Wednesday 13 January 2010

guidelines for contributions

For contributors to A Pinch of Salt

This magazine is read by academics and activists, usually calling their selves Christian, who are interested in how anarchist theory and practice can challenge and inform their faith. It is also read by anarchists interested in Christianity and by other interested people and groups.

A lot of the readers are peace activists and interested in direct action but many have rejected direct action. Many are involved in or thinking about alternative ways of being community or Church.

The magazine is free to anyone who asks for it but readers who don't enter into dialogue with the magazine will eventually be dropped from the mailing list. We're not a bleedin' charity, mate.

A Pinch of Salt editorial objectives:

  • Highlight ways in which mutualist or communist anarchism informs traditional Christian belief and practice.

  • Critique some of the 'sacred cows' of the radical Christian left.

  • Tell stories and respond to them

  • promote nonviolent, anti-statist and pacifist analyses and strategies

  • Explore the ethics and practical issues surrounding non-violent resistance

  • Develop a post-colonial critique for Britain

Hints on writing for A Pinch of Salt

These hints are intended to help you engage our readers' attention and interest. They are based on advice given to writers of "Peace News" a fantastic campaigning paper also based in the UK.

Please don’t spend too much time on a piece in advance of commission or agreement on our part. Not everything submitted is published.

Re-telling stories, personal profiles, and historical snapshots

News items are not published in A Pinch of Salt. This is an occasional journal. However, reflections on activities and stories about events that include some analysis and explanation are welcome. We prefer story-tellers to use the first person and to be clear about their own role, their own point of view, and their feelings.

  • 400 or 800 words.

  • No footnotes

  • Cover the 5 Ws; Who, What, Where, When and Why. You might like to add something about; “How” and “To what effect?”

  • Make suggestions for further actions.

  • If there's something you're not sure about, and cannot check yourself, tell us about it, and in the text either mark it as “to be checked” or leave it out.

  • Is there any image that would get through to readers, or a graphic or photo to illustrate your report?

  • Liven up the article with quotes in direct speech from people involved..

  • Please send an extra line describing yourself for the “note” which sometimes appears at the bottom of longer items.

  • Let us know where the reader can find further information.

Writing comment, theology, Bible-study or analysis

  • About 400 or 800 words.

  • No footnotes

  • Assume no prior-learning from your reader: avoid technical language where possible and use simple words (It's funny but it's not humorous) this makes for friendly more readable style.

  • Try to humanise the story, with examples drawn from life and quotes from people involved.

  • Please suggest a graphic or source of graphics, especially photographs.

Who publishes A Pinch of Salt?

Essentially it's one bloke in a shed but watch this space as the magazine either develops or – hey – folds! The current editor is Keith Hebden, 58 Haycroft Drive, Matson, Gloucester, GL4 6XX.

How are articles selected?

Readers are likely to be interested in:
Ways that Christians provide alternatives to the state
Ways that Christians challenge state hegemony
Biblical reflections in relations to the use of power
Reflections on Christian witness
Strategies for non-violent direct action
Christian responses to other acnarchisms
Short liturgy's of resistance

How long should an article be?

Normally we will suggest a length of 400 or 800 words if there is a longer version on-line it can be referenced at the end of the article.

Obviously there is some flexibility about length, but try to keep near what's suggested as some aspects of the article may have to be cut out.

Reasons for keeping to length:

  1. The magazine is A5 and it keeps it simple to fit a piece to one or two pages exactly.

  2. The magazine is intended to introduce a variety of subjects rather than explore at depth from one persons perspective.

After cutting an article, often we will not have the time to send an article back to you for your approval, although we will always try to consult you except if it came late.

How to send in your copy?

In time! If you think you're not going to reach a due date please email the editor as soon as you think this is the case. If sending electronic copies you can use .doc or .odt or .rtf but not .pdf. If you send a piece as an email message it will be returned as a .odt as default. OpenOffice Software is available free online so you don't need to by Microsoft Office.

Some notes on editing

Few, if any, articles appear in A Pinch of Salt or online exactly as written by the author. There are four main areas where some editing is necessary:

Editing for presentation: certain design and typographical techniques are used in presenting the article. You can make suggestions for use with your article.

