When you submit an article or outline to Smashing Magazine, you will work with one of our editors to shape the article for publication.
Your editor will be your key contact through the process; they are experienced in their topic and also have access to a panel of subject-specific reviewers whose opinion they can request.
Your editor will be asking the following questions:
- Does the article suit Smashing Magazine and its audience?
- Is this a new article rather than something published elsewhere?
- Is the article technically correct and giving up-to-date advice?
You are the expert on your topic so if an editor makes a suggestion you don’t agree with you are, of course, encouraged to state your case! Sometimes an objection points to a need for clarification in wording rather than something being wrong.
Tools For Writing And Editing
To make this process easier we would ask that you submit outlines and articles somewhere that comments can be made. Great options for this are:
- Dropbox Paper
- Google Docs
Please remember to give your document the correct permissions to allow for edits.
Before getting started, take a look at the following information:
- Write For Us: The lowdown on what we want, and how we can help you create a great article.
- Publishing Policy: This includes details of what we will and will not publish.
- Style Guide: Contains information on writing style and tone along with tips for writing great technical articles.
- Use this Gist of the template
- Or, download a zip of Article Template in Word and Markdown format
Moving Through The Editorial Process
Submit An Outline
We would suggest that you submit an outline in the first case, to check that the article is a good fit for Smashing Magazine and that no-one else is already working on a similar article.
Your outline should give us enough detail to understand the subject and your specific take on it. Please make sure to include the following information.
- What will the target audience take away from reading the article?
- Why are you the best person to write this article?
- A list of the main points you will cover/sections of the article with a brief description of each.
Send this to our contact form. If you have not written for us before, it can be helpful to include links to other pieces of writing — they could be blog posts or similar. You should then be contacted by a subject-specific editor with initial thoughts and feedback.
Write Your First Draft
Once an outline has been accepted, write your first draft. The hints in our style guide give some tips as to the voice and tone of Smashing articles plus hints for clear writing. You can always share early ideas with your editor as you are working if you want or need some feedback.
Submit Your Draft
Add your article to one of the tools mentioned above and share it with your editor. Your draft should include all of the elements that are detailed in the template above. We can’t accept your piece without them.
How long it takes for a first draft to become a published article depends on how much work is needed regarding review and editing.
It is likely that your editor will have some suggestions to discuss with you. For a very technical article, or something outside of the core knowledge of the editor they will request help from our review panel. In that case, the editor will take their feedback and present it to you along with their own thoughts.
You will then have time to make any necessary revisions that come out of the discussions.
A Final Draft!
Once you and your editor feel the article is ready, it will be passed onto our editor-in-chief to get the green light and then go into the final production stages of proofreading and preparation for publication to the site.
Please note that final drafts will not be accepted without all of the original images. See the article template for details.
You’ll get a final chance to have a look at the article before it is ready for publication, so you can give it a final check over after small copy edits have been made in the proofreading process.
We will let you know which date your article is scheduled for. Once it goes live, you will be contacted. We would love you to share your article on social media and pop back to answer any comments from our Smashing audience!
Last updated 4th of January 2021 by Vitaly Friedman, Editor-in-Chief.