Author Guidelines

Write for FORUM

Thank you for your interest in writing for FORUM magazine. Published nine times a year by Association Forum, FORUM’s mission is to provide Chicago associations with the practical resources and information they need to change the world.

If you’re interested in writing an article for a future issue of FORUM, see answers to our frequently asked questions:

Can I See Your Editorial Calendar?
How Do I Submit an Article for Publication?
What Are Your Article Requirements?
Who Can Write for FORUM?
Who Do I Contact with Questions?
Who Reads FORUM?
Why Should I Write for FORUM?
Will I Retain Copyright of My Article?


Can I See Your Editorial Calendar?

Yes, you can view the Editorial Calendar online.


How Do I Submit an Article for Publication?


To submit an article to FORUM’s editor for consideration:

  1. E-mail a message that outlines the highlights of your proposed article. Include the subject area of association management to which your article applies (e.g., Human Resources, Association Governance, Membership Recruitment, etc.).
  2. If your topic meets FORUM's editorial needs, you will be asked to prepare a detailed outline for consideration.
    Once the outline is approved, you may write your article. All article submissions are given equal consideration for publication and should be relevant, timely, original, accurate and prepared according to FORUM’s manuscript guidelines
  3. Consideration for publication may take several weeks, depending on the volume of articles received. Several months might elapse before an accepted manuscript is assigned a publication date. We attempt to accommodate most submissions; however, space is limited.
  4. Submit copy via e-mail to stjohn@associationforum.org. You will be notified once a publication date is determined. While FORUM tries to publish articles in designated issues, they may be pulled or bumped to later issues.


What Are Your Article Requirements?


Before you submit an article to FORUM, make sure:

  • Articles are typed and single-spaced, with a double space between paragraphs.
  • Feature articles are between 1,200 and 1,800 words long.
  • You use subheads throughout your article, as well as sidebars with relevant supplemental material.
  • You refer to the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual for questions about style and grammar.
  • You include the author's name, title, association or company, phone number and email address.

Also, your article will have a better chance of being published if you follow these guidelines:

  • Keep your colleagues in mind. Remember, you are writing to a sophisticated audience. FORUM readers have several years of experience, albeit in many different levels and areas.
  • Follow a journalistic style. Keep your writing tight, provide adequate detail and follow a logical progression of ideas. Make sure your facts are correct.
  • Use as many quotes and scenarios from association professionals as possible in supporting your topic. This will ensure that your article is not only credible, but appeals to various associations, not just those in your field.
  • Capture reader attention by using a brief, catchy headline and lead sentence that is relevant to the topic.
  • Write in the active voice, and use specific examples and case histories to illustrate points.
  • Do not promote an individual, company, product or service. Articles with such material are immediately dropped from consideration.
  • Address readers in a friendly, conversational tone. Avoid complex vocabulary, clichés and excessive jargon.
  • Add subheads to signal topic changes, and use bullets to make your points easier to understand.
  • Credit your sources within the article. Do not use footnotes.
  • End your article as memorably as it began, with effective concluding remarks.
  • Use sidebars for related and pertinent facts or data that do not fit within the main body of the article.
  • Provide supporting tables, figures, charts or artwork along with your article. Titles should be self-explanatory, and the reader should not have to refer to the text to understand. Likewise, the body of the article should not rely on supplemental material. Add captions to photographs. Mailed photographs are returned upon request.
  • Give your article a final edit to eliminate unnecessary words. Make sure paragraphs flow smoothly and logically. And be sure to double-check facts and figures.


Who Can Write for FORUM?


FORUM authors are not required to be Association Forum members. However, they must stress the applicability of their topic to the profession, as well as describe their expertise in and relationship to the association industry. Association professionals as well as supplier partners are invited to submit articles.

Original submissions should be offered exclusively to FORUM; however, finished manuscripts and texts of speeches also are considered.

All authors are required to sign an Author Agreement form prior to their articles being published in FORUM.


Who Do I Contact With Questions?


Direct all inquiries and completed articles to: Ashley St. John, Content + Publications Manager, c/o Association Forum, 10 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606. Call (312) 924-7031 or email st.john@associationforum.org.


Who Reads FORUM?


FORUM's 4,000+ readers are Association Forum members and prospective members.

In addition:

  • 16 percent are chief executive officers.
  • 45 percent are vice presidents, directors, managers, supervisors or staff specialists.
  • 80 percent are association professionals; 20 percent are supplier partners serving associations in Chicago.
  • More than half (59 percent) of FORUM readers have been in the association business for more than 10 years.
  • More than one-quarter (36 percent) have more than 15 years of association management experience.
  • FORUM readers are well educated, as 87 percent have a college degree and 43 percent have a graduate degree.
  • Thirty percent of FORUM readers are 31 to 40 years old and one-third are 41 to 60 years old.
  • 63 percent of Association Forum members represent national/international organizations.
  • 23 percent work for trade associations.
  • 10 percent work for a combination of trade and professional organizations.
  • The largest number of CEOs (22 percent) work for smaller associations.
  • No. 2 staff members, as well as directors, managers and staff specialists, mainly work for associations with budgets of $10.1 million to $30 million.
  • 70 percent of Association Forum members are NOT members of ASAE.
  • 30 percent of Association Forum members are C-level.
  • 92 percent of the associations that employ Association Forum members are national or international in scope.


Why Should I Write for FORUM?


Publishing an article in FORUM puts your name in front of your peers, establishes you as an expert in your field, enables you to exchange ideas with colleagues and allows you to earn CAE credits.


Will I Retain Copyright of My Article?


Association Forum obtains first North American serial rights for any published manuscript. While every effort is made to preserve the author's style, FORUM reserves the right to edit articles. Association Forum also reserves all rights under the copyright laws of the respective countries, including without limitation, book edition, electronic versions, general publication, transcription, translation, sound version, video or any other version or media now existing and/or later to be created.

Authors receive two complimentary issues and a PDF of their article if requested. Article reprints may individually be arranged through the FORUM editorial staff.