III. Word Limits
IV. Grammar and English Usage
V. Format of Images
VI. Cover Images
VII. Copyright, Slander and Defamation (and a partridge in a pear tree)
VIII. Editing and Layout
IX. Tips for Reviewers
X. Tips for Interviewers
XI. Tips for writing up interviews
When submitting your work to a publication, perhaps the hardest thing is leaving its
final format in the hands of the editor. Editing and pre-press can be the most time
consuming task in the production of the magazine and it is the most important. After
all if we can’t get the issue to print then all it ends up as is a file on a computer. By
the time an issue is at the layout and pre-press stage it is essential that the content is as
print ready as possible. The following guidelines are designed to make sure that we
can get to the printer on time every time.
The hints tips that follow are to encourage you to have a go at reviewing and
interviewing. Don’t forget that this is a student magazine and you’re not expected to
have oodles of experience, in fact the magazine is all about lining you up with this
For written submission if you don’t make the content deadline there is no
guarantee it will be printed in that edition
We also cannot process changes to your submission past the content deadline.
The earlier you get your submission in the better the chance that we can
consult with you on any changes that may occur at the editing stage.
Submissions that don’t meet the deadlines or that are not included due to space
(particularly reviews) may be included in the next issue or uploaded to the
II. Format of written submissions
Written contributions should be submitted a word file- either emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org .au or provided on disk.
Do not do any extra formatting of the article, so that means:
No graphs, headers or footers
Titles of books, magazines, plays, poems, articles, published lectures
CD’s, movies, games and books are all in italics
TV and Radio Shows. are single quotation marks and initial
Ensure that you state in the text the type of show/production- eg TV’s
panel show ‘Beauty and the Beast’; Walt Disney’s animated movie
Beauty and the Beast
Band/performer/actor/writer names are in initial capitals and bold
Art exhibitions such as the NGV Contemporary Art Exhibition are in
initial capitals. The title of paintings, sculptures and other works of art
are in single quotation marks ie ‘The Venus DiMilo’
Singles and song/tracks are in single quotations
Festivals, competitions, major events and agricultural, garden and
home shows are in initial capitals. Ie the Carlton Street Festival, the
Melbourne Grand Prix.
One off events, such as lunches with a celebrity, book launches and the
opening of public buildings should be referred to by the official title on
the invitation/advertisement with initial capitals.
Tours by bands (if they have a special name) are in initial capitals
Production companies and distributors are in initial capitals
Esteemed musician Nick Cave has signed on to direct the new
Australian movie Hey Cobber. Nick came to notoriety through the
band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds whose latest album, The Lyre Of
Orpheus, has achieved critical acclaim. The hit single ‘Poke Me in the
Eye with Pandora’ was launched at the The Big Day Out in Melbourne
hosted by EMI Music. Nick Cave is also known for his role on the
sitcom ‘Dude Where’s My Guitar’ starring Iggy Pop and Angry
III. Word Limits.
The following word limits are intended as a guide only. They do not guarantee
that your article/review will not be cut (see editing further in) but sticking to them
makes it highly unlikely.
Institute News: 100 words or less
Reviews: 150 words
Feature Reviews: 500 words
International Friendship: 500 words
Across the Oceans: 500 words total
Feature Articles: 900 words
Feature Interviews 900 words
Mini Interviews 500 words
Short Stories: 1000 words or less
Poetry: 500 words or less
All other articles/written submissions: 500 words or less
Word length for special theme features/sidebars will be determined on
an issue to issue basis.
IV. Grammar and English usage.
Full details of English usage are contained in The Box style guide. The
following are general rules of thumb.
English not American spelling.
All abbreviations should be spelt out in full the first time used with the
abbreviation in brackets
Commonly accepted abbreviations only. No text language ie u for you etc
No swearing or heavy use of slang
Keep language simple (we have a very broad target audience) no
specialised words or terms that are not well know.
Conversational English is fine (even preferred) as long as it is in a review
or an article that is clearly an opinion piece.
Create your submission in a .doc format and run it through the spell
checker (English not American). Please re-read and proof you submission
as much as possible before handing it in.
If you have particular formatting requests for your submission (not
headings or titles submit a hard copy and mark these with a highlighter. Be
aware though that the final copy must still conform to the style guide.
V. Format of Images
The preferred format is a CMYK file in .TIF format. This should be
submitted uncompressed on CD. (We can provide CDs if you need them)
We can take this format up until the artwork deadline
We will also accept emailed JPEG’s but these must be saved as CMYK
and should be submitted by the content deadline.
