Sept/Oct 2021 Society Pages

Want to Write for Intercom?

If you have an idea for an article relating to technical communication, Intercom magazine would like to hear from you. Please write a 100-word summary of your article idea and send it to intercom-editor@stc.org.

Intercom accepts complete, unsolicited manuscripts from STC members and other industry experts. However, sending a summary of your idea enables our editorial staff to respond more quickly. It also saves you time in the event that another writer has already proposed a similar article.

Tips Before Submitting

There are four questions you can ask yourself before you start writing that will save time in the writing and revising phases. Answering these questions also makes writing easier and more fun, because it keeps you from making frustrating false starts
or detours.

Does it fit with an issue topic?

Check the Intercom editorial calendar at www.stc.org/intercom to see if it fits with an upcoming theme.

Who is your audience?

You may decide your audience is a subset of technical communicators, such as “technical communicators who use software package Z,” or “technical communicators who manage a large team,” or “technical communicators who must produce documentation in three languages simultaneously.” There are many such subsets, and they’re all among Intercom’s audience. Just be sure to identify this audience in the first few paragraphs of your article, so that readers can know whether the information is relevant to them.

What do you hope your readers will do differently after reading your article?

Intercom’s charter is to “provide practical examples and applications of technical communication that will promote its readers’ professional development.” Basically, this means that Intercom’s feature articles should provide our readers with information that helps them do their jobs better or find better jobs. If your article isn’t doing one of these two things, odds are it’s not right for Intercom.

So, if your article illustrates a better technique for editing documents, then your answer to question 2 might be “Using my article, technical editors will be able to do their work more efficiently.” If your article suggests ways to find work in technical marketing, your answer might be “My article will help Intercom’s readers explore new options in the technical communication field.”

Technical communication is a diverse, evolving field, so no single article will provide the definitive approach or the final answer to a professional dilemma. But your article can, and should, provide new information or a new way to solve a problem.

Why should they care?

You know who your audience is, and what you hope they’ll do differently after reading your article. At some point early in your article you should explain to them, in one sentence, why they should care. In other words, point out the positive advantages of applying your article.

If this sounds like a thesis sentence, that’s because it is. You’re promising your audience that you’ve got useful information and that they should keep reading. The rest of the article is just living up to that promise.


For more information about writing for Intercom, visit: www.stc.org/intercom/write-for-intercom/

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