Natural Awakenings Writer's Styling Guidelines
What we want:
- Write in the third person (he/she/people/practitioners/clients/attendees) and use an active voice.
- Alternatively, for articles, use we/our/us. Avoid the less formal second-person ‘you’.
- Mix sentence lengths and keep paragraphs short; use plain language and briefly define technical terms.
- Include strong, genuine quotes and short anecdotes or case studies to illustrate key points.
- Add credibility with key findings from scientific studies, statistics and updates on trends, citing authoritative sources.
- Attribute all medical or health claims and scientific research results. List leading information source(s) and contact information in an italicized endnote.
- Establish a strong lead paragraph and compelling close.
- Remember the five Ws: who, what, where, when and why.
- Use a clear, logical order for content. (Samples in our digital magazines at ReadNA.com).
- Use action verbs (E.g., ABC offers; not ABC is offering).
- Use plain language and briefly define technical terms.
- Keep sentences and paragraphs short.
- Include short anecdotes or case studies to illustrate key points–then expand the focus to a wider context.
- Use strong, genuine quotes to aid in reader identification.
- Add credibility with scientific studies, statistics and updates on trends.
- Single space after periods.
- Punctuation "inside" quotes.
What our readers expect:
We focus on hope, healing, practical tips and benefits. Every reader wants to know how they can personally use and benefit from this information in their life journey.
What our readers won't see:
A depressing lists of symptoms and technical details of treatment.
Extended, first-person (I/me/my) accounts of life journeys.
Marketing or sales copy heavy on blatant self-promotion disguised as an article (for this, we have paid advertorials and Community Spotlights, which our readers enjoy reading and you benefit).
- Use Times New Roman, 12-point type. Use single-line spacing for body text, with an extra line between paragraphs. Use only one space after periods and no indentations to begin paragraphs. Boldface titles and subheads so that they are easily recognized.
- Default to AP style in the Associated Press Stylebook.
- Spell out sources’ credentials. Instead of using acronyms to list an alphabet soup such as LMT, ND, LPN, etc., spell out one or two of them and verify you got it right. No soup in bylines.
- Avoid jargon. If specific medical terms, technical language or idioms must be included, concisely define them for the reader.
- Footnote all sources cited, in detail: Books and magazines need title, author, publisher, year and page number. Individuals need name, title, organization/company, phone, email, city and website. We won’t publish most of this, but it saves hours of fact checking.
- Unlink hyperlinks that may be in your document—make them text only (publishers will reactivate these in digital versions of their local magazine). Ask a web expert about how to do this in your platform/program.
Got a question? Email us by clicking here.