Do you have an idea for an article? Great! We'd love to take a look at what you've got.
What we're looking for
A Padded Cell publishes general web design, development, and marketing articles for beginner and intermediate webmasters. We are looking for content that will help our audience improve their skills. Taking a look at the current contents of the site will give you a good idea of the topics and quality of content we are looking for.
If you have an idea for an article you'd like to get published here, please contact us and tell us about it. Our editors may be able to provide you with some valueable feedback before you get started. If you have an article in draft form or a completed piece, that's fine too.
What we're not looking for
We are currently not publishing general tutorials on things like writing basic HTML, creating graphics, or scripting in PHP. We may consider tutorials that cover more advanced integration of mark-up methods, broad techniques, or other things that haven't been "done" yet. Generally speaking, if it is something that has been covered extensively by other sites we probably won't want to publish it.
In addition, we are not looking for high end advanced articles, such as content that would be published on A List Apart or other advanced sites. We are catering to a more beginner/intermediate level audience.
If you're not clear on this, don't hesitate to contact us with your ideas.
What's in it for you
You may include an author bio at the end of your article with links to your site (s). This will provide valuable one-way links for seach engines as well as human traffic. This is a great opportunity to build a name for yourself!
Your author bio should be about three sentences long and should include no more than three links. You may include a photo of youreslf (or avatar).
- Remember the Audience: Our target audience is begginner and intermediate web designers and developers. Remember that they may not have in depth knowledge of certain techniques or related development concepts. You can assume that readers have knowledge of simple HTML and other basic web design concepts (and more depending on the topic)
- Tone: This is a casual, fun site and writing style should be kept in line with that. When you are composing your article, be more formal than you would be in a forum post or blog, but less formal than a traditional printed article.
- Writing Format: Accepted web writing practice should be followed. Assume that readers don't have a lot of time and want to get the information they need as quickly as possible. This means using shorter sentences, lots of headings and lists to break things up, and generally cutting down on the fluff. This should, however, be balanced with a friendly tone.
- Illustrations are good: Where appropriate, include diagrams or illustrations that help explain your point or provide interest to the article. It's always good if the reader can get a good grasp of your point by looking at a picture. Don't worry about super-professional looking graphics. The home made look has charm. Do try to use the A Padded Cell colours where possible.
- Formatting, punctuation, and spelling: we don't have any hard and fast rules about specific writing style at this time. Do the best you can and use the writing rules you are most comfortable with. If your article comes in with a lot of writing problems we may refer you to a style guide and ask you to re-submit. Articles will be edited by the editor using the Oxford Style Guide and standard British English.
- Summary and References: All articles should begin with a brief summary. This will help readers to decide whether they want to read the whole thing, provide the short description for the front page, and will give social bookmarkers something to enter as a description. If you don't provide this with your article the editor will write one for you.
Where appropriate, a list of references should be inlcluded at the end of the article. This could be any works you referenced while writing the article or any related information that the reader may find useful. The purpose of this is to a) provide interested readers with more information, b) back up your arguments with supporting documentation and c) participate in the fundamental web paradigm of inter-connected information and d) possibly get the attention of the author if they happen to see our link in their referrer logs.
- Review and Approval: All articles will be reviewed by the editors before publication. We may suggest changes or even make extensive edits ourselves (with your permission, of course!). We may also work with you to revise certan portions of the article or finely tune the topic and scope. Where necessary, the editors may request a review from a content expert who can verify the accuracy of your article.
- Submission: Please email your articles to admin (at) webmaster-forums (dot) net. Sorry about the lack of proper email address but you know about the spam :)
- Lisences and Copyright: All authors agree to release their content under the Creative Commons Attribution, Non Commercial - No Derivs 2.5 lisence. This means that you grant premission for others to reproduce your content in its published form (no derivatives) as long as you are identified as the author (attribution) for non-commercial purposes only.
About the Author
Megan is co-founder and editor of A Padded Cell and administrator at The Webmaster Forums. She has been designing websites since 1997, with expertise in design, information architecture, usability, HTML/CSS, Drupal theming, and more. She is available for short-term or ongoing freelance work in any of those areas. Read her web design blog at MeganMcDermott.com or check out her portfolio.