Colour images need to be 300 ppi (pixels per inch)
Black and white images need to be 200 ppi
Image size will ultimately be decided at the layout stage- but for best
results stick to the following approximate limits (less is always best)
Headers: No more than 18 by 6 cm
Article Pic: No more than 9 by 6cm
Scanned CD covers: No more than 5 by 5 cm
Scanned book covers: No more than 5 by 7cm
What you see on screen isn’t always what you get in print. Images may
pixelise and colours will often vary slightly. For best results if you are
creating your image in PhotoShop set colour management to ‘emulate
Photoshop 4 default CMYK’ default. This is the setting we use in the
VI. The Cover Image
The cover image should fit the theme of the issue as closely as possible
Images must not include any text, including masthead, logos or content
details- this will be added at the layout stage
Slight resizing of the images may be necessary but images will not be
warped or altered in any other way.
Full page images should be 21 by 27 cm with a 5mm bleed (plain colour
border) Text may be placed over full cover images at the page edges (not
the bleed) so the image should allow for this
If there is multiple cover submissions the one to be used will be decided on
by the Media Committee
Time permitting the artist will be fully consulted on the final layout of the
cover. The earlier you get your submission in the better the chance of this
there is. Submissions received after the artwork deadline will not be
considered. Changes to the artwork will also not be considered past the
VII. Copyright, slander and defamation.
All work must be fully the product of the submitting author.
All quotes and facts must be fully attributed.
We cannot reproduce copyrighted images and are unwilling to take the
risk. Please don’t submit images taken from a google search.
However, if an image is significantly altered we can accept it. Images
you want us to alter should be received by the content deadline. If you
have altered the image yourself please submit a copy of the original
along with the altered version.
If you have found an image on the Internet that you think would go well
with your article- feel free to submit it. We can then recreate it or alter it
to avoid copyright. Remember to submit any images separately- not as
part of your document.
We can also use images from news services such as Reuters as long as
we attribute the picture to them. Also if you are able to contact the
original creator of an image and gain their permission to use it this is ok.
Please submit their permission with the image.
In addition the SARC Box Hill Institute have a policy of not producing
any material that may be considered racist, sexist or in any way belittling
any individual or group in or outside of the university.
Like copyright the magazine will not publish any material that may get
us into trouble because of slander & defamation. If you want more
information on these laws ask the editor. You submission will also be
checked for slanderous or defamatory content at the editing stage. This
may result in it being altered or not included in the issue.
VIII. Editing and final layout.
The editor reserves the right to make minor changes to submissions.
Because of slander, spelling, grammar and punctuation some minor changes
may be made to the creators work.
The amount of changes are kept to an absolute minimum, so as to not change
the authors 'voice.'
For poetry and fiction, because of its nature, we try to not touch a word.
Space restrictions and design considerations require that some material may be
removed, this can only be determined at the layout stage. This will be avoided
As much as possible the editors try to clear any changes with the authors, but
that depends on if the creator is available (make sure that you give us you
contact details in the article) and the time we have (so submit well ahead of
To fit in with the design of an issue, submitted images may need to be resized
or altered slightly. In these cases every effort will be made to maintain the
original integrity of the artwork.
Please do not submit artwork or articles if you are unwilling for them to be
edited. If you are really concerned, get your submission in at least a week
before content deadline and make a time with the editor to go over how you
would like it to appear. After the content deadline there is not time for
extensive discussions into the format of your article.
In all instances the Editors decision is final. However, every major decision as
to format, content and theme will be decided jointly by the media committee.
During the final pre-press and layout stages decisions that need to be made
quickly will be made between the Editor and where possible the Assistant
IX Tips for Reviewers
Make sure you add a bit of yourself into your review. A review is only ever
one person’s opinion and you can only speak for yourself.
Just because you are reviewing doesn’t mean you have to come across as an
expert, In fact a layman’s opinion is more likely to appeal to more people than
a review filled with technical jargon.
Much of what you will be reviewing will be emerging artists/musicians,
however this does not mean that you have to hold back; you can afford to be
critical. If you didn’t like a particular cd/movie/performance try to be as
constructive as possible in your criticism; supporting the aspects of the
production that you did enjoy and highlighting those that were less successful.
A review should never be malicious or a personal attack against any person
involved in. Criticism should be well founded and not without reason. A
balance between being critical and tactful is very important. Regardless of
how much you disliked something remember that any creative product will
have taken a lot of hard work
We’re all different and there is an audience for every show/cd/book etc. If
you happened to hate it, say so, but also try to think about who might like it
and how you can let them know it could be good for them.
If you get stuck, read other reviews to get an idea of how they are constructed.
Generally half the words in a review will be introduction, the other half
Don’t get hung up on constructing the perfect piece of 150 words. Reviews are
meant to be dynamic and are harder to write the longer you take. What you
feel straight after a show, gig, reading a book or listening to a CD is what you
want to capture on paper.
Don’t forget a review is useless after a show or performance is finished, even
for CDs the further away the review comes from the release the less effective
it is. Please don’t take something for review unless you are able to get a
review back to us in time. We know how busy you can get so just let us know
if you get snowed under.
X Tips for Interviewers
Come a bit earlier to the interview. This gives you time to get the tape deck
ready and settle in before launching in to it.
