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WRITER GUIDELINES

Writing style and the subject matter
We accept articles written by you about your personal experiences or observations.

  • Write your articles in the active voice as much as possible.
  • Simplify technical descriptions for the average reader.
  • Spell out all acronyms on first use.

We want our readers to submit non-technical articles on subjects of interest to those who work in, live in or simply visit naval installations, squadrons, ships, or submarines. We also want to hear from our our retired Sailors, Marines and civilians who want to share their sea stories and experiences. We want family members and off-duty civilians to share their insights on how we can manage risks and eliminate mishaps when our service members clock out to enjoy time away from work. We encourage supplemental material as part of the story such as:

  • Sidebars
  • Lists (for example, Do’s and Don’ts)
  • Photos
  • Captions
  • Info graphics (charts, icons, illustrations)

When writing for our magazines, be as thorough as you can to tell your story. If you’re a subject-matter expert writing the story, write in the first-person and try to avoid technical language. If you played a major role in the topic or story—a young petty officer describing the lesson learned from a mishap or incident, for instance—write in the first person and include your personal thoughts on the subject.

Length
Short-story:  1,500 words (2 pages unformatted text, double spaced)
Feature story:  2,500-3000 words (2-3 pages unformatted text, double spaced)
News briefs:  less than 500 words (extended cutlines)

Fact-checking
We expect our writers to research reference materials (such as manuals and books) used in their articles. Please verify your sources before attributing quotes to them. If you need us to perform additional fact-checking, please make a note of it when submitting your article.

Copyright, usage and storage
All articles written by active-duty service members and active DoD civilians, as part of their job functions, are the property of the Department of Defense, and are not copyrighted by the individual writer. Human-interest stories may be submitted by the magazine editors to trade publications, military-funded magazines and local military periodicals. Published articles/stories are archived online, in their edited form, at
www.public.navy.mil/navsafecen/Pages/media/Media.aspx.

Submissions
If you have already written your article and are familiar with our magazines, simply e-mail it to one of our editors. IMPORTANT: Before submitting, make sure your entry has been approved through your chain of command. Go the the Media tab, and in the section "How To Submit An Article" you will find the list of email addresses.

If you have a story idea you would like us to write about or assign to a contributing writer, we ask that you send 1-2 paragraphs of synopsis on a story lead to the appropriate magazine editor. Along with your story lead, please provide us with your name, e-mail, commercial and DSN phone numbers, and contact source for the story (a technical expert, for instance). Submit articles formatted as double-spaced Microsoft Word document or plain text.

Deadlines
All articles, including copy and relevant artwork/photos, are due to the Naval Safety Center Media Division on the date assigned by the editors. For more information, contact the Communications and Marketing Department / Media Division at (757) 444-3520, ext. 7870 (DSN 564-3520) or email safe-mediafdbk@navy.mil.