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Publications > Dateline Houston > Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines

Content and Style
Submission Deadlines
Manuscript Preparation
Submitting Your Article
Quick Links
Article Submission Form
STC Houston Style Guide
Contact the Editor
FrameMaker Template [Zip]
Word Template [Word]

This page is a work in progress. If you have any questions or suggestions, please send us a note at

Content and Style

Dateline Houston publishes articles of professional interest to technical communicators, including writers, editors, illustrators, teachers, managers, consultants, and others involved in preparing technical documents. It provides practical examples and applications of technical communication, as well as opportunities for networking and education, that promote readers’ professional development. Before writing an article, look over several recent issues of the newsletter to make sure your topic and approach are appropriate for our readers. Consider also that the Houston chapter is home to an active population of independent consultants and contractors.

You should write in a clear, informal style, avoiding jargon and acronyms where possible. All decisions on style and usage should be guided by common sense: What is the clearest way to present the information?

Please refer to the chapter style guide for usage matters.

Submission Deadlines

Newsletter contributions are due by the 1st of every month prior to the publication date. Dateline Houston is published bimonthly.

Newsletter Issue



August 1


 October 1
December 1
February 1
April 1


June 1

Manuscript Preparation

Newsletter contributions are due by the 1st of every month prior to the publication date in FrameMaker 6.x or Microsoft Word format. All submissions are subject to editing. You will not receive a copy of the edited article prior to the newsletter’s release. Upon request, you will receive notification that the newsletter has been published.

  1. Submit an electronic file containing the text of your manuscript to the Managing Editor. See the Resources section for Word and FrameMaker templates.
  2. Provide the article’s title and the name(s) of the author(s) at the beginning of your submission file. Your byline should have the following format: Name, Job Title, Company. If you are an STC Associate Fellow or Fellow, please let us know.
  3. Use up to three levels of headings, and indicate them clearly.
  4. Stay within the word count specified for the type of article you are submitting. If your topic requires more space than we have specified, please contact the Managing Editor to make arrangements.
  5. Insert figures and tables into the text of your submission. Also include a separate graphics file for each figure and image. Each graphic should be saved as a GIF or JPG file.

Feature Articles

Feature articles should be no more than 800 words in length. Topics should cover issues faced by technical communicators.

Contractor’s Corner

Contractor’s Corner articles should be 400-600 words in length. If you are interested in contributing to this column, please contact the Managing Editor.

Book Reviews

Book reviews should be no more than 500 words in length. If you would like to get ideas for which books to review, please refer to the list of books received in each issue of Technical Communication. You will find this list online in the Book Review Collection. The list of books received is at the end of the book review list for each issue.

For guidelines on reviewing a book for the newsletter, we suggest you refer to the Technical Communication book review guidelines put forth by the book review editor of the journal. Please consider also submitting your book review to that Society journal, though you may need to provide them with a longer manuscript.

Software or Equipment Reviews

Software and equipment reviews should be no more than 500 words in length. If you have a topic idea, please contact the Managing Editor to verify that it’s appropriate for the audience.

Letters to the Editor

We request that letters to the editor be no more than 200 words long. Comments can be regarding anything relating to chapter, newsletter, and national STC activities. If appropriate, we will arrange for a response to be printed along with your note.


Brief Description

Length (Words)

Feature Article

Feature article pertaining to technical communication (e.g. How to, new hardware, software)


Contractor’s Corner

Article addressing issues faced by independent consultants and contractors


Book Review

Reviews of books pertinent to technical communication


Software or Equipment Review

Reviews of software or equipment pertinent to technical communication


Letters to the Editor

Feedback regarding chapter, newsletter, or Society activities


Submitting Your Article

You should submit your article in Word or FrameMaker using our Article Submission Form. If you are submitting more than one file, use WinZip and submit one zipped file. E-mail and FAX submissions will not be accepted – you will be directed to the Article Submission Form


Managing Editor


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Copyright © 2006 Houston Chapter, Society for Technical Communication
P.O. Box 42051, Houston, TX 77242-2051 | 713-706-3434