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Thanks to Thought Catalog for making this photo available freely on Unsplash.

Writing for RCSD

Steps, guidelines and a few Pro Tips for authors.

The NEW R/C Soaring Digest is a reader written publication to which any and all are invited to contribute. Here’s an outline of the basic steps (with more detail on each provided below):

  1. Sign up for a Medium account making sure you use your real name — no aliases, handles or nicknames, please. You’ll also need to upload a reasonably current head-and-shoulders image of yourself.
  2. Contact us to let us know you want to submit one (or more?) stories and we’ll add you in the role of RCSD Writer.
  3. Write your story but make sure you keep it in Draft. This is where you can also add images, videos, plan-size or simple page-size PDFs and other rich content.
  4. Submit your story to RCSD, at which point an Editor will review, possibly suggest edits, and then schedule your story for publication.
  5. Wait for the publication date to roll around and then admire your handiwork! Once published, you’ll have access to some cool readership statistics.

That’s it. It’s intended to be a very easy process to follow. Of course, if you have any suggestions as to how it can be improved or if you have any specific questions we would love to hear from you. Now, here’s more detail on each of the steps.

The best place to start is with Medium’s own Help Center article Sign In or Sign Up to Medium. For this there are two options: you can use an existing social media account such as Twitter or Facebook or you can use a simple email address. We have no preference as to which you use but — and this is important — your Medium account must show your real name. Aliases, handles and nicknames that disguise your real identity are permitted by Medium, but they are not permitted when contributing to RCSD. We also ask you to upload a fairly current head-and-shoulders image of yourself. There is no charge for either setting up or maintaining a Medium account and you are never required to provide a credit card number.

Once you have your basic account setup there are some additional customization options of which you can avail yourself if you so choose. In particular your Medium Profile Page is a great place to let RCSD readers know what else you do other than write great articles for RCSD. There are too many options to go over them all here so we suggest you simply go and browse your options and tinker here and there over time. Pro Tip: if you have a side business (or even a main business?!) selling products or services which are of interest to RCSD readers, your Profile Page is a great place to link to this information. When readers click on your attribution at the bottom of your articles, they will be taken right to your Profile Page putting your neat stuff just two clicks away from any of your articles.

If writing for RCSD unlocks your inner Charles Dickens and you decide to write the next great Dickensian novel on Medium, you are free to go ahead and do that with the same Medium account you setup for RCSD. That said, we probably won’t add your magnum opus to an issue of RCSD (but then again, you never know).

RCSD is a Medium Publication. You relate to the world of Medium Publications through a role of which there are three: Owner (that’s us), Editor (that’s also us but it’s possible it could be you at some point) and Writer (that’s definitely you). Being identified as a Writer for RCSD is all you need to write and publish for the publication. However, it is something that needs to be set up at our end. It doesn’t take long at all but you will have to email us and let us know your account is setup and you are ready to go. Note: if you simply want to read RCSD, you do not need to set up a Medium account (unless you want to Clap for a story or write a response to it).

There is little formality in assigning you the role of Writer. The one thing we’ll check — for sure — is that you’re following the cardinal rule of RCSD Writers and that is you are using your real name. We’ll also check there is a current head-and-shoulders image. Once that’s established it’s literally a 30 second process and we’ll ensure you’re notified once it’s complete. With that done, you’re ready to start writing. Actually, you could have started writing your article before being added as a Writer but there will be no means for submitting your article once it’s ready to go. And that would never do.

Oh, yes, one additional thing: once it’s complete it’s best you familiarize yourself with the (currently under construction) Editorial Policy. That will be used as a guide for what material is encouraged, what’s simply acceptable and a few things which absolutely will never make the cut on the way to publication in RCSD. It’s common sense for the most part. If, however, you eventually read the Editorial Policy and can’t live it for some unlikely reason, it’s unlikely RCSD is a good fit for your otherwise excellent work. We may even be able to help you find a better place for it.

The best place to start before you start to write your story is Medium’s own Writing and Publishing a Story. However, when you get to this part…STOP:

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What we’re specifically saying is do NOT Publish your story quite yet. Submitting your story to RCSD requires a slightly different workflow as described immediately below.

