Write For Us
At Simple Talk, we are always keen on publishing new and interesting views and ideas. We try to keep coming up with fresh ways of presenting information.
Subject matter for Simple Talk will generally be chosen because it will interest professional IT people in businesses. Although we like to feature technologies, we are also likely to be interested in issues that affect IT, such as ethical considerations, security, workgroups, management and career development. Our interest in Microsoft-based technologies reflects the ubiquity of such technologies in the workplace, but we’re keen on the broader picture too. Simple Talk is Redgate’s website, so we have a great opportunity to pester Redgate staff into writing about their area of expertise and their work. This has been very useful in increasing our coverage of important topics that are poorly covered on other sites, such as design, testing, technical authoring, and usability.
Our articles come from a whole range of writers. We are delighted to find that many people will submit articles to us for publication: usually, these articles contain ideas and insights from busy IT professionals. Sometimes, our eye is caught by some exceptional writing on a blog or forum, and we ask the author if they’d like to contribute. Quite often, we meet potential authors at one of the conferences. We also use professional writers so as to get a good mix. However, we believe that the people doing the work with these technologies can explain technical matters precisely and with relevance, in ways impossible to professional trainers. We’d like to encourage them.
To this aim we:
- Help authors by editing, guiding and mentoring submissions in order to provide articles of consistent quality that people want to read.
- Pay for articles so as to provide a measure of recompense for the work.
- Feature finished articles in the newsletter that goes out to over 200,000 recipients.
- Include the best articles in Simple Talk eBooks.
We want to make absolutely sure that all the articles we publish will be well-received. For this reason, we put all articles through a fairly rigorous process. The articles go through a technical review and a technical edit, and we sometimes ask authors to do substantial revisions for their second draft. When the author submits a second draft we will do a final edit, which includes a copy edit. This allows us to ensure that articles are correct, cover the subject, conform to certain rules that make them easier to read and understand, and are of the highest quality we can achieve. We have a group of volunteer technical reviewers who help out with peer-reviews, and we frequently call on Redgate staff (more volunteers are always needed!).
The authors submit their articles in Word format, so we can track all the changes and allow authors to accept or reject our revisions. It also allows peer-reviewers and editors to add comments. We then ‘set’ the articles in HTML in one of a range of styles, ready for publication and schedule it. At this stage, we usually check the ‘proofs’ of the article as it will appear, with the author.
In return for the extra demands we place on our authors, our remuneration rate is quite high, and depends on length, technical depth and so on. In summary: In exchange for your work in writing for us, we can offer you:
- Remuneration: You get paid
- Exposure – your content published on Simple Talk
- Recognition – we include a short bio for each author
- Traffic – reciprocal link to your site or blog
- Formatting and Editing of the submitted content
Time between first draft submission and publication can vary between 2 weeks and 2 months, depending on the extent of revisions required and the number of articles we currently have in the pipeline.
If you would like to share your programming experiences, or your specialized expertise, with the Simple Talk community, then please contact us – we’re always particularly keen to find SQL Server developers and administrators, Exchange or Sharepoint Administrators, and .NET developers who are willing to share their hard-won knowledge with the Simple Talk community. Before you submit an article to us, please make sure that it is your original work and has not been published elsewhere. By this we mean that you have not copied code, images, or text from a book or web posting by someone else. We check carefully, and will never use an author who we find has done this on any of Red-Gate’s sites.
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us what you would like to write about, and a little about yourself and your experience.
Please note that the editors have used their draconian prerogative in the defence of simple and precise English, and have banned the use of the following words and phrases on Simple Talk….
- schema (when used as a synonym for ‘thing’)
- Must-Have (or Must-Anything) – This is a Must-Edit
- going forward
- low-hanging fruit
- actionable (unless used in the dictionary legal sense)
- ecosystem (unless in the ecological sense)
- Environment (No, that is what is outside)
- addressing issues / concerns (when used as a euphemism for ‘solving problems’)
- newbie (we are all newbies)
- Swing the pendulum
- Reach out (meaning contact)
- think outside the box
- FOOBAR (It wasn’t really even funny in the 70s)
- going forward
- pre-emptive (in the non-technical sense)
- learning curve
- the big ask (other than a film title)
- core issue
- easy to use (Isn’t anything?)
- a no-brainer
- gaining traction
- the worst case scenario of…
- going pear-shaped
We’ll have no more references to the film ‘the Matrix’ or ‘Star Wars’ in Simple Talk articles. Enough is enough.
Also, it is editorial policy to avoid the over-use of words such as ‘Available’, ‘capturing’, ‘migration’, ‘process’, ‘performance’, and ‘multiple’. Soporific eh? In fact, the over-repetition of any word makes the experience of reading articles more tedious.
For more hints on writing for Simple Talk see the following articles.
Every article that is published on Simple Talk gets edited. With books, the editorial process is even more rigorous. What are the editors up to? Really, it is just checking that what is written conforms with rules such as these.
On Simple Talk, we like to have some book reviews. Unlike articles, we cannot pay for book reviews, but neither does Amazon! If you fancy reviewing a technical book on SQL Server, .NET or PowerShell, then Simple Talk is a platform which will guarantee that your review will be widely read. Here are a few guidelines, just to get you started.
To write a technical article, one just surely needs technical knowledge. Well, no. The very best technical writers take enormous pains to present information in an interesting way. This isn’t a mysterious art at all, and the technique can be learned just as easily as square-dancing. Journalists are taught the technique though they often forget. We give just a few pointers.
There is a fairly simple and easily-learned technique to writing a blog that people will want to read. We asked a widely-read anonymous blogger how it is done.