Topics, submission process, and content guidelines

Submitting to PatternFly’s Medium publication

Let’s walk through how to format stories for PatternFly so that you can write and submit in style.

PatternFly Team
Jul 15, 2020 · 6 min read
The PatternFly Medium submission logo — a white fountain pen laid across light blue lines, and a PatternFly blue background.
The PatternFly Medium submission logo — a white fountain pen laid across light blue lines, and a PatternFly blue background.
PatternFly’s branded divider, our logo centered between two lighter lines
PatternFly’s branded divider, our logo centered between two lighter lines

Thank you for your interest in contributing to our open source content community. We work the open source way because we believe in the power of people, and our Medium publication thrives on collaboration and diverse voices. Ready to share yours?

If so, this submission guide has everything you need to know about writing for PatternFly Medium:

  • Topics
  • Submission process
  • Content guidelines

Topics

PatternFly’s Medium publication focuses on anything and everything related to UX, open source, or PatternFly. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • UX design, development, research, or writing
  • Accessibility, usability, and diversity in UX
  • UX learning opportunities
  • UX case studies
  • Voices of UX
  • Open source thoughts and best practices
  • Tips and ideas for working the open source way
  • Open source UX
  • PatternFly use cases and applications
  • Flyer Stories: How do you use PatternFly?

Some examples of successful article topics:

So get creative, and have fun with it!

Submission process

We’re passionate storytellers, and we’re excited to help you tell yours. We’ll work with you throughout the submission timeline to bring your article ideas to life.

  1. Pitch your article idea through our topic submission form. If your topic is a good fit, we’ll be in touch and guide you through the next steps.
  2. Create a Medium account (if you don’t have one already) and share your Medium username with our editors so that we can add you as a writer.
  3. Write your draft in a Google Doc and share it with our content team. Refer to our content guidelines as needed.
  4. We’ll assign you a slot in our editorial calendar. You’ll be assigned two dates.
    Due date: The date your Google Doc draft should be submitted to our team.
    Publication date: The date your article goes live on our Medium publication.
  5. Share your Google Doc draft with us by your due date. We’ll leave edits and feedback for you in your document.
  6. Apply all edits and feedback. If you have any questions, we’re here to help.
  7. Log in to your Medium account and create a draft. You can copy and paste your content directly from your Google Doc.
  8. Submit your draft to our PatternFly publication, and format it according to our content guidelines. Submissions should remain open for Medium curation and unpublished until our content team gives them one last review.
  9. We’ll give your draft a final read-through and schedule it for publication. Once your article’s scheduled, all you have to do is wait for your publication date.

Make sure your submission complies with Medium’s Rules, Member Content Guidelines, Ad-Free policy, and Curation Guidelines.

When your article goes live, we’ll promote it on our Twitter account. Feel free to like, retweet, and promote your article on your own socials, too.

Content guidelines

Consistency and unity strengthen our content community. Follow these guidelines to sharpen your writing and give it a PatternFly flair.

Language

  • Write all your articles in English.
  • No profanities please; PatternFly is family friendly.
  • Spell out all acronyms upon first use and include their abbreviations in parentheses. Example: calls to action (CTAs) upon first use, CTAs thereafter.
  • Steer clear of jargon wherever possible.
  • Keep it simple, fun, and accessible. Readers shouldn’t have to use a dictionary to digest your content.

Voice and tone

Here at PatternFly, we write in the open. Our stories are friendly, fun, and informative. For more voice and tone guidelines, check out our official PatternFly style guide.

Formatting

Titles are attention-grabbing and informative. Your article title should contain a hook — something fun, clever, or bold — to draw in readers. It should also let your readers know what your article covers.

Subtitles are secondary titles located below your main title. Not every article needs a subtitle. If you choose to include one, it should directly support your title. A subtitle can be a place to further explain your title or give more insight into your piece.

Kickers are an introduction to your title, located directly above it. Not every article needs a kicker. If you choose to include one, keep it brief — only a few words — and use it to further categorize your article and grab a reader’s attention.

A screenshot of what a kicker, title, and subtitle look like in a Medium draft.
A screenshot of what a kicker, title, and subtitle look like in a Medium draft.
An example of how a kicker, title, and subtitle appear in a Medium draft.

All titles, subtitles, and kickers should be in sentence case. If you’re having trouble formatting, check out these title, subtitle, and kicker tips.

Each article should have a featured image that relates to the topic of your article. If you don’t use Medium’s built-in Unsplash photo option, provide photo credit in the caption.

After your featured image, add a page separator.

Drop caps don’t fly around here. We avoid them for better readability.

We’re all about good UX, and this translates to our article formatting, too. Improve your story’s scannability by using headers and subheaders to structure your content.

Bold words pulled directly from a user interface, like button text or error copy. You may also bold words for emphasis, but be careful not to overuse.

Italicize words if you’re defining them or using them in a unique way. Apply italics to the titles of books, journals, or other publications. You can also use italics to convey emphasis or voice, but use it in moderation.

Embed your links as contextual and descriptive hyperlinks within your writing. We don’t use raw links or “click here” links. For example:

Medium offers two quote levels: block quotes and pull quotes.

Use block quotes when simulating dialogue and pull quotes to highlight text from other sources.

Format lists with bullets unless they’re itemized. A list of “10 quick tips” would use numbers; a list of general items would use bullets.

If your article includes code, format it using Medium’s code blocks and inline code.

Images

Use small or medium sized images and center them for scalability and mobile accessibility. Your selected images should be high quality and relevant to your topic.

To give your article variety, you can use both static and animated (.gif) images — it’s up to you!

Avoid pictures with words in them whenever possible. Image-based text isn’t picked up by screen readers or translators.

Add alternative text to all your images. Your alt text should describe your picture so that someone using a screen reader can understand what it is and why it’s relevant to your story. When writing alt text, be sure to:

  • Briefly describe the main actions or items in your image.
  • If your image includes specific people, identify them.
  • Write out any important text embedded in your image.
  • Only include color if it’s important to your image’s meaning.
An animation demonstrating how to highlight an image, click “Alt text,” and add alternative text in the next window.
An animation demonstrating how to highlight an image, click “Alt text,” and add alternative text in the next window.
Click on an image and click the “Alt text” button to access Medium’s “Alternative text” screen.

If you source your image from outside Medium, you’ll need to add credit yourself in the image’s caption.

We keep our image credits simple: “Image by” followed by the hyperlinked name of its creator. For example, if you source your image from PatternFly, your caption should read: “Image by Creator Name on PatternFly.”

An example of a past article with a featured image, credited by the caption: “Image by Michael Celedonia.”
An example of a past article with a featured image, credited by the caption: “Image by Michael Celedonia.”
An example of proper image citation from one of our previously published stories.

Pitch your ideas to get started. We look forward to writing, learning, and growing together!

PatternFly

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