AACC Guidelines for Writers, Community College Times
AACC welcomes submissions of articles, story ideas and publication-quality photographs. All manuscripts, solicited or unsolicited, are subject to review by the editorial board and may be published or not according to the editors’ discretion. AACC assumes no responsibility for the receipt, return or publication of unsolicited manuscripts. AACC reserves the right to edit all articles for length and style. All articles become the property of AACC for print and online use.
- News and feature stories pertinent for a national audience interested in community colleges. Consult Times editor for guidance.
- Policy or legislative updates.
- Exemplary college programs or innovations.
- Personal achievement stories concerning community college students or personnel.
- Stories: flexible, usually between 500 and 1,000 words. Write as much as needed to tell the story, then stop.
- Opinion pieces: 900 to 1,100 words.
- Letters to the editor: 350 words maximum.
Follow the Associated Press Stylebook.
D. Tips for Writers
- Know the story. If you were at a party and had only 90 seconds to tell a couple of friends about something, what would you tell them? The reader should know what the story is about within the first 50 words.
- Use color and quotes to enliven the story.
- Tell only what is necessary. Think of your friends at the party. Tell them only what interests them. Tell the important stuff first. When they are likely to get bored, stop.
- Write in the active voice.
- Use short sentences.
- Avoid acronyms and jargon. Spell out American Association of Community Colleges on first mention, the association on subsequent mentions. Consult AP stylebook for guidance.
- Avoid overuse of adjectives. Let the reader infer them based on your language and quotes.
- Don’t use synonyms for the word said.
- Use short transitions, such as meanwhile, rather than lengthy ones.
- Whenever possible, include photographs or other art work along with the story. Please remember the following when including photographs:
- Pictures should appear candid or have action in them. They should show people doing things.
- Pictures of people who are profiled should be environmental—shot in an indoor or outdoor setting related to the story.
- When thinking about a story, always think about the art to go with it. If there is no photographer available, ask for help from a talented amateur, perhaps a student recommended by a photography instructor, and bring that person in from the beginning.
- Good photography will always help a story and may, in some instances, lead to a story being printed that would have been overlooked otherwise.
- Submit photographs in color if possible.
- If submitting photos electronically, send the photos as a .JPG file. Scan each photo at 300 dots per inch (dpi).
- Be sure all photos are labeled with identification of subject, contact information for copyright holder, and whether permission is freely granted to reproduce.
Stories must be received in hard copy or electronic form at least one week before desired publication date.
Please contact the Times editor for a complete editorial calendar.
- Send hard copy or electronic file. Send hard copy by mail or fax. Send electronic file on disk, as e-mail attachment, or as text in e-mail.
- Insert a running header in the text that includes filename, article name, your name, date, and page numbers.
- LABEL ALL DISKS with filename, name of program, and your name. Label all photographs and art work with description of subject, contact information of copyright holder, and permission granted.
- Send photographs by a fast, traceable service.
- Address for submissions:
Community College Times
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 410
Washington, DC 20036-1176