Informed Principal

Washington Principal Article Submission Guidelines

Scott reading our magazine
 

Who Can Submit

Most of our articles come from staff and principals across the state, but anyone can write for Washington Principal. If your story interests Washington state principals and assistant principals, it fits our criteria. Outside of staff and principals, we typically get submissions from higher ed, counselors, district office staff, superintendents, district communications/public relations staff, other education-related associations, and community support organizations.



Length, Formatting, Layout, & Visuals

Tone, Story, and Takeaways

Our magazine has a friendly, professional tone. We do not publish research papers or journalistic pieces. Your article should tell a story, share an idea, or highlight an achievement others can learn from.

  • What problem did you solve?
  • Who was your hero? Your underdog?
  • What change did you make to address a problem and what are the results?
  • What do principals in our state need to know about upcoming changes or programs?

Our ideal piece entertains, inspires, and offers tools, tangibles, and takeaways.

 


Length

Our articles range between 500 and 1,500 words. We sometimes accept longer pieces depending on space, readability, overall quality, and content. Contact us if you have a longer article in mind.

Research

A short list of references/citations is acceptable on occasion. However, Washington Principal is a trade magazine and not a professional journal. We aren’t looking for pieces reading like a formal research paper.

Consider using less formal language, like Example B, when mentioning research.

  • Example A: Research indicates that students with...1
  • Example B: According to a 2017 report from Hall and Oates, students with….


Format

Include all the author's names, titles, school/district/organization at the top of your submission. Please inculde a suggested headline. Short headers or section titles can be helpful, especially with longer articles. 



Writing for Readability

We’ve all heard the saying, “less is more.” We aim for a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score of ideally 10 or under and a Flesch Reading Ease score higher than 50. Principals are busy, so if you convey your point without extra wordiness or jargon, your article is more likely to be read. Research shows when readability improves, newspapers gain more subscribers. 

Writing for reading ease does not mean your article needs to be simple. In this post on Quora, four randomly-selected articles in The Economist averaged an 11.5 grade level score and an almost 46 reading ease score. Time Magazine averages a reading ease score of 52. 

Not convinced? Check out this great blog post: This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write. It compares the readability scores of famous authors and journalists. Test out your content in readable.io. If nothing else, it’s a great tool for reducing how often passive voice is used. Readable.io scored this guide a “B” with an 8.7 Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score and a 55.6 Flesch Reading Ease score.



Principal Evaluation Criteria

Does your story touch on any of the state evaluation criteria? If it’s in our magazine, it probably does. Please list all the criteria that apply at the top of the page, including:

  • Creating a Culture
  • Ensuring School Safety
  • Planning with Data
  • Aligning Curriculum
  • Improving Instruction
  • Managing Resources
  • Engaging Communities
  • Closing the Gap


Editing

Our staff will edit your article for readability, grammar, and flow. If the edits are minor and include things like minor grammar fixes, typos, punctuation, etc., we’ll typically just make those and move the article forward. More extensive edits will be sent back for the author to review and approve. 

Sometimes there’s just something missing or a little off and our staff will work with the author to improve the article. The editor-in-chief has final decision over what version prints, but if an author isn’t comfortable with the edits, we will withdraw the article for publication if the parties can’t come to an agreement. This is very rare.



Other Writing Opportunities

If you have a piece to contribute that doesn’t quite fit the above criteria, consider submitting it for our e-newsletter or blog. We love accepting articles for those, too!

Questions?

Email our AWSP Communications Director, David Morrill, with questions, ideas, and any feedback you have.



For More Information 

David Morrill | Communications Director | (800) 562-6100