Writer Guidelines

Welcome to the Gang!

StoryQue Magazine celebrates the great traditions of barbecue food and culture, allowing enthusiasts to exchange ideas, techniques, reviews, and stories. Barbecue is not just a system for preparing tasty meat; it is a culture with roots deep in the universal human need to build relationships around and over food.

We’re excited about anything that brings family, friends, and neighbors together in a wholesome, relaxed, and creative atmosphere, and we think it’s those things, in addition to the delicious food, that make barbecue so great.

Even if you aren’t a professional writer, StoryQue offers an opportunity to let your creative juices flow, have a little fun, and share what you’ve learned with a global audience of fellow barbecue enthusiasts. Bring it on!

Uh-oh, Fine Print

With that said, here comes the pep talk: we’re the editors, and everything you write for StoryQue has to get past us. Our goal is for StoryQue to be a professional, friendly, and non-threatening place for everyone, of any age, from raw novice to grizzled expert, to learn and share the things that make us love barbecue.

Following are a couple of points to keep in mind if you want us to love your writing and publish it with as few changes as possible.

Be Tasteful

We like great storytelling; we’ll split our sides at a good joke. But we also recognize that some humor can be funny to a select group and offensive to many others. We will edit out the following things if we find them in your writing:

  • Racist humor
  • Sexual innuendo
  • Jokes that encourage harmful, antisocial, or immoral behavior
  • “Four-letter” words, as well as most replacements and euphemisms for them

We are aware that someone else might draw the line in a different place, but we think StoryQue strikes a decent balance of fun and good taste, and a growing crowd of subscribers agree. Basically, keep it fun and family-friendly, and you should be fine.

Be Clear

Other than that, the main thing we’re looking for is clear, smooth communication—especially important if you are giving step-by-step directions. If you haven’t done a lot of writing, you might try reading your directions aloud to a less barbecue-savvy friend or family member and having them tell you in their own words what they think you’re saying.

A few more tips for clear writing:

  • Use complete sentences. (An occasional exception is OK if you have a good reason.)
  • Avoid skipping words like cookbooks tend to do. (Write “Heat the sauce until it melts together, then cool it before serving,” rather than “Heat until melted together, then cool before serving.” Again, there’s some flexibility here, so don’t sweat it.)
  • Use common names for ingredients, tools, and other items, rather than local or slang terms that might not be understood by all readers.
  • Try to stay on topic. Your readers expect you to deliver on the promise of your title, and if there’s a lot of unrelated stuff in there, they’re going to get bored and start skipping things.

Boring but Important Style Stuff

These are some of the rules we follow at StoryQue to keep things consistent and understandable. If you don’t follow these rules, we’ll just have to fix your submission before publishing; if you do follow them, we’ll totally love you.

  • Do not abbreviate measurements, such as teaspoon and cup.
  • Do not capitalize words in ingredient lists, unless the word is a proper noun or the first word in a bullet list item or sentence.
  • Temperatures should be written like this: 250 degrees F. If you’re using Celsius as a base, do it like this: x degrees C (x degrees F)
  • Preparations for ingredients in an ingredients list such be given as follows: 4 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • Fractions are formatted like this: 2-1/2 cups milk

Let’s Work Together!

Do you have a piece you’d like to submit, but you aren’t sure whether it meets our standards? Feel free to send it over and let us take a look. If we think our readers would like it, we can polish it up ourselves or send it back to you with suggestions for improvements.

We know you have great stories to tell and skills to share, and we and our readers can’t wait to hear them. Happy writing!