  • a “teaser” is an introductory first paragraph to attract readers' attention and give them some background

  • “blobs” break up continuous prose into a series of points

  • “boxes” and “sidebars” are ways of extracting information from the body of the article and presenting them alongside it (eg; a case study or background information). A Pinch of Salt rarely includes these as there isn't space.

NOTE: please suggest a headline: if that's the one you really want, say so; otherwise, don't be surprised if it's called something else (depending on the space and shapes available).

Consistent English: A Pinch of Salt uses British usage unless there is a reason to use another English. There is also a wide range of preferred forms of words and typographic styles. There are also some political preferences for instance, the use of inclusive and non-sexist language, and preferences in the naming of places and peoples.

Editing for sense: this includes more substantial rewriting of sentences in order to make the writer's prose clearer and more accessible. This might mean the editors or a helper doing further research (if necessary, getting back to you) to clarify certain points.

Editing for accuracy: This also can include checking for libel (defamation): English libel law is comparatively tough. And as libel is normally a civil matter, there is no investigation by police or other authorities before a case goes to court; the plaintiff only needs to allege that an article was libelous for proceedings to begin.

A note about language

Please try to use inclusive and non-sexist language.
If you have to use concepts such as imperialist, fascist, neo-liberal, etc, please be precise.

A note about poetry

We do not accept unsolicited poetry.

And finally...

If you have any ideas for a news piece or article, please contact us. All contributions and feedback is appreciated.

Terms and conditions

By submitting your work to Peace News Ltd, you confirm and agree:

  1. that there will be no payment for texts submitted. All contributions are made on a strictly voluntary basis.

  2. that all works submitted are your own creation;

  3. that A Pinch of Salt's reproduction and distribution of the work will not violate any copyright or other right of any third party;

  4. that you are granting A Pinch of Salt non-exclusive print and online publication rights to the work submitted the magazine, online blog or website, and potentially a pamphlet or booklet;

  5. that you are also granting full reprint permission for any item we publish, unless otherwise indicated;

  6. that you are also granting A Pinch of Salt the subsequent right to reproduce, distribute, adapt, or display the work for any purpose and in any manner or medium worldwide, including translation into other languages

  7. that you agree to the licence terms published in both the print and online:
    “Permission to reprint unsigned items with credit and with a link to this page is given to non-profit groups sharing A Pinch of Salt's aims; otherwise you should contact the author or artist through A Pinch of Salt”

The rights granted may be exercised in any form or media in which the work may be reproduced, published, distributed, or displayed (including but not limited to compilations, microfilm, library databases, videotext, computer databases, CD-ROM, and the Internet). We reserve the right to accept or reject any article submitted.

Basic “house style” rules for trusted users

So, here’s some basic pointers

  1. No capitalisation except for proper names (no “Prime Minister Blair”, for example. “British prime minister Tony Blair”, is ok though)

  2. Language – nonsexist/racist/homophobic etc – unless it is very specific. People do have gender(s), and do identify as being from different races/sexualities etc – so sometimes it is correct/accurate to represent them as such – use your judgement.

  3. No fullstops between letters in acronyms, or after titles, or between initials (no Dr. or U.S.A)

  4. Use double quotes where any normal person would use single ones (except within quotes: so “Brian said ‘don’t do that!’ and he didn’t!” is fine)

  5. All publication names should be in single quotes.

  6. Represent dates as Saturday, 4 March 2002. Not 04/03/02 or March 4th 2002 or any other way.

  7. Represent contact details like this: Name, postal address, country (tel +int code; fax; email; http://web).

  8. Try and be sensitive about country/place names (for example, Palestine/Occupied Territories is ok for West Bank, Gaza etc, Israel-Palestine for everything else).

  9. Try not to land us in court! Please do not post anything which is plainly libellous! If you are writing about a big company make sure your facts are right and that you can back them up if challenged.

  10. If you get time and the story is not about your own group, send the group a quick email about how you added their news to our site. This is a good and fairly painless way of networking with loads of people and of promoting the magazine to new partners.