Before we move on, however, one additional article we would highly recommend is the Medium Blog’s Best Practices for Writing on Medium. Not everything in this article is 100% applicable to writing for RCSD but if you do follow all of their recommendations your writing will likely only get better as a result. After all, if you’re going to do something you might as well do it as well as you can, right?

Pro Tip: As a reflection of the international nature of our collective interest, you are welcome and encouraged to submit articles in any language supported by Google Translate. We’ll publish them in the language submitted. The only proviso is that our Editors are currently fluent in exactly one language: English. Therefore we’ll be using Google Translate to edit your article. What that means, of course, is that our notes back to you will be based on the Google translated text as opposed to the original text. Also, publishing in a language other than English is presented as an option only, not a mandate. The choice of language in which to publish your article is 100% your decision.

For that, check out the video immediately below. Alternatively, you can read Medium’s Help Center Add a Draft or Post to Publication article. At that point an Editor will be assigned and will promptly review your article.

This short video walks through all of the steps required to submit your draft story to R/C Soaring Digest. (video: RCSD on Vimeo)

The Editor will use a light editorial hand, common sense and the (currently under construction) Editorial Policy to review your article. While there’s a chance it will be perfect upon submission, it is more likely that you’ll be provided some actionable, constructive feedback to help improve the suitability of your article for RCSD. You can then edit as you see fit and in turn let us know when you’re ready for us to take another look. It’s even possible there may be a couple of iterations of this editing process. Rest assured that we will only make substantial and material changes to your article with your permission which we will obtain in advance.

The only other item which will automatically be appended to your article is the navigation links which enable the reader to find the previous and next article within a given issue.

Once the article is ready to go it is then scheduled for publication which will likely be within a 24 hour window prior to release of the issue in which appears. At this point, there is not much more to do that wait until that time rolls around.

Note that you are 100% in control of the process up until your article is published. If, for any reason, you choose not to publish you are welcome to withdraw your article from consideration. Once it’s published in an issue of RCSD, however, we ask that it becomes a permanent artifact of RCSD although copyright remains with you, the original author.

It’s important to note that we are striving to make The NEW R/C Soaring Digest have the same high quality look and feel Bill and Bunny Kuhlman carefully curated over the years.

However, the NEW R/C Soaring Digest is ‘digital first’ online publication which — at least for now — has no physical equivalent. There is no absolute notion of being off stone, no huge printing presses roll, no beautiful smelling, tied up bundles ever hit the paper shop’s floor and you never get to experience of accidentally ‘discovering’ a new issue a bit before you expected it. Sadly those days, for the most part, are gone.

Fundamentally, an ‘issue’ in this new digital first world is simply a collection of your’s and others’ articles assembled into some sort of logical sequence all of which are made available and are presented together at a given point in time. This means that we may schedule your article for release slightly in advance of the release of the issue. This is so we have the final unique and permanent URL for your article which can then subsequently be included in related artifacts like the email notification and the issue’s feature page. You may even find that Medium’s discovery tools result in a few readers even before your article ‘officially’ comes out in an issue. Grab ’em if you can, we say!

While we will be putting together a separate article on the analytics for your article to which you have access, suffice to say for now that you’ll be able to know how your article is doing both in terms of the number of readers, how much of your article they have collectively read and lots of other interesting information which you can use to guide your future writing efforts.

Thank you so much for reading. We are going to do whatever we can to make your writing experience for RCSD as easy and fun as possible. If there is anything we can do to make it even easier and even more fun, by all means drop us a line.

©2021 The NEW R/C Soaring Digest

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The NEW R/C Soaring Digest

The journal for R/C soaring enthusiasts.

The NEW RC Soaring Digest Staff

Written by

The NEW R/C Soaring Digest

R/C Soaring Digest (RCSD) is a reader-written monthly publication for the R/C sailplane enthusiast and has been published since January 1984. After a two year hiatus, we’re back and while remembering the past, we’re thinking about our future.

The NEW R/C Soaring Digest

R/C Soaring Digest (RCSD) is a reader-written monthly publication for the R/C sailplane enthusiast and has been published since January 1984. After a two year hiatus, we’re back and while remembering the past, we’re thinking about our future.

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