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What we look for in an article proposal

What we look for in an article proposal

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You've heard us mention from time-to-time that we're always looking for new authors and new content ideas for TechNet Magazine.  When we say "new authors", we mean people just like you!  That is, real IT Professionals using Microsoft technologies who know they're trade, and might be interested in sharing their knowledge and experience with others (and earning some money in the process!)

So how do you get started?

It all begins with the proposal - you sending us an e-mail describing what you'd like to write about.  There are a few things we're looking for in a good proposal:

  • Most importantly, you'll want to send us the key details: a brief description of the article you're proposing (a few sentences will do), the estimated length (word count) of that article, the estimated time it would take you to complete it, and the intended audience (system administrators, database managers, etc.).
  • Have a specific topic(s) in mind - we like hearing from people who are interested in writing for us, but just sending us an e-mail saying "I'm interested in writing for you." doesn't get us very far.  Please feel free to throw out a few ideas in your first note. If you're not sure if your idea would be appropriate, take a shot and send it our way - we'll let you know.  Additionally though, you can take a look at all of our previously-published content on our Web site at www.technetmagazine.com. Looking through past articles may give you a better feel for whether your topic would fit.
  • Present several topics at once if possible - it will give us a better idea of your interests and areas of expertise, and also give us more options to choose from.
  • Be clear and concise - be able to describe the focus of your article in just a few straight-forward sentences. If it takes you 1000 words just to describe what you're going to write about, you need to narrow your scope a bit!
  • Proofread your proposal :-)  It's not a hard-and-fast rule, but large numbers of spelling or grammar mistakes in your initial proposal don't exactly instill a great deal of confidence in your writing abilities. That being said, we have a top-notch team of editors to help with that part along the way.  We're most interested in writers who really know their technology.

Here are a few basic examples.

Good Proposal:

Abstract: Exchange Server 2007 has made some significant improvements in its compliance capabilities. This article will discuss the improvements in Exchange that facilitate meeting corporate governance and regulatory requirements for data archiving, retention and expiration. I focus on these enhancements as they relate to the core requirements of compliance - Information Retention, Controlled Access, and Data Integrity. Specifically the article will look at the transport rule agent, the journaling agent, and rights management capabilities.

Length: 3500 words

Time to complete: 4 weeks from start date

Audience: System Administrators/IT Managers/IT Compliance Officers

Technology: Exchange Server 2007 – Messaging – Compliance

The rights to this article have not been granted to another publisher. It has not been published previously and it is an original work.

Not really a good proposal:

Hi,

I am joe a student from university here i have attached a file which describes architecture standards for windows. The basic idea behind this article is to ensure standards according functional requirement.So pls review this and send me a feed back.

regards,

joe

See what I mean? :-)

Questions?  No problem.  E-mail us anytime at tnsubmit@microsoft.com.

In a series of future posts, we'll discuss what happens next (how the editorial cycle works, insights from our art & production staff, and so on).

All the best,

-Josh

Comments
  • As I write this, I'm on a cross-country flight from beautiful Redmond, WA back to TechNet Magazine Headquarters

  • I often receive questions, especially from new authors to the magazine, about what it takes to put out

  • As a contributing editor for two magazines, Redmond Magazine and Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, I get a lot of questions from people in the industry who are interested in submitting articles. My short answer to everyone is, "Please do!" I

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