Guidelines for Submissions

The Philadelphia Jewish Voice welcomes the submission of articles.

Material should be submitted to the appropriate section editor or to the editor in chief, or directly through WordPress after contacting us for writing permissions. (Please read WordPress’ guide for writing posts before submitting articles that way.)

We cannot publish every submission we receive. Unless specified otherwise in writing, we reserve the right to edit the material we publish for length, clarity, grammar, accuracy and style, though we will never intentionally distort the author’s intent.

Once we have started working on an article, we will generally not accept a new version of it, but only a list of requested changes. We will only accept a new version that is so different than the original that a list of differences between the two versions would be longer than the article itself.

Authors are encouraged to follow our guidelines for submissions:

Subject

An article’s subject needs to be broad enough to appeal to many of our readers, but coherent enough to retain their attention. Articles that are too broad may be split into parts. The parts could be either published simultaneously or serialized. The parts may also be linked to each other and may share “tags.”

Length

The length of a piece should be determined by the material. You should clearly explain every claim that you make, but do it in the shortest possible way. Do not repeat yourself.

Right: “Governor Smith announced Thursday at the U.N. that the Sun rises in the West, when in fact it rises in the East.”

Wrong #1: “Governor Smith announced Thursday at the U.N. that the Sun rises in the West, which is not true: The Sun does not rise in the west; it rises in the East.”

Wrong #2: “Governor Smith is stupid.”

In case of doubt about the importance of information, send it to us separately.

Clarity

You should not assume that our readers know more than the average person on the subject that you are writing about. For example, The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is read by a wide range of Jews with different observances. Neither assume that your readers know who wrote the Mishnah, nor that they subscribe to the “critical theory” of biblical analysis. Being controversial is fine, but the writing should be understood by a broad public.

Opening

In order to help our readers choose what articles to read, the opening of the article needs to clarify what is the article’s main subject. For example, if you cover a lecture, your article’s main subject is probably the lecture’s subject, so the first paragraph needs to provide background on this subject. Details like when and where the lecture took place, or the lecturer’s name, can usually wait for a couple of paragraphs.

Titles

The people who edit the article are the ones who decide on its title. However, you are welcome to suggest a title. While shorter than an average sentence, the title needs to clarify the article’s subject and type. For example, a title of an opinion article should paraphrase your opinion in order not to make the article look like a factual report.

Tone

We seek an even tone: not too scholarly or academic, and not too folksy or casual.

Academic usage to be avoided:

  • footnotes and bibliography (Sources can be attributed by providing links. Extraneous supporting material can be presented in parenthesis or in a sidebar.)
  • sesquipedalian terminology, if a more comprehensible terminology exists
  • all but the most familiar abbreviations (CIA, FBI, etc.)
  • abstracts and lists of contents

Casual usage to be avoided:

  • informal styles (blog, letter, solicitation, etc.)
  • references to the author – “I,” “me,” etc., unless you are an integral part of the story
  • the present tense, when writing about past events
  • clichés (“All roads lead to Rome,” etc.)
  • sentences that are not understandable without clicking on a link (“Click here to…”)
  • slang
  • more than one space after punctuation
  • contractions (Write “do not” instead of “don’t.”)
  • ALL CAPS (even in titles)
  • ellipsis, except in quotes

Specific Advice: Politics

As a 501(c)3, we generally avoid lobbying and campaigning. Your article can support or criticize a piece of legislation or a candidate for a political office, but it should not explicitly call for the reader to call or write their congressman, or vote for a specific candidate.

Illustrations

We try to provide an illustration (video, photo, graph, drawing, audio file, etc.) with each piece published. Authors are encouraged to suggest illustrations. Longer pieces can have multiple illustrations. Please suggest captions for graphics, identifying the photographer or illustrator, and describing the graphic: for example, identifying the people in a photo and the place the photo was taken.

If the illustration is available on the web, send us its URL (web address). Otherwise, please send a copy to the publisher: publisher@pjvoice.com preferably as an email attachment. Please ensure that The Philadelphia Jewish Voice has permission to use the illustrations that you submit.

Links

We encourage providing links to relevant resources on the web. Please give the exact URL of the page you want your reader to view. For example, if you are commenting on an article in the Jewish Exponent, provide a link directly to that article, not to the home page of the Jewish Exponent.

Biblical citations can be documented with links to a website such as jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Books can be documented with a link to an online bookstore like amazon.com.

Bios

At the end of your article, we will be happy to add up to 100 words about your relevant professional, educational and volunteering background.

Copyrights

Do not send us any material unless you are authorized to do so. We will consider reprinting material previously published elsewhere with the permission of the copyright holder. Please indicate with your submission if your article has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere and indicate if we have or how we can obtain permission to reprint.

Unless specified otherwise, your article and anything else in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice can be reprinted elsewhere, provided that these same rights are conveyed to the reader and subscription information to The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is provided.

Material published in The Philadelphia Jewish Voice represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views of The Philadelphia Jewish Voice, its board or its publisher.