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Posted on11 March 2013

Getting published: dos and don’ts – a very handy guide

At our Atlas Open Day in November 2012, we were delighted to meet Rachel Malcolm, attending as a freelancer and also in her capacity as ITI Bulletin Editor. 

Rachel has been editor of ITI Bulletin since January 2008. Find her on Twitter at @msrachelmalcolm and @ITIBulletin. Her blog is www.francofille.com.

And here are her tips on getting published!

If you want to raise your professional profile, writing an article is a great way to go about it. The industry has a number of journals – ITI Bulletin (which I edit), The Linguist and In Other Words are the best known. Plus many of ITI’s Networks and Regional Groups publish newsletters. So if you’ve attended an inspiring event, read a great book or want to share your thoughts on something topical, why not contact an editor? Just make sure you follow these rules.

1. DO be enthusiastic. Share your passion – whether it’s for an innovative CAT tool or the networking power of Twitter. It will be infectious, believe me! DON’T be negative. Articles with a ‘we are all doomed’ tone do nothing to inspire the reader. Tacking challenging issues by all means, but in a proactive and forward-looking way.

2. DO be yourself. Write in your own voice and your authenticity will shine through. DON’T adopt faux academic language you’re not comfortable with – or try to develop a ‘down with the kids’ tone if your personal style is more formal.

3. DO value your contribution. You have valuable insights to share, whatever your age or experience level. DON’T dismiss colleagues who are older/younger than you (delete as appropriate). Especially not in print! Respect everyone in the industry and it will pay dividends.

4. DO stick to the word count. If you’re asked for 800 words, write 750-850 – not 500 or 1,000. And DON’T be precious. Every publication has a house style and your article will be edited to fit this. The chance of your precious words being mangled beyond recognition is, however, near zero – but you can always ask for a proof to make sure.

5. DON’T be pushy. I juggle editing ITI Bulletin with other freelance editing roles, and can’t always respond to emails instantly. So give me a few days to get back to you, but DO be persistent. If I haven’t replied within a week, I might have missed your message, so don’t be afraid to follow it up.

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