitation, ...)
  • Academic usage to be avoided:
    - Footnotes. Sources can be attributed by providing links. Extraneous supporting material can be presented in parenthesis, in a side bar, through a link or omitted.
    - All but the most familiar abbreviations (CIA, FBI, etc.)
    - Sesquipedalian terminology if more comprehensible terminology would express your meaning better.
    - Bibliography, section numbers, abstract.

Title: Authors are encouraged to propose a short working title, especially if they are submitting multiple pieces. The first letter of each word in the title should be capitalized. Titles usually have no punctuation. We generally use a subtitle or teaser except for letters to the editor, and the author can propose one. The subtitle is capitalized normally and followed by a period even if it is not a complete sentence. The opening paragraph should expand upon these and make it clear what the article is about. 

Credits: We want to give our authors credit for their work. Letters to the editor are usually published with just the name of the author and his or her hometown and state. Longer pieces often have one or two lines of credits at the end. Please provide material we can adapt. If you have already published a piece in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice, feel free to reuse the credit you were given last time.

Graphics: We try to provide a graphic (photo, illustration, graph, drawing, ....) with each piece published. Authors are encouraged to suggest graphics. Longer pieces can have multiple graphics. Please suggest captions for photos identifying the photographer or illustrator, and describing the image - for example, identifying the people in a photo and the place the photo was taken. Please ensure that the Philadelphia Jewish Voice has permission to use the graphics which you submit. If the graphic is available on the web, send us its URL. Otherwise, please send a copy to the publisher publisher @ pjvoice.com preferably as a JPG email attachment. Resize all images to a size appropriate for web publication.

Formatting: Your piece will be reformatted, so instead of formatting the text yourself it is preferable to describe in brackets how you would like to have it formatted. For example, 

  • "I ordered the [start italics] soupe du jour [end italics]" instead of "I ordered the soupe du jour," or 
  • "Read the [link http://www.pjvoice.com/guidelines.html] author's guidelines [end link]" instead of "Read the author's guidelines".
  • [insert GoldaMeir.jpg around here]
  • [blockquote] "A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt......If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake." [italics]  --Thomas Jefferson, 1798, after the passage of the Sedition Act. [end italics] [end blockquote]

Style

  • Small numbers should be written out in letters ("three" not "3").  Large numbers should be written out in full, for example "1973" not "'73", and "2003 to 2007" not "2003-7".
  • Most punctuation should occur inside quotation marks.
  • Foreign expressions (including Hebrew) should be in Italics, but not names of people or places.
  • Underlining is to be avoided. (Can be confused with link text.)
  • Avoid using special characters not usually found on the keyboard such as fractions, curly quotation marks, ellipses or long dashes. If you use Microsoft Word, the best way to avoid these special characters is to choose "Autocorrect" from the "Tools" menu, then select the "Autoformat as you type" tab, and make sure that everything in the "replace as you type" section is unchecked.

Links: We encourage providing links to relevant resources on the web. Please give the exact URL (web address) of the page you want your reader to view. For example, if you are commenting on an article in the Jewish Exponent, provide a link directly to that article, not to the home page of the Jewish Exponent. The actual URL will not be displayed but will be used to link the text you provide. Biblical citations can be documented with links to a website such as www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Books can be documented with a link to an online bookstore like www.amazon.com

Specific Advice:

  • News and Op/Ed:
    -
    Be clear if you are writing News (facts) or Op/Ed (opinions). 
    - We publish monthly, so avoid news that will be overtaken by events by the time your piece appears. 
    - As a 501(c)3, we generally avoid lobbying and campaigning. Your article can support or criticize a piece of legislation or a candidate for political office, but it should not explicitly call for the reader to call or write their congressman, or vote for a specific candidate.
    - Do not make baseless attacks. Do not say "Gov. Smith is stupid" rather say "Gov. Smith announced Thursday at the United Nations that the Sun rises in the West when in fact it rises in the East." 
  • Networking Central Group of the Month: Please describe the history of your organization, your mission, your recent and future activities. Conclude with ideas about how our readers can support your activities perhaps financially, but most of all, by volunteering or participating in some way.
  • Living Judaism:
    - Keep in mind that the Philadelphia Jewish Voice is read by a wide range of Jews with different observances. Neither assume that your reader knows who wrote the Mishnah, nor that he subscribes to the "critical theory" of biblical analysis. Being controversial is fine, but write to be understood by a broad public.
  • Around Our Community:
    - If your organization has an event it wishes to publicize, please register on our website and click on "add event".
    - Invitations to cover local events and press releases will be considered as full length features in this section.

Copyrights: Do not send us any material unless you are authorized to do so. We will consider reprinting material previously published elsewhere with the permission of the copyright holder. Please indicate with your submission if your article has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere and indicate if we have or how we can obtain permission to reprint. Unless specified otherwise your article and anything else in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice can be reprinted elsewhere provided these same rights are conveyed to the reader and subscription information to The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is provided. 

Notification: If you wish to be notified when the issue containing your material is available online, we suggest that you sign up at www.pjvoice.com/subscribe.htm. In that way, you will receive an email each month notifying you of the new issue and mentioning a few highlights. 

Caveat: Even if you follow these guidelines, we can only publish a fraction of the submissions we receive. Unless specified otherwise in writing, we reserve the right to edit the material we publish for length, clarity, grammar, accuracy, and style, though we will never intentionally distort the author's intent. 

Material published in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice, its board, editor, or publisher

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