Writing for SharperIron

SharperIron is always looking for new writers regardless of age, gender or “flavor” of fundamentlism. The best way to begin is to submit an article to us. Articles should be 1200-1800 words in length and speak to one of three audiences: society at large, evangelicalism, or fundamentalism.

Send articles in publishable format (proofread by several people, spell-checked, grammar-checked, and ready to go). If your article is declined, don’t despair. SI may simply not be the place for your ideas.

Authors must be genuine believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and agree with our Doctrinal Statement. Normally, they should also be persons who identify with biblical fundamentalism.

File Type

Please e-mail the article to submissions@sharperiron.org as a Microsoft Word (.doc) or OpenOffice (.odt) file.

Document Specifications

  • Left aligned
  • A single, mainstream font throughout (Arial is preferred)
  • First lines of paragraphs not indented
  • No empty paragraphs/lines between paragraphs (for white space between paragraphs, use paragraph styling)
  • Italics for emphasis (not underlining, bold, or ALL CAPITALS)
  • Headings to divide up the content (bold these or use heading styles)
  • One space after periods (separating sentences), not two.

Using quotation marks properly

  • Use double quotes (“) around quoted text, not single ones (‘) unless the quote is within a quote. (He said, “James called me ‘bellicose and pugillistic’ yesterday.”)
  • Commas and periods never go outside quotation marks. (Right: He said, “Hi.” Wrong: He said “Hi”.   Right: … a “thingy,” a “dealybob,” and a “gizmo.”  Wrong: … a “thingy”, a “dealybob”, etc.
  • A question mark goes inside the quotation marks if what you are quoting is a question, otherwise, they go outside the quotation marks. (He asked, “What’s that mark on your forehead?” I shrugged. It was more of a number, really, but was there anything wrong with calling it a “mark”?)
  • Use block quoting (indenting) when a quotation is large enough to extend for three lines or more. Do not enclose block quotes in quotation marks.

Dashes

  • Never space before or after dashes. In places where a wide dash is appropriate (a.k.a., the “em dash” —), either use the wide dash with no spaces, like this—option a—or use double hyphens without spaces (we can’t show you that option because our software automatically converts two hyphens into a wide dash—which is what we want it to do).

Using Sources

When quoting or paraphrasing another author, cite sources within your article itself whenever possible. Footnotes are acceptable. When possible, use in-text citations following the MLA style.

Example of how to include quoted material in an article: John Doe says in his book Modern Praise, “The best praise is the praise on your knees” (p. 25).

In book reports, page references should look like this (p. 123) not (pg. 123) or (p123), etc. In the case of block quotes, place page references and other citations at the end outside the punctuation, as follows:

Pretend this is a block quote several sentences long. (p. 47)

Another example:

Here’s another sample blockquote. (Smith, 128)

Do not italicize blockquotes.

When quoting song lyrics that are not in the public domain, secure reprint permission from the song’s publisher first.

For quoted material of more than three lines, please indent the entire section without quotation marks.

Using Scripture

For Scripture quotations, use the version you prefer. Include the version abbreviation in parentheses after the first quoted or paraphrased passage of Scripture. You do not need to include “KJV,” “NASB,” etc. each time you quote a verse unless you switch versions from the previous quote. Include the reference when you quote or paraphrase a verse. Format Bible references as follows:

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (KJV).

Jesus told Nicodemus God “gave his only begotten Son” (KJV, John 3:16).

Double-check Bible quotes for accuracy. Accurate quoting includes spelling, puncutation and capitalization (note, KJV does not capitalize pronouns in reference to God).
When using abbreviated names for books of the Bible (do this only in parentheses), abbreviate as follows:

Gen.
Ex.
Lev.
Num.
Deut.
Josh.
Judg.
Ruth
1 Sam.
2 Sam.
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chron.
2 Chron.
Ezra
Neh.
Esther
Job
Ps.
Prov.
Eccles.
Song of Sol.
Isa.
Jer.
Lam.
Ezek.
Dan.
Hos.
Joel
Amos
Obad.
Jon.
Mic.
Nah.
Hab.
Zeph.
Hag.
Zech.
Mal.
Matt.
Mark
Luke
John
Acts
Rom.
1 Cor.
2 Cor.
Gal.
Eph.
Phil.
Col.
1 Thess.
2 Thess.
1 Tim.
2 Tim.
Titus
Philem.
Heb.
James
1 Pet.
2 Pet.
1 John
2 John
3 John
Jude
Rev.

Plagiarism

In the Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers, Lynn Quitman Troyka writes:

Plagiarism is presenting another person’s words or ideas as if they were your own… . You do not need to acknowledge information that is considered common knowledge—for example, that Columbus’s ships landed in America in 1492… . You must, however, acknowledge the source of any words you quote. Along with your documentation, you must always use quotation marks or, if the material is more than three lines, an indented format. You must also acknowledge your source when you paraphrase or summarize someone else’s ideas… . Writing the words of others in your own words does not release you from your obligation to attribute the material to its originator.

Ellipses

According to Troyka,

Use an ellipsis ( … ) to signal omissions from quotations… . If an omission occurs at the beginning of your quoted words, you do not need to use an ellipsis to show the omission. Also you do not need to use an ellipsis at the end as long as you end with a complete sentence… . If you select for quotation two or more sentences separated by material you do not want to quote, show the omission with (1) the period that ends the sentence before the omission and (2) the three spaced periods of an ellipsis.

Capitalization

Do not use words or phrases in all caps (except when quoting sources that use this. If so, note “emphasis preserved.”)

Academic Degrees. Do not use periods for academic degrees (BA, BS, MA, PhD, MDiv, ThD, DMin).

Names of God. Capitalize any name (or descriptive term) for God when it is the subject of the sentence or when it is used without an appositive referring to a member of the Godhead (“David appealed to the righteous Judge in the court of Heaven.”) Capitalize the name or description when it is an appositive for the subject or direct object (“Jesus Christ, our King-Priest, is now in Heaven.)

Lowercase the name or description when it is the object of a preposition or a predicate nominative (“The leader begins with the concept of God as creator.”) If quoting from sources that do not follow these rules (KJV, ESV, etc.), preserve the capitalization in the source.

  • Trinity: always capitalize the noun (but not the adjective, “triune”).
  • God’s Word: capitalize when used as alternate title for the Bible.
  • Gospel: do not capitalize unless referring to a book of the Bible (“John’s Gospel”)
  • Biblical and scriptural: do not capitalize these adjective forms, but do captialize “Bible,” “Scripture” and “Scriptures.”

Biography and Photo

If you have not already submitted one, please send an author bio that includes your educational experience (degrees, institutions of higher learning, etc.), family information, the name of your current ministry position or occupation, and your city and state of residence. If possible, include the URL of any ministry or college website named in the bio. Include a photo in .gif, .jpg or .png format.

Questions?

Feel free to ask. Use the site contact form.

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