The Prairie Promoter is a quarterly newsletter of The Prairie Enthusiasts. Articles report on the goings on in individual chapters and/or contain educational and technical material about prairie and oak savanna natural history, ecology, restoration, and preservation.
One month to two weeks before the next due date, the editor sends an email to any special contributors who have agreed to write an article.
One week before the due date, the editor sends a reminder to the regular and special contributors.
Submission can be by mail or email. Formats accepted are MS Word or plain text. Include contact information, including the author name, phone number, and email address, on the first page of every submission.
Mail or email submissions to local your chapter editorial volunteers or directly to The Prairie Promoter editor (Jesse Boyett Anderson, email@example.com).
Submit digital photos (jpeg or bmp) as email attachments. Include the name of the person who took the photograph. Mail hand drawings and maps to the editor to be scanned.
TPE must have permission to reprint articles that have been published. Provide the editor with the name of the person who submitted the article, the author and/or the publication. The editor will contact the author and obtain or confirm that TPE has permission. The editor will add a permissions line below the title and byline that reads, in essence: "This article first appeared in XXXXX [name of publication]. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author."
The editor reads and edits each submission to ensure the article conforms to TPE guidelines in content, organization, and grammar/style:
The editor first answers the question, "what is the purpose/main point of this article?" then evaluates the rest of the article based on how well it illustrates the purpose/main point.
Does the first paragraph pull the reader in AND give a sense of what is to come?
Is each paragraph cohesive and does the flow of information in each paragraph make sense?
Is there information that does not really help clarify the main point?
Does the overall flow of information from paragraph to paragraph make sense? Would it make more sense to put some paragraphs in a different order? Or create a new paragraph to answer a burning question that was not answered?
Are there smooth transitions from one sub-topic or paragraph to the next?
Is the piece top-heavy? That is, did the author include too many facts and figures at the very beginning of the article? If so, try to spread them out.
TPE follow the AP Style Guide, but deviates when it makes sense as long as use is consistent within each newsletter.
Some additional points of style:
If the editor receives an article that does not fit The Prairie Promoter's mission, she does two things:
If the article just doesn't fit, the editor sends the submitter an email explaining why it doesn't fit and what would work better.
The editor does not review minor edits (style only or style and a bit of organization) with the author. If the edits are extensive, the editor sends the author an edited draft to ensure facts or opinions are not misrepresented. Examples of extensive editing include editing a piece to make it less salesman-like in tone, a fairly extensive re-organization, etc.
To accommodate efficient and cost-effective printing, the newsletter must be a multiple of four pages; that is, 4, 8, 12, or 16 pages.
When the newsletter runs long (13 or 17 pages, say), articles and announcements are edited further to shorten them. Because of deadlines, shortened articles are not resubmitted to authors.
Photos increase reader interest and are encouraged. The photos will be printed in black-and-white, so the editor checks the contrast levels. Some beautiful color photos lose all visual interest when pulled into greyscale.
Every photo has a caption and a credit; for example, "Photo of garlic mustard by Amy Staffen."