Guidelines for Contributors

These guidelines were published on August 30, 2016.

QVNA, the official publication of Queen Village Neighbors Association, is published six times a year.  If you are not familiar with the magazine, we suggest that you get a sense for the tone of our publication by reading past issues.

Why we publish a magazine

For over 30 years, QVNA published a newsletter called The Crier.  Through much of its existence, The Crier was the main way to inform residents about announcements and upcoming events.

However, with the internet, many Queen Village residents stay connected to QVNA through our website, app, weekly email newsletter, and presence on social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.  When situations involving safety, health, or emergencies arise, we are able to alert members of the community in real-time, a feat that would not have been possible in the past.

As a result, we have the opportunity to shift the focus of our publication to topics of general interest, neighborhood development, and opportunities for community building.  The content is meant to be relevant long after each issue is distributed.

We will only publish articles that are consistent with our mission

QVNA exists to serve the residents of Queen Village and strengthen the community by: providing a forum for public discussion of issues of concern and interest, supporting improvements to our neighborhood, our schools and our city, facilitating understanding and use of public services and acting as a channel of communication with city officials and elected representatives.

Articles cannot promote your own or any specific business, professional practice, for profit interest, or political campaign

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, legally we cannot attempt to influence legislation or participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

We will not publish anything that could make us liable

We print a disclaimer in every issue that states that the opinions are those of our contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the organization.  However, we are ultimately responsible for what appears in the magazine.  If you are interested in offering medical or legal advice, for example, or anything that might be subject to legal challenge, QVNA’s magazine is not the right forum.

We seek articles, not blurbs

We want to fill our magazine with content that is informative, engaging, interesting and helpful both for longtime residents and those who may be new to the community.

We want to fill our magazine with original content

We will not publish press releases or articles that were previously published elsewhere.  The content that appears in our magazine should be written specifically for QVNA.  After your article goes to press, we will be happy to give you permission to republish your article in another publication as long as you give credit back to us, e.g., “This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of QVNA.  It has been reprinted with permission.”

Stick to the word count

Our golden rule is that each article must fit on a single page.  The only exception to this rule is the cover story which appears in the middle of the magazine as a two-page spread and can be read in its entirety without turning a page.

Articles that feature text only should be a maximum of 650 words

If you want us to print photographs or artwork with your article, please reduce your text by 10 words per image.  In other words, if your article will feature one photo, reduce your text to 640 words, for two images, reduce your text to 630 words, etc.   Please note that even if you stick to the word count, we reserve the right to edit your text after it is submitted.

While writing your article, keep the publication date in mind

Articles are due to the editor approximately six weeks before each publication date.

Avoid mentioning dates that will soon pass

QVNA relies on a large network of volunteers to create and distribute the magazine.  If all goes according to schedule, the magazine hits the streets the 10th day of the publication month (September 10th, November 10th, January 10th, March 10th, May 10th, July 10th).  However, that doesn’t mean that it will be read as soon as it is received.  Given these circumstances, it doesn’t make sense to put emphasis on an event that is scheduled to happen near or shortly after the distribution date.

If you are going to use an acronym, define it the first time you use it

You may be used to referring to an institution, public service, or organization by an acronym.  However, the person reading your article may have no idea what you are talking about, especially if they are unfamiliar with the subject matter. For example, you may refer to “Queen Village” as “QV” but someone new to the neighborhood, or someone who lives in another neighborhood, may have no idea what you are talking about.  If you are going to use an acronym, be sure to define it the first time it appears in your article, e.g., Queen Village (QV).

Do not assume that readers have prior knowledge of the subject matter

You may be knee-deep in a project or initiative and may have even written about it for QVNA in the past.  However, you cannot assume our readers are familiar with it — they may be new to the neighborhood or may not have paid attention before.  Be sure to provide a little background before diving into the subject matter.  Also, try to avoid phrases like “as readers of this magazine may know ..” Phrases like this will eat up your word count but, more importantly, imply exclusivity.  We want to engage our readers and try to get them involved in the neighborhood by making them feel included.

Trying to raise money for a cause?  Make it clear how to donate

QVNA is a 501(c)(3) and manages funds for a number of committees and groups that are based in the neighborhood.  If you are writing an article about a project or initiative, and have already set up a restricted fund with QVNA, be sure to include the following verbiage:

To support this project, make a tax-deductible donation at www.qvna.org or send a check to QVNA at P.O. Box 63763, Philadelphia, PA 19147.

We reserve the right to refuse to publish any article

We reserve the right to edit your content before it goes to press
It could be too long to fit on the page, we may need to make room for your artwork, or we may need to make room for an ad.  However, we will do our best to maintain the tone and message of your piece.

Our editorial decisions are final