SIGNAL Writers Guide


What kind of magazine are we?

SIGNAL Magazine is the monthly professional publication of AFCEA International and focuses on information technology, communications, C4ISR, cyber, intelligence, homeland security, cloud, defense and much, much more. The magazine began in 1946 and has a circulation of more than 30,000.

Our readers are highly educated; 52 percent have advanced degrees and 87 percent hold baccalaureates. They are engaged, visionary professionals who want the latest developments. Thus, our readers are not a “mass” audience, which means we seek writers who can write to their interest level, clearly and intelligently. We look for writers from all backgrounds and experiences who know well the subjects they write about and can do so following appropriate news style.

We look for thought-provoking articles written in appropriate news style that offer solutions to problems and raise our readers’ interests and awareness. 

In brief

Timely news articles should be 1,500 to 1,800 words for print, about 500 to 800 for online. Print articles must be submitted 10 weeks before publication date.

Don’t forget photos or graphics.

Send us a bio.

Contact backerman@afcea.org or cyanette@afcea.org.

What kind of articles do we want?

SIGNAL’s editors want articles that delve into cutting-edge technology, upcoming programs, solutions to existing challenges or new concepts. Original articles for the magazine should be roughly 1,500 to 1,800 words in length, not already published in any form in print or online, and written in news-feature style—meaning no footnotes. Instead of asking who, what, where, when and why, ask: “What is important, and what does it mean?” That will make for a far better magazine article. While technical information obviously is welcome, it should be kept as generic as possible to appeal to SIGNAL’s wide readership. If reference material is used, include attribution. We will take it from there and will edit for consistency, clarity and style.

You also can submit articles for our online publication. The guidelines are generally the same, but we prefer shorter articles, in the 500- to 800-word range. Remember to include hyperlinks within the copy where appropriate, keeping in mind search engine optimization best practices to make it easier for search engines to find and highlight the work.

Articles we primarily considered for publication are those written by program managers, technical experts and individuals involved in the technology or project, and not those of public affairs departments. If articles require clearance by authorities, please get that before submitting. Professional writers should contact SIGNAL Magazine for publication consideration before beginning.

We also require photographs and graphics for print and online. Submit three to four complementary photographs with captions. Photographs for the magazine must be high resolution, color or black and white. Preferred formats are .jpg and .gif; .tiff accepted but not recommended. If photos are part of a PowerPoint presentation, please provide the original. Send photographs separately, not embedded within the article text. Speaking of text, we prefer that articles be submitted by email in plain text or Microsoft Word, but we’re flexible and will work with you on that.

You can send us a proposal or article via mail, or email Robert Ackerman at backerman@afcea.org or Christina Yanette at cyanette@afcea.org.  Online submissions should go to Sandra Jontz at sjontz@afcea.org. Please allow for at least two weeks to respond to a query or submission. Note: We prepare for a print issue months in advance, so articles must be received roughly 10 weeks prior to publication in the magazine—and still be relevant.

SIGNAL reserves the right to copyright all published material. This does not preclude an author from republishing the material, provided the proper copyright credit is given to SIGNAL. Writers will receive a copyright agreement letter before publication. Articles written by government officials on government time cannot be granted copyright. Occasionally, SIGNAL receives requests to buy reprints. SIGNAL reserves the right to arrange for reprints without remuneration to the author.

Finally, we want to know a little about you.

Please send us a brief biographical sketch, with information such as your current position, company, government department or military assignment, and, if appropriate, rank and branch of service. Please note if you would like your e-mail address published with the article.  

Again, contacts are Robert Ackerman, backerman@afcea.org, 703-631-6182, Christina Yanette, cyanette@afcea.org, 703-631-6192 and Sandra Jontz, sjontz@afcea.org, 703-631-6178. Mail submissions to AFCEA International Media, 4400 Fair Lakes Court, Fairfax VA 22033-3899.

Happy writing!