Everybody can write for Free Software Magazine!
If you want to go beyond forum articles and comments, you have three options.
- Posts as a columnist
Article and post formats
Whereas comments are in plain text with a few HTML tags allowed, posts and articles must be written in slightly enhanced version of Markdown. Please use the Free Software Magazine article template to know how to write your posts!
If you'd like to write a book review, please have a look at the list of books that need reviewing.
When you write your book review, please remember to use the book review template
From now ("now" being March 2008), anybody can create posts in Free Software Magazine. Community posters have a chance to end up in FSM's home page, and in the "popular content" columns on the right hand side of the site.
Here are the rules to be able to write posts:
Anybody can write at least 1 post, as long as you account is more than 3 days old
To write more than 1 post, you will need to have some positive karma. You gain karma by people voting your post and comments. In general, only spammers will get negative karma
You can modify a post for 3 days after publication, as long as it hasn't hit the front page. This will allow you to correct it and update it based on the users' feedback.
To create a post, just click on "create content" (on the left hand side, once you're logged in) and then "post".
Posts by default have a "Verbatim copying only license". However, you can specify the license you prefer within your post.
Posts as a columnist
At Free Software Magazine, a restricted number of people are marked as "columnists". Their entries are edited by the FSM staff, and are always promoted to the front page. Please contact the FSM editors if you would like to become a columnist. Please keep in mind that being a regular poster in FSM will make a strong case.
Free Software Magazine welcomes articles. Articles are professionally edited, and they end up in Free Software Magazine's issues. If you would like to write for us, please make sure you read this page before handing in your proposal.
Please send your editorial proposals to:
Make sure that the subject of your email is
PROPOSAL: article on [...] and the body of your email has the following structure:
Write your article’s target here. Think about the person who is reading it: what do they know? How well do they know it? What are they curious about?
Write your article’s aim here. What is it going to tell the reader? How? Why will the reader know more about the subject after reading this article?
Write your article’s abstract here. It should be a summary of the whole article, in just 10-15 lines.
For each heading, please provide 3 to 6 lines that explain what that section of the article will contain.
If the proposal is accepted, you will be given a deadline for handing in the complete article.
Please keep in mind that you won’t be able to hand in your article if it’s not valid and well formatted. Please check that your article follows the template.
You must use a spell checker to check typos and errors in your article before handing it in. We advise authors to use OpenOffice or ispell.
You must read the author’s style guide while writing the article.
Finally, you should read Writing articles for Free Software Magazine written by Clare James and Tony Mobily before submitting your outline--especially if you haven’t written before.
While writing the article, you should stick with the outline you agreed to with the technical editor. However, you can make changes if you think they’re appropriate.
Sending the article
You will receive detailed instructions on how to hand in your article once it’s assigned to you.
You must include figures with your article.
If you are desperate for figures, you can use stock images from these URLs:
Contact the image’s author if you are not sure about copyright issues.
Please remember that the figures should be [800 - 1024] x [591 - 1181] pixels wide.
We cannot guarantee that we will accept every submitted article. There are three possibile responses:
- The article is accepted after minor or no editing by our editors.
- The article is accepted, but major editing is necessary.
- The article is refused.
There are several reasons why an article might be rejected. We will always try to tell you why an article has been rejected.
Publication and copyright
If your article is published in FSM, you will retain the copyright. We do ask our authors to submit original material, and release the article under a free license.
All of articles are released under a free licence as soon as they are published on our web site and on our magazine.
Which free license will my article be published under?
It’s up to you! the only requirement is that the article is released under a free license. This is what we prefer:
Non technical articles should be released under a verbatim copying only license, or under a Creative Commons license of your choice.
Technical articles should be released under the GNU Free Documentation License
You will be able to pick your article's license when you submit the article.
We pay for articles with "sponsored books"
Five major publishers:
Have agreed to sponsor us with books. This means that for every article over 1000 words that you write (apart from book reviews), you will have the option of receiving one book from ANY of their catalogues. You are not required to review this book! (Although, reviewing the book will be most welcome.) There is an upper limit of $100 on the price of the book.
Also, if you have your own web site or online business and would like to exchange a banner ad (or a PDF ad) with an article, please let us know—we will probably be more than willing to do an exchange.
Please keep in mind that:
- We will edit your article professionally for free
- We will give your article great exposure on our web site
- The magazine is downloaded by tens of thousands people worldwide