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Writer Guideline

Featured ComputerUser Writers’ Guidelines and Terms of use.

(Please read before submitting)

ComputerUser is the advocate for users of computer-related technology. We don’t restrict the term user to end-users. Rather, we count any person who uses computer technology among our target readership. This list includes developers, programmers, administrators, help-desk representatives, systems analysts, and end-users, among others. And we don’t just solve technology-related problems for our readers; we serve as advocates for their whole computing lives. This includes strong emphases on career planning and training, and opinion pieces that help them put computing in proper perspective. This is ComputerUser’s target audience; though its readership ranges from neophyte home users to large corporate IT users.

There are two types of ComputerUser freelance contributors: Contributing writers and Contributing editors. The former is the entry-level freelance position that remains with an author for up to five published articles. The latter is reserved for those frequent contributors who have done solid and consistent work for more than a year. Contributing editors are rewarded with better coverage.

Content types
Content for the website falls into five categories: On Point, On Time, On Topic, Off Topic, and On Task.
Contact: editor at computeruser.com for assignments and submission queries.

  • On Point articles are opinion pieces written by one of CU’s distinguished analysts. If you have an idea for a new On Point column, feel free to pitch it. Word counts: 500 to 700 words.
  • Rights: All rights (Web, Print, Reprint, and Share) to the submitted articles are transferred to ComputerUser, Inc., after the article gets published on the website, and will be used for archival and promotional purposes.
    On Time articles are short news and reviews pieces. We publish these on a serial basis. For example, Stocks is a monthly addition to the CU portfolio of tech stocks. If you have an idea for a new On Time column, feel free to pitch it. Word counts: 500 to 700 words.
  • Rights: All rights (Web, Print, Reprint, and Share) to the submitted articles are transferred to ComputerUser, Inc., after the article gets published on the website, and will be used for archival and promotional purposes.
    On Topic is a multifaceted feature related to the theme of each issue. Articles may consist of a review of application, products or services, an in-depth look at Active Directory, an overview of virtual private networking technologies, an exposé on the ethics of data mining, and a Q&A with the man in charge at Novell. We typically have one or two openings per month in this section at the start of the year, but these fill up quickly as the year progresses. Word counts: 1,800 to 2,000 words
  • Rights: All rights (Web, Print, Reprint, and Share) to the submitted articles are transferred to ComputerUser, Inc., after the article gets published on the website, and will be used for archival and promotional purposes.
    Off Topicis another feature well that covers topics on a serial basis. These are feature-length departments falling into these categories: Bleeding Edge, Graphics, Webmaster, Networking, Hardware, social networking and Software. Bleeding Edge and Graphics appear monthly, while Webmaster alternates with Networking, as does Hardware with Software. Word count: 1,800.
  • Rights: All rights (Web, Print, Reprint, and Share) to the submitted articles are transferred to ComputerUser, Inc., after the article gets published on the website, and will be used for archival and promotional purposes.
    On Task is a set of how-to columns written by the same author each month, including Business, Internet/Sites, Intranet, Careers/Training, Windows, Mac, Mobile , and Tech. In a typical On Task column, the author writes about how to integrate a type of technology into the business and reviews two competing products in that technology category. Topics are on the importance of clean, uninterrupted power and reviews on UPS units that do the job. Word counts: 1,200 to 1,400.
  • Rights: All rights (Web, Print, Reprint, and Share) to the submitted articles are transferred to ComputerUser, Inc., after the article gets published on the website, and will be used for archival and promotional purposes.

How to contribute and become a part of the ComputerUser community.

Send a cover letter with résumé and three published clips to ComputerUser.com, PO Box 7738 , Hicksville , NY 11802 . Feel free to pitch a topic in your cover letter or by e-mail after sending your application materials.
Please do not call to pitch articles. Please do not send unsolicited manuscripts. All unsolicited manuscripts will be returned only if accompanied by a S.A.S.E. All applications will be reviewed in July and January. Those that don’t meet our needs will be discarded and authors will not be contacted. If we accept you into the ranks, we’ll typically assign you an article with a two-month lead time. We reserve the right to accept you into the ranks without a specific assignment in place, however.

Irregular contributors work on spec, meaning a contract is only sent after the work is deemed of publishable quality. New contributors can expect at least one draft sent back with suggestions for improvement. Revisions must be completed on short notice. Regular contributors receive contracts at least one month prior to the deadline. Contracts are accompanied by a detailed assignment memo outlining the concept and scope of the article and listing sources, where necessary. Articles are sent back to regular contributors on an infrequent basis, unless the article deviates from the assignment memo or CU style.

Voice and style
We appreciate a light-hearted approach and we encourage authors to develop a unique voice. We also encourage new angles, perspectives, and twists on stories wherever possible. We expect interesting leads that can be woven into the structure of your pieces. Though we like a variety of voices, we have yet to find a better approach than standard Medill style with plenty of sources delivered in a Strunk and White manner.

We do, however, control usage very carefully. If accepted, you will receive a style guide which outlines usage rules in detail. While we do not expect absolute compliance with our style, we do expect a reasonable approximation to the style outlined therein; we return articles that disregard our style guide.

