Editorial Guidelines for Submissions
To assist you in drafting your article and to maintain editorial standards across the AFA in Action newsroom, please follow these guidelines while writing your story.
1. Write a headline. Include a title for your story that is no more than 60 characters long. A good headline is specific, concise, and captures the key purpose of your story. Refer to past articles in the AFA in Action newsroom for examples.
2. Write like a reporter. Do not write in first person (e.g., no “I” and “we” statements) and use simple language. Use assertions, not feelings. Cite facts, not opinions. Feelings and opinions are best represented through quotes and photos. If you use abbreviations, spell them out, too.
3. Cover the 5 W’s.
- WHO: Who was involved? Who planned the event? How many people attended? Who won the award? Who presented it? Were there any DVs present? Were sponsors or community partners involved? Include full names, ranks, where they are stationed or whether they are retired, and their role at your Chapter. Quotes (in moderation) are great.
- WHAT: Be specific in writing about what happened. If your story is about an award presentation, include why the honoree was selected. If your story is about local advocacy, describe specifically how your Chapter was involved. Include relevant statistics, dollar amounts, and measurable success indicators as needed.
- WHEN: Include specific dates (e.g., “Monday, May 1” is better than “last week”). If the story is about a recurring event or award, be sure to include how often it happens.
- WHERE: Use specific locations: city, state, Air or Space Force Base, conferences or symposiums, etc.
- WHY: Why is this story important? Does it cover a historic milestone for your Chapter or AFA as a whole? Is it replicable by other Chapters? The best way to emphasize the “Why” is to connect your story to one or more pillars of AFA’s mission: Advocate, Educate, Support. If there is not a clear connection to at least one of these pillars, the story is unlikely to be published.
4. Do not paste photos to your Word Doc or PDF. Images pasted into documents will become reduced in quality and will not appear online or in print. Attach all photos and images using the designated field in the form below.
5. Include captions for photographs. Captions should include the full names of everyone in the photo, the date it was taken, and who took the photo. Include your captions at the end of your article draft and be sure to clearly indicate which caption goes with which photo.
6. Submit your story by the monthly deadline. To be included in the AFA in Action email that month, your draft and photos must be submitted by the first week of that month. Please keep in mind that not all submissions can be included in the email, even if they are published in our online newsroom.
7. Expect edits. All submissions are drafts that are subject to revision by AFA’s editorial team.
Having trouble? Contact email@example.com for assistance.