II Alive Writers’ Guidelines

GENERAL: II Alive welcomes article submissions from anyone, whether you’re a professional writer or just an ordinary Apple II lover with some tips to share. We don’t reject submissions purely on the basis of typos or grammar – if an article’s content is unique, enthusiastic, creative, or otherwise grabs us by the lapels and screams “Publish Me,” we’re willing to overlook a few mistakes. On the other hand, the fewer mistakes a submission contains, the less work we have to do in order to get it ready for publication. And that means you might just get more money for the article.

STYLE: Write in a clear, simple style, free of confusion. If there is any doubt in your mind that a typical reader of your article will be able to understand something in your article, simplify it. It may be helpful to organize your thoughts with an outline first. If you’re writing a fairly long article, you might want to break it down into sections, each focusing on one major point. Each paragraph should convey a complete thought, with one sentence that states t he thought and additional sentences that support it. Use examples and explanations (even illustrations, tables, graphs, and so on) wherever necessary. If you don’t have much writing experience and don’t think you can pull off something like this, find a collaborator who can help you. You may want to base the general format of your article on other articles you read in this magazine. Books that you may find helpful include The Elements of Style and The Lively Art of Writing.

LENGTH: Your article should be however long a complete treatment of your subject requires. It’s better to submit an article that’s too long for us to use than one that’s too short. We can remove material much more easily than we can add it- or we might just decide to run your article in two or more parts.

FORMAT: Submit your article to us on paper and on disk. The paper version should be double- spaced, and printed on only one side of standard 8.5″ x 11 ” paper. Make sure your name and the page number are on every page. Don’t use fancy type styles; a mono-spaced (non-proportional) typeface at about ten characters per inch is best. Use the best print quality your printer is capable of, with a fresh ribbon, if possible. Use underlining to indicate words you would like italicized. The disk version can be in AppleWorks, AppleWorks GS, or standard ASCII text on a ProDOS 3.5″ or 5.25″ disk, or in Microsoft Word, MacWrite, or standard ASCII text format on a Macintosh disk. If your submission contains other materials (illustrations, program listings, and so on), include both disk and printed copies of these as well (illustrations can be in any standard Apple II, IIGS, or Macintosh format). Include a brief cover letter identifying yourself and your submission. Remember, these are just guidelines-we won’t reject your article out-of-hand if you don’t follow them-but they do make things much easier on us.

PAYMENT: We pay on acceptance. Once you hear from us that we want to use an article, you will receive payment within thirty days. Payment ranges from $100 to $500 depending on the length and quality of the submission, with most articles earning in the $150- $250 range.

RIGHTS: When we pay you for an article, we buy all rights to it. This means that we own the rights to print it in magazine form (“serial rights”), and to print your article in a “best-of’ book or other compilation of II Alive material (“anthology rights”). Anyone else who wants to print your article will need permission from us to do so. You cannot sell the article (or a similar article, even if it’s rewritten) to a competing magazine, though you could sell an article on the same subject with a different slant to a magazine in a different field. (Example: If we published your article on stamp-collecting with the Apple II, you could not sell an article on stamp-collecting with the Apple II to another computer magazine. But you could sell a similar article to a stamp-collecting or hobby magazine, with a different slant.) Because we buy all rights, we cannot accept simultaneous submissions (articles which are submitted to more than one magazine at once). That would put us in a difficult position if both II Alive and another magazine both selected your article for publication.

QUERIES: If you’re about to invest a lot of time and effort in writing an article for submission to II Alive, you may want to query us about the article first, especially if it seems likely to you that someone else could be writing a similar article. Write a one-page letter introducing yourself and your proposed article, outlining the article’s major points. If you are proposing a lengthy article or a series, a more detailed outline could be included as well. We will let you know if anyone else is already working on a similar article for us, and possibly offer some additional suggestions to help you prepare the article. Our reply to your query is not a guarantee that we’ll accept your article. It just says that we don’t know of anyone else writing one like it.

REVIEWS: Since we’re a magazine, manufacturers often send us products for review. We distribute these products to our staff writers and review editors. Therefore, you should definitely query us before sending us any reviews-chances are, we already have someone working on it. We also have stricter guidelines for reviews, which have to hit certain points and follow a certain form to be effective. (If you are interested in becoming a regular reviewer for II Alive, send us a letter with your qualifications.)

SUBMISSION: Send your submissions to: II Alive, Editorial Dept., 20200 Nine Mile Rd., St. Clair Shores, Ml 48080, USA. As soon as we get your submission, we will send you a post card telling you that we received it, and letting you know when to expect a response. If you don’t receive the post card within thirty days after submitting, send a follow-up letter; something may be lost in the mail.

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About the Author

Jerry Kindall

Jerry Kindall was Quality Computers' technical writer and served as II Alive's Editor in Chief from its inception through mid-1995. He is currently a contract programmer writer at a certain Large Software Company in the Seattle area. He and his wife breed and show Glen of Imaal Terriers.