Calling All Authors: How to Write for a DZone Publication

Ever considered contributing to a Refcard or Guide? In this post, we break down the publication authorship process from start to finish.

Authoring a Guide article or Refcard is a great way to build your reputation as a thought leader on a specific technical topic. Our publications are promoted heavily both on and through our various marketing channels, making them an ideal venue for getting your name out there. Plus, each publication is downloaded by thousands of software developers around the world, giving you a wide audience for your writing.

Interested? Of course you are! Read on for the specifics of the publication authorship process.

The Refcard Authorship Process

Step 1: Pitching Your Refcard

Once you’ve selected a tech topic you’d like to write about, email the DZone editorial team at In your message, include the topic, your background and experience with that topic, and a few writing samples.

Step 2: Outlining Your Refcard

If our editors like your pitch and credentials, someone from our team will reach out to you and request an outline. Refcardz should be around 3000–4000 words and contain a mix of text, images, and code blocks. Be as detailed as possible in your outline, keeping in mind that Refcardz are geared toward helping fellow developers jump into the topic or for developers to keep as a handy reference.

Step 3: Statement of Work

Once we approve your outline, we’ll set a deadline for your draft and send you a statement of work. The SoW document allows DZone to use your content and help us make sure you get paid for your work! Along with the statement of work, you’ll get our authoring and template guide. You’ll need to sign the SoW before completing your draft.

Step 4: Editing and Layout

Next, write your draft! Whenever you feel like it’s ready, send it over to us. We’ll take care of the copyediting and putting the card into layout. Be prepared to go back and forth a bit with our team during our editing process to make sure everything is perfect before publication.

Step 5: Final Approval and Publication

When the card is put into our pdf layout, we’ll send it to you for approval before it gets published. If the card is being sponsored, the sponsoring company will also get a look. Once final approval has been given, we’ll go ahead and publish the card! Your Refcard will be promoted through our marketing channels, including social media and emails, once it goes live on DZone.

The Guide Article Authorship Process

Step 1: Pitching Your Article

If you’d like to write for a Guide, email the DZone editorial team at In your message, let us know which Guide(s) you want to write for and include a few writing samples.

Step 2: Introductory Call

If we think you’d be a good fit, we’ll set up a phone or Skype call to discuss a potential topic for you to write about and set a deadline for the draft.

Step 3: Abstract and Deadline

After we nail down the topic, submit a 4–5 sentence abstract to us. If we approve the abstract, we’ll finalize the deadline for your draft. Guide articles are around 1300–1400 words, assuming you’re not including images. We’ll also need you to contribute four terms and definitions for our glossary.

Step 4: Statement of Work

Next, we’ll send you a statement of work. This document allows DZone to use your content and helps us ensure you get paid for your work. Please sign the SoW and return it to us as quickly as possible.

Step 5: Drafting and Layout

Now it’s time to write your article! When it’s ready for editing, submit the draft to us in a word document. We’ll take care of the copyediting and putting the article into layout.

Step 6: Final Approval and Publication

You’ll get a chance to review the article in layout before the guide is published. Once you’ve approved it, just sit tight and wait for the guide to be published! Typically they go live on the last Monday of every month. Your article will also be published as an individual post on DZone a few days after the guide is released.

Learn More

Got questions? Email us at We look forward to hearing your Refcard and Guide article ideas!

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