If your manuscript is messy—lots of words are crossed out, pages are crammed with small type with no room for anyone to make changes on a print-out—the editor will instantly gain a bad impression of your article. Type it neatly, double-spaced, with wide margins and no mess.
Of course, in this electronic age, most will want to send it as an electronic file. Email it saved as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) version. This saves all the formatting from Word or whatever other word processing program you are using, but does not transmit any unsuspected macro viruses. It also means that we can open it in Word even though you might have used another program.
Please use the footnotes function in Word if using Word, as that way the references renumber themselves automatically if deleting or adding any during the editorial stage. Also, please use cross-referencing if referring to the same footnotes, that way they will also renumber.
If you write ‘Ayres Rock’ and the editor knows it’s really ‘Ayers Rock’, or you write ‘Nicholas Steno’ and the editor knows it should be ‘Nicolaus Steno’, or you say that Charles Darwin was an eighteenth century mathematician and the editor knows that both those ‘facts’ are wrong, he or she will be wary of everything else in your article. Check every name, date, and other fact in your ‘final’ version.
Too many articles begin with the sleep-inducing phrase, ‘The purpose of this paper is … ’. There are more interesting ways of getting your message across. Study a few newspaper reports and feature articles. You will find the reports give the most interesting facts first, and the feature articles use a variety of methods to catch and keep the reader’s attention. Editors like articles to get to the point quickly and to do it in an interesting way. If we have to do this ourselves, it increases the likelihood that your article won’t be used.
Present the points in your article in a logical sequence. And make sure the final paragraphs are built on all that has gone before.
Don’t spell something ‘redshift’ one time and red-shift later. Don’t use double quotes for some words and single quotes for others. Our preference is for double quotes. Don’t write ‘eight years ago’ in one sentence and ‘8 years ago’ in another. Don’t say ‘the Flood’ one time and ‘the flood’ another. We prefer a capital ‘f’ for ‘flood’ when referring to the biblical Flood of Noah. Creation magazine uses ‘ize’ endings instead of ‘ise’ and numbers one to nine are normally spelt out, with 10 and upwards taking figures.
Except in technical articles, we like to see simple words, short sentences and short paragraphs. Why say something is ‘operational’ when you simply mean it ‘works’? Why write ‘expiration’ if ‘end’ will do? Why write ‘ventilation’ if ‘air’ will do?
Likewise, why write ‘at this point in time’ when ‘now’ is better? Get rid of unnecessary words and simplify where possible. Instead of using a sentence that is 50 words long, break up the thoughts and make two or three shorter sentences. Explain, simply, who people are, and the significance of events you mention in your article.
You wouldn’t send motoring articles to a cooking magazine, or real estate articles to a computer magazine. So make sure the articles you send to Creation magazine are about creation-related issues.
Editors of full-colour magazines, such as Creation magazine, can more readily use an article that can be illustrated well than one that is difficult to illustrate. If you can suggest or provide colour pictures we could use in your article, please do. Note that if providing images you need to own the copyright or obtain (and show) formal written permission for its use in our magazine from the copyright owner. For more information about submitting images to CMI, please click here.
We like to see facts that can be backed up, not speculation. If your article has to come to a speculative conclusion based on a lot of facts you’ve given, with references—that’s fine. But don’t build speculations into a conclusion. The most interesting articles usually contain anecdotes, quotes, and lots of facts.
In today’s busy world, most readers prefer shorter articles. In Creation magazine, we like articles to be 1,800 words or less. Our preference is about 250 to 1,600 words. An interesting 500-word article will be read by almost every reader. The longer the article, the more likely it is that many readers won’t finish it.
Articles that say, ‘You may not know …’, ‘Have you ever seen … ’, ‘How do you explain … ’, and so on show that the writer is clearly targeting the reader to gain his or her attention. It’s a better way to keep attention than saying, ‘One may not know … ’, ‘The reader may never have seen … ’, etc.
If you are submitting an article to Creation magazine, and you list references from books or magazines, it will help us greatly if you enclose for our records copies of the references you use.
For example, if you quote in your article something from New Scientist of November 26, 1994, page 17, please enclose a photocopy of that for us. If you quote from the London Times of June 7, 1995, page 3, enclose a copy of the report, preferably showing the details you’ve given (publication, date, page number).
Having the references on hand will help us considerably if any queries are made about your article from our reviewers (or readers if the article is published).
Here’s a sample reference list and what we would expect you to send to us:References
Thanks very much,
The editorial team
PS one more thing if using non-English fonts (e.g. Hebrew, Greek)—always use only Unicode characters, otherwise problems creep in when transposing to the layout program. Thanks.
This checklist is designed to help authors and potential authors of articles for Creation magazine. Complying with the points listed here will not guarantee acceptance of your article. However, it will give you an idea of what we like to see. It should also help you avoid some common writing problems.
Keep in mind that articles should be interesting, easily understood by the average reader, and related to some aspect of creation or Noah’s Flood. Subjects can cover science, nature, interviews with creationists, biblical topics, history, family, humour, education, philosophy, biography, etc., as they relate to creation, evolution, or Genesis.
Print and check the box if you can answer ‘yes’ to the question (the more the better!)
If you have marked most of the boxes, we’ll be very interested to see your manuscript. If it looks promising, it will undergo various review processes prior to approval. This may take a few months sometimes. Please note that we also require all prospective authors to assign copyright to Creation Ministries International as explained in this example letter. After reading the letter, please print out the associated form, sign the agreement and mail it to us along with the photocopies of your reference materials. Please notify us, in your email with the article, that you have sent us these documents in the mail.
As Creation magazine is part of a non-profit, largely donation-funded Christian ministry, no payments are made for articles submitted from the public. However, authors will receive complimentary copies of the issue in which their article appears.
Send articles to:
Creation magazine editor, P.O. Box 4545, Eight Mile Plains QLD 4113, Australia
Or firstname.lastname@example.org via email.