January 27, 2020

Want to write for the SO blog? Here’re the guidelines.

Got an idea for that would make a good post on the Stack Overflow blog? Here's what you can do to submit your idea and work with us.

We at the Stack Overflow blog want to provide our community, as well as the larger programming community, with interesting articles about what life is like as a coder today. Whether that’s coverage of research on security vulnerabilities in Stack Overflow code examples, insights into what it really takes to be a full-stack engineer, or a look at the never-ending migration from Python 2 to 3, we hope the articles we publish are the ones that coders—hobbyists, beginners, or professionals—want to read. 

Since you all are our audience, you have a pretty good idea of what works on the blog. That’s why we want blog post pitches from our community. If you have an article you want to write that you think we should publish, send us an email at pitches at stackoverflow dot com, and please include the following:

  • A suggested title for your article. This doesn’t have to be the final title, but it should give us a quick idea what you’re interested in writing. 
  • A paragraph of information to flesh out the post idea. Why is this interesting? 
  • A little about yourself and why you are the right person to write this article. What’s your background? Have you written before? If so, share some links to pieces similar to your pitch.

If we decide to go ahead with your article, we’ll share a contract with you. We do own the copyrights of any article that we publish on our blog; on the plus side, we pay for published posts.

The next step is to either put together an outline or a first draft we can use to make sure we’re on the same page before spending time writing a longer, more detailed version. Please send all outlines and drafts in Google docs format so that we can track changes and collaborate effectively. I know lots of developers like to work in Markdown; if you do, render the HTML, then copy it into a GDoc. 

A good draft is around 1500 words, plus or minus about 500 words. If you’re dropping a manifesto on us, we might consider splitting it into multiple pieces. You can include code samples, gists, CodePens, and more. If you want to include images, make sure you have permission to post them. 

Once we get your draft, we’ll begin the process of editing. This is about making your article the best it can be. To do that, we’ll make suggestions on structure, wording, clarity, and grammar. You’ll get flashbacks to high school English, but you’ll end up with an article that everyone can be proud of. 

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