Writer's Guidelines

DIYPlanner.com invites anyone with a particular expertise or unique experience in paper-based planning or productivity to contribute to the ongoing posts and articles. There is a tremendous need for writers just as diverse as the readership, so if you think you have something to say, please get in touch.

If you are, or are interested in being, a writer for DIYPlanner.com, however, there are certain guidelines we must follow to ensure that content is focused, of consistently high quality, in compliance with our standards and procedures, and delivered with the implicit understanding of attributed legal rights.

Becoming a Writer

DIYPlanner.com has both regular contributors (who often act as writers/editors) and guest posters.

Regular contributors will work with the Editor-In-Chief (Douglas Johnston) to discuss topics, ensure that pertinent subject matter is explored, and decide upon deadlines and publication dates. Other responsibilities include the editing and moderation of various types of submissions.

Unless explicitly invited by email, those wishing to write guest posts should get in touch with Douglas to share their ideas for an article, and provide samples of their writing style (which may be in the form of links to blog posts, or HTML, PDF or RTF files). Depending on many factors, not least being the content already in queue, there may be an opportunity to provide an outline and finished article for publication to the site.

Frequent guest posters may be asked to become a regular contributor.

Content Guidelines

  • The focus of DIYPlanner.com can be found on the About This Site page. All submitted articles must be in accordance with this subject matter.

  • Articles should be between 400 and 1600 words in length, and should begin with a one-paragraph "teaser" (less than 600 characters) that will appear on the main page. Longer articles may be syndicated into two or more articles over several days, at the discretion of the editor-in-chief (and with the explicit agreement of the author).

  • Although not absolutely necessary, pictures or other images to accompany the text are highly encouraged. However, please ensure that you have the rights to use the images. This means you must be the owner, have the explicit permission of the owner, know that the image is in the public domain, or reasonably expect that the usage of the image falls under the provisions of "fair use."

  • Grammar and spelling are be checked thoroughly before submission. Spelling may be either American or British, but it should be consistent. We do not accept story articles in languages other than English at this time, although this may change in the future.

  • The article title should follow standard English title capitalisation (e.g., "The Boy, the Girl, and the Dog").

  • When links to other pages or sites might prove useful to readers, all writers should endeavour to include them within the text. They may be included inline, or at the base of the page in a "For Further Information" section.

  • We often don't syndicate the entire article on the main page (unless it is quite short), but instead run the first paragraph or two as a "teaser." Please ensure that your beginning paragraph or two has a hook or stated theme, so that users are encouraged to read the rest of the article.

Site- and Kit-Specific Details

  • References to the D*I*Y Planner should be spelled thusly, with asterisks. The site name is written as DIYPlanner.com.

  • When making reference to various template kits, be specific. For example, you may refer to "The D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition." There are many kits and sizes, so this should help eliminate confusion.

  • Likewise, be specific when mentioning templates. Use proper capitalisation for the titles (e.g., "Contact Log").

  • There are also CSS classes you may use: formname and tabname. Example: "I turned to her <span class="formname">Contact Log<span>, which I keep in my <span class="tabname">Address Book<span> section." If this sounds too complicated, don't worry. An editor will fix up each article before publication.

The Publishing Process

  • Once an article idea has been approved by an editor, the user will be give the role of "writer" for the site. This allows the author to create story content.

  • Upon finishing an article, it should be entered into the system, and the relevant editor should be notified through his or her contact form.

  • There may be an editing process for both content and grammar. The author will be given notice when this is complete, so he or she may verify the final version.

  • A publishing date is set by the editor, and the story goes live on that date. It will appear on the main page, in the list of stories, and in the syndicated feeds that many readers use.

Rights, Fees & Consideration

  • The author retains sole copyright upon published works. He or she may decide upon what license to assign to each article (including the GDL, any of the various Creative Commons licenses, etc.).

  • DIYPlanner.com must be granted non-exclusive digital rights to the piece for the life of the site, and an exclusivity to the material for 30 days. After that, it may appear anywhere else at the author's discretion.

  • At this time, there are no fees for writers and other contributors. However, each article will allow an author to submit a bio and a link to another site mutually agreed-upon by the author and an editor.

For Further Information

Please ensure you have read the How-To: Writing and Submitting an Article before submitting any article, as the process and certain essential procedures are stated therein.

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