Quorum™ Policies and Guidelines
Guidelines/Tips for Authors
Audience: Our readers are volunteer community association leaders, managers and service providers for many different types of common-interest communities and in multiple jurisdictions throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. You do not have to tailor your article to each audience member; however, if certain aspects of the issue you are addressing vary depending on community type or jurisdiction, it would be helpful to note that. Otherwise, try to write your article in a way that is relevant to the most communities or jurisdictions served by Washington Metropolitan Chapter Community Associations Institute.
Style/Tone: Many of our readers are volunteer board members and other laypeople with little specialized knowledge of law, zoning, finances, engineering, etc. Therefore, it is important articles are not overly technical and are written in a light, conversational tone. Express your ideas with words that you are comfortable using. When in doubt about the rhythm of your words or cadence, read the sentences aloud. Then ask someone who is not in your field of expertise to critique your article. Do not forget the journalism basics: provide the who, what, where, when, why and how.
Structure: There are a couple of ways to structure an article. First, identify the issue or problem; spell out a “plan of attack”; then explain how to enact or apply that plan. Another way is to organize the article around a series of questions.
Format: All articles are to be written in paragraph form. They will be printed with a headline, byline and author bio box including headshot photo. They can also include bulleted lists within the text, information boxes and pull quotes. See Other Information section for photo and bio specifications.
“How To” Information: Most, but not all, Quorum™ articles are service pieces, which tell our readers how to do something. So think about the information community association volunteers and professionals need to know about your topic. Be cognizant that readers need specific advice about specific issues.
Real-Life Examples: Add imagery to your story with anecdotes and memorable quotes. Real-world examples can help illustrate the point you are trying to make. Be as specific as you can—name names and use direct quotes, with permission. The author is responsible for making sure the article does not contain incorrect information that harms someone’s reputation, contains correct information that invades someone’s privacy or contains material that is subject to someone else’s copyright.
Types of Quorum™ Articles and Announcements
Chapter News: News briefs, profiles and photo spreads covering topics including People & Places, New Members, Benefactors, Event Recaps/Previews, Events Calendar and National News. These should be no more than 300-500 words.
Lead Article: Full-length articles related to the theme of that month’s issue. The article should be 1,500-2,000 words in length.
Lead Support Article: Slightly smaller article that complements the lead article. It should be 750-800 words. It can be a supplement or a foil to the lead article.
Feature Articles (All Others): The various columns, smaller feature articles, updates, etc. not necessarily related to the lead article or theme. Can be a first-person account, serious news article or humorous look at an aspect of community association life—from a business, management, resident or volunteer point of view. These should be between 500-700 words. Most unsolicited articles will fall into this category.
Spotlight: Column that highlights a community or volunteer member of the chapter. Can be an essay or questionnaire. Should be 500-700 words.
Objective: Articles published in Quorum™ magazine are aimed at informing and educating readers about issues and trends affecting community associations. They should not promote a particular company, product or service.
Accurate: The author is considered the expert. The author must be able to verify that the information in his/her article is accurate, that the article is his/her own original work and that it has not been previously published, either electronically or in print. Give proper attribution to quotes, reports or ideas not your own.
Easy to Read: The editor reserves the right to edit all submissions for clarity and length, and according to Quorum™’s editorial guidelines and publications policies.
Headshot Specifications: A 1-inch x 1.5-inch high-resolution (300 dpi) file showing head and upper chest and with background around the head (e.g., not cropped to the face only), is ideal. Headshot-only photos should be save at a size of at least 40 KB or higher; photos that require cropping (contain other images or people) should be saved at 70 KB or higher.
Bio Specifications: Be sure to include a two- to three-sentence personal/professional biography to publish with the article.
Deadlines: Solicited articles are due no later than the first of the month, 60 days prior to the issue date. Extensions can be granted by the editor upon request on a case-by-case basis. Unsolicited articles and Letters to the Editor are accepted anytime. Submissions are subject to approval, run on a space-availability basis and are subject to the same editorial policies as solicited articles. Unsolicited articles should not be more than 700 words in length.
Submission Methods: Preferably, articles should be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org in a Word document; do not e-mail a PDF. Submissions can also be faxed to (703) 941-1740 or mailed to:
7600 Leesburg Pike
Suite 100 West
Falls Church, VA 22043
In case follow-up questions are required for editing purposes, please include the author’s contact information.