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Getting Your Story Told:
Guidelines for Submissions to State Magazine


State Magazine is published by and for State Department Employees. It does not carry commercial advertising or pay for freelance articles. Deadlines are the 15th of each month.

QHow do I get an article published in State Magazine?

State Magazine is always looking for interesting articles about the Department's foreign affairs mission and the employees who support that mission. The magazine encourages news and features about the Department's operations at home and overseas. We, of course, reserve discretion when to publish and to edit for publication.

QWhat kinds of articles are appropriate?

Articles can range from brief feature stories about people within the Department to short announcements about specific events of general interest to substantive articles about how Department employees participate in foreign affairs issues and challenges. Leaf through the pages of State Magazine and you'll get a sense of the variety of articles that run each month. And the magazine staff is always open to new ideas!

QWhat format should I use?

Conversational style works best. In addition, articles should be free of acronyms and jargon unlikely to be understood by most readers. Submit articles on double-spaced typed pages. When possible, also submit material on Apple Macintosh or IBM PC-compatible disks. State Magazine is equipped to work with most software programs, including Microsoft Word, WordPerfect and Wang. Include the author's name, job title and telephone number or e-mail address with every submission.

QHow long should articles be?

Announcements may require just one or two paragraphs. More in-depth pieces may run as long as 800 words or about four, double-spaced pages. "Post of the Month" and "Bureau of the Month" submissions should not exceed 6 double-spaced pages. The editors will cut articles, when necessary, to meet space limitations.

QDo "Post of the Month" and "Bureau of the Month" articles have any special requirements?

These features are the magazine's centerpieces. They are a great opportunity for a post, bureau or office to get Department-wide notice. Both "Post of the Month" and "Bureau of the Month" submissions should be heavy on substance and issues. "Post" articles should provide more information than can be gleaned from Post Reports. They should tell the positives and negatives of a particular post, with honest assessments of everything from living conditions to diplomatic challenges. "Bureau" or "Office" articles should not present a written organizational chart. Instead, they should describe the unique characteristics of the operation, its successes and challenges, and its role in State's overall foreign affairs mission. Remember, these are magazine articles, not reports or briefings.

Good-quality photographs are critical to all "Post," "Bureau" and "Office" submissions. Beautiful scenery shots certainly enhance a submission, but even more important are photos of people at the post or within the bureau or office at work. Because we print photos in black and white, high-quality resolution is best.

QAm I required to clear articles before they are submitted?

State Magazine is an employee magazine whose audience is employees, family members and retirees. Therefore, it's unnecessary to clear articles through the Public Affairs Bureau. Articles about office activities and foreign policy issues, however, should be cleared by the author through the appropriate office director(s) before submission. Remember, too, that while the magazine is targeted for an internal audience, it is also posted on the World Wide Web, so it does have an external audience as well.

QIs it necessary to include photographs with my submission?

The old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words rings especially true in publications. Photos not only enliven the magazine pages, they grab readers' attention and help reinforce the message in the text. While authors are not required to submit photos with their articles, they are strongly encouraged to do so.

QBut I'm not a photographer!

State Magazine has no staff photographers. The staff will look for photo sources to support articles, but most photographs that appear in the magazine have been taken or provided by our contributors. Perhaps there's an amateur photographer in your office or on post who would take the photos you need in exchange for a photo credit in the magazine.

QWhat are the magazine's photographic guidelines?

State Magazine prefers color prints and slides, but will consider black-and-white prints. Ideally, photos should show people involved in the activity discussed in the text--not shaking hands or lined up and smiling at the camera. An article about someone receiving an award, for example, might include a photo of the person at work, instead of receiving a certificate. A story on a conference might include one or more photos depicting the subject of the conference, not simply a room full of people. Photos should include typed captions identifying people from left to right, including job titles.

QDoes submitting an article guarantee publication?

No. The editor-in-chief determines which submissions will be published in State Magazine. In general, the magazine does not publish editorials, endorsements of commercial products or services, or articles contrary to Department policy. In addition, articles about a specific event may be rejected if they are not submitted in a timely manner. If a submission does not meet the magazine's editorial standards, the editors will make every effort to work with the author to make the article acceptable for publication.

QWhen are the magazine deadlines?

Deadlines are the 15th of each month, about six weeks before a magazine's issue date. Once an article is accepted for publication, it will be scheduled to run as soon as possible, based on space limitations. Priority is given to time-sensitive stories. We cannot commit to notifying individual contributors when an article will run.

QWhere do I send my submission?

Articles can be mailed to: State Magazine, PER/ER/SMG, Room 433, Washington DC 20522-0602. Contributions may also be left in Room 3811, Main State, faxed to (703) 812-2475, or e-mailed to the editor at: statemag@pererwpoa.us-state.gov.

QHow can I get more information about submitting an article?

The magazine's main telephone number is (703) 516-1667. The magazine is listed on State's unclassified e-mail system. Don't hesitate to contact us!