We do, however, control usage very carefully. If accepted, you will receive a style guide which outlines usage rules in detail. While we do not expect absolute compliance with our style, we do expect a reasonable approximation to the style outlined therein; we return articles that disregard our style guide.

How to submit
Send all articles to the appropriate e-mail address as attachments in Word or as RTF files. Do not use compression, unless the assignment calls for graphics, such as screen shots, in addition to the text. Indicate in the subject of the e-mail message the assignment title and its anticipated PUBLISH date. Extensions can be granted in certain circumstances as long as they are communicated before the deadline. We would rather grant an extension than do a lot of work on an article only to send it back for revision.

Query before submitting any feature or review. Query with photocopied clips of your work that have appeared in other publications. All snail mail queries/submissions should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage. Otherwise you will not receive a reply.

Submission Deadline: Submit by Friday – Get published on Monday

Queries and clips can be sent to:
ComputerUser.com
PO Box 7738
Hicksville, NY 11802.
No phone calls please.
E-mail queries are acceptable editor at computeruser.com.

ComputerUser’s Web site generates original, Web-only content on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis. The site’s readers run small businesses, manage midsized firms, and serve as department heads in large corporations. Although our style is informal and lively, every story has to deliver assistance, opinion, and resource information to the reader. Eighty percent of our readers use PCs and Windows, while the rest use the Mac. Contact: editor at computeruser.com.
Freelance opportunities fall into these categories:

Web in Review (E-commerce section). Short reviews of business and technical Web sites, with an emphasis on e-commerce offerings. Reviews typically run 400-500 words. Recent reviews include Overstock.com, ONElist.com, ITsecurity.com.

Previews and Reviews (News and Review section). Short reviews of bread-and-butter business hardware, software, services, and more. Recent reviews include USB scanners, multifunction devices, PDAs, DSL hubs, laptop computers, fax software, online pharmacies.

Features : These are longer pieces that include buyer’s guides, how-to features, investigative consumer pieces, roundup reviews, and technology primers. Recent articles include a 3D video card buyer’s guide, tips on using CD-R/RW drives, and a roundup review of Web-enabled PCs.

News : Product news is currently supplied exclusively by the Newsbytes service. But original news will be a part of the site in the near future. Interested writers should contact editor at computeruser.com, with relevant writing samples.

Note: All software and hardware obtained for a review must be returned immediately to the manufacturer upon request by ComputerUser.com.

ComputerUser.com terms of use for authors:
By submitting your article(s) to us;

  1. You declare that you are the sole owner and author of the article and own 100% of all copyrights pertaining to it.
  2. Your submission to ComputerUser.com gives unconditional permission for us to publish your article on the website and if featured, it may be distributed to our ComputerUser.com Articles, ComputerUser.com, RSS feed, and to our real-time email alerts members.
  3. Your submission to ComputerUser.com also gives unconditional permission for your articles to be reprinted in other ComputerUser.com, websites and print publications. We ask publisher(s) to follow our reprint rules as stated below, but you acknowledge that the enforcement of our terms of service for publishers is at your risk and cost and not ours. In other words, if someone violates your copyright — it will be 100% up to you to take legal action against those who abuse your copyright to protect your interests. If you do not agree to these terms, do not submit your articles.

It is the ComputerUser.com Team’s sole decision as to whether your article is published and for how long. There are no guarantees made that your article(s) will be published. Quality matters. We reserve the right to remove your article(s) and/or membership account at any time for any reason.

The ComputerUser.com Editorial Team reserves the right to re-classify your article in a topic category that may be more suitable than originally submitted.

You acknowledge that we do not pay for submissions to our directory and we do not require publishers to pay you for their use of your article. The primary reason for submitting your article to our directory is for the chance to be picked up by ComputerUser.com publishers or webmasters to be reprinted to their respective audiences. While our directory receives many tens of thousands of unique visitors monthly, there are no guarantees your article will be reprinted by anyone.

ComputerUser.com is advertiser supported. We reserve the right to publish ads on the same pages as your articles.

General Issues:

ComputerUser.com reserves the right to modify these Terms & Conditions at any time without prior notice.

Disclaimer:

Liability : ComputerUser.com and its parent company do not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information or product represented on this site.

No Implied Endorsement : ComputerUser.com does not endorse or recommend anything. The views of the authors that have submitted their articles to this site are owned by them alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of ComputerUser.com, its management team or owners. Further, ComputerUser.com does not recommend any product or service found via any advertisement within this site.

No Warranty : When using this site, you may find many links to 3rd party Internet sites. ComputerUser.com is not responsible for the content or availability of these 3rd party sites. ComputerUser.com does not warrant or guarantee the products, services, or information found on external or 3rd party sites.

No Pop-Ups : There are no Pop-Ups anywhere within the ComputerUser.com site. If you receive one as a result of clicking on any of the 3rd party links found within this site — know that they did not originate from our site. If you are an author that is proud of your Pop-Ups, please don’t submit your articles to our directory (java hover ads accepted).

The authors of the articles in this site do not dispense medical, legal or professional advice, nor do they prescribe any treatment or strategy that should be tested without the advice of a professional. Information presented on this site is for educational or entertainment purposes only. You are responsible for your own actions should you use any information found on this site.

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