Don't rely too much on the tape deck. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS check
to see that the tape is turning over throughout your interview and don't be
afraid to interrupt the questions if you need to turn the tape over. If you can,
test the tape at the start of the interview, the interviewee won't mind if you
take a few minutes out to do this and you'll be thankful you did it later.
As far as interviewing goes, it's best not to think of it as some great alien
thing. Just as reviewing is putting your opinion on paper, interviewing is
fundamentally just having a chat with someone. The more natural you can
make it the better it will read and the easier it will be.
Any interview we get will be in line with a new cd release, show or tour. Half
the interview is just talking about that and the other half is just asking the
questions that you think someone else might want to hear answers to.
Most of the interviews we get here will be phone interviews. Which means
either we call through or they call through to us and you chat for a 15-30
minute slot. The phone in my office is setup to record the call so you don't
need to worry about taking notes, although some basic notes as a backup in
case of technical difficulties is a very good idea.
When you are nervous you are tempted to just compile a list of questions and
shoot them at the person one after the other. Just like in any conversation an
interviewee wants to feel like you are actually paying attention to what they
are saying. The key to a good interview is actually listening. Here are a few
At the beginning of the interview, engage the interviewee in a bit of small talk
and don't be afraid to divert into a bit of small talk throughout the interview.
You don't need to capture everything they say as a quote and you will only end
up using a proportion of what you record anyway. It's important to put the
interviewee at ease- launching straight in to questions puts people off.
Thank the interviewee for talking to you at the beginning and end of the
interview, congratulate them on their new albums or awards or whatever- it
never hurts to suck up just a little! :)
Do some research. Google the interviewee, print out pages of info and
highlight key things- this gives you something to fall back on if your questions
run out. It's also good to be able to demonstrate that you know something
about the interviewee through your questions. Blogs in particular can give you
a good personal take on the artist you will be talking to.
Try and be original in your questions, remember any interviewee has probably
been asked what their influences are a hundred times. Think about the
interviewee as a person as well as a performer.
Like any conversation the key to a good interview is listening. It's important to
ask questions off their answers, it shows that you are listening and can open up
an interesting topic that you may miss if you just skip on to the next scripted
Don't be a slave to your questions. You should use them as a guide to the
interview- not the script. If the interviewee has a lot to say you won't get to ask
you're your scripted questions- don't be tempted to rush through your
questions to get to them all. On the other hand if you run out of questions and
haven't put any other thought into the interviewee you'll be left hanging.
Relax, Relax, Relax- remember it's just a chat, no need to put on airs and
XI Tips for turning interviews in to articles
It is always preferable to write interviews up as a feature article rather than a
straight Q &A. A feature article is better able to capture the personality of the
interviewee rather than just regurgitating their answers.
Edit the interview as you transcribe the tape. Type up the quotes in a word
document and ignoring any material that doesn't fit nicely in to a quote. You
will usually have much more material than you need for an article
You are also looking for facts and anecdotes from the interview, so don't just
type up the good quotes, try and capture other interesting snippets from the
interview as well.
It is tempting to take everything an interviewee says as a straight quote but
don't be afraid to paraphrase and add your own words in to an article. Use
anecdotes. These allow you to inject a bit of description into what an
interviewee said and piece together scattered quotes.
If you have a press release, it is worth going through it with a highlighter to
bring out key facts you'd like to put in your article.
Put some of yourself in to the story. This isn't as easy when it's a phone
interview but try and include incidental moments and digressions in to the
article, these add colour and depth to your story.
Read other features articles to get a sense of how they are structured and how
the writer has pieced all the elements together.
The order of quotes in your article doesn't need to follow the order you asked
your questions, in fact most times it shouldn't. Writing up the article gives you
the opportunity to edit the conversation around so it flows smoothly.
Once you have transcribed your interview, give it a good read over and cut out
any quotes that are repetitive or don't read well. Mark content that works
better as anecdotes or facts.
This comes down to personal style but I like to number the quotes and write
up the article as a purely factual piece first- adding "insert quote 1" etc to the
paragraphs as I go. This allows you to concentrate on the flow of the article
first and helps you avoid the temptation towards writing a transcribed
interview rather than a feature article. It's also quicker! :)
There is a simple formula you can follow in writing up a feature article. This is
-Fact-Quote-Anecdote-.This order can change around a little but these three
core elements will be in every feature article
Fact- Facts introduce a quote or anecdote and move an article forward. If you
took all the quotes out of your article, it should still read smoothly just on the
facts. Facts can be drawn from press releases or paraphrased quotes from an
Quote- Quotes should usually follow a fact and support a point or statement
you are making and flesh it out. Choose quotes that are sharp and descriptive.
Anecdote- Anecdotes are stories told by the interviewee that add colour to
your article. Anecdotes are usually paraphrased quotes, (i.e. quotes put into
your own words) which flesh out a quote and lead in to a new fact/point.