Writers' Guidelines

Windows IT Pro Family of Publications

The Windows IT Pro family of publications accepts three types of articles: how-to articles, strategic articles, and reader-to-reader submissions. Windows IT Pro does not accept article contributions from vendors about their products, nor do we accept unsolicited product reviews. For information about product reviews, contact [email protected] or [email protected].

The following submission guidelines apply to two of our publications:

  • Windows IT Pro
  • SQL Server Pro

How-to articles

How-to articles offer IT professionals information that helps them perform specific tasks that their job requires. A how-to article should describe the specific problem it will help the reader solve and should include concrete examples that guide readers through the solution, help them troubleshoot problems and make appropriate choices, and ensure predictable results. Articles must provide value beyond what our readers can glean from reading other readily available sources of information (e.g., Microsoft documentation). Articles can target novice, intermediate, or advanced readers, but the technical-ability level must be consistent throughout the article.

  • How-to articles for Windows IT Pro present explanations of, techniques for, and experience with technologies that solve problems and make the most of Windows OSs.
  • How-to articles for SQL Server Pro should offer detailed, step-by-step instructions and guidelines for SQL Server developers, administrators, or business intelligence (BI) professionals.

Length: Up to 2500 words.

Strategic articles

Strategic articles highlight one theme and investigate relevant policies, trends, technological developments, or situations important to the IT industry. Factual information must support observations. Strategic articles aren't opinion pieces but rather analytical assessments of specific aspects of the industry.

  • Strategic articles for Windows IT Pro should examine specific significant situations, problems, or technologies as they affect Windows systems administrators.
  • Strategic articles for SQL Server Pro explain relevant database, development, or BI technologies; implementation techniques; and best practices and help IT managers both make decisions regarding database technology and execute those decisions.

Length: Submit articles up to 2000 words.

Reader to Reader

Reader to Reader articles share firsthand tips, techniques, innovative solutions, and valuable experiences with industry products or processes. If you have an idea for a submission that doesn't warrant a longer article, write it as a Reader to Reader contribution and email it to one of the following publications:

(We reserve the right to publish Reader to Reader submissions in the publication to which they're best suited, no matter which publication they're submitted to.)
Length: Submit Reader-to-Reader articles up to 1000 words.

How to Submit an Article

Send proposals or complete articles to

Submit documents in Microsoft Word format and in an easy to read font (for example, 12-point Arial or Times New Roman). Use only plain text, bold, and italic styles. Don't include headers, footers, bullets, borders, or other special formatting in the document. Any code listings longer than 6 lines should be placed at the end of the file with a descriptive caption and listing number; reference all such listings by number in the text. Attach graphic files separately in .jpg, .tif, or .png format. Submissions should include:

  1. An author biography (no more than 35 words) that includes your name, current job title, and email address. A biography can also list a book you've written or cowritten (we list only one book per published biography) or your areas of expertise.
  2. An outline or abstract of your proposed article (250 words maximum). If you've already written the article, send the complete article along with an executive summary.
  3. A list of all of your areas of expertise or specialties, along with your street address, email address, and telephone number.

All materials you submit must be original material that you write in your own words. If you use sentences, parts of paragraphs, entire paragraphs, organizational structure, or entire pages from another source, you must give credit to the original source and author. Representing the ideas or words of others as your own or neglecting to credit the source of such information is plagiarism, a serious offense that's punishable by law. Penton Media does not tolerate plagiarism in any form.

Our Editorial Process

After you submit an article, we send it to our editorial review board for evaluation. Reviewers might suggest that you make additions to the article, that you refocus the article to meet our target audience and topic needs, that we accept the article without changes, or that we reject the article. We receive many article proposals and regret that we can't respond to every proposal we receive. If we determine that your article is a fit for one of our publications, we will contact you to write or submit the article or to inform you that we're sending your article on to the next stage in the process.

When we consider accepting an article, we send it to technical editors, who evaluate the article for technical accuracy, test all code, and make revision recommendations. If a technical editor has substantial concerns about your article's accuracy, we'll notify you and give you an opportunity to resolve or respond to the concerns. If resolution can't be achieved, we remove the article from consideration for publication.

If your article is accepted, we schedule it for publication and send you a copyright agreement. An editor works with you to prepare the article for publication. After the editor edits the article for accuracy, grammar, style, and length, you'll see the article at least once for review and to address questions and comments the editor has. When the article is being produced for publication, the editor might need to revise it to fit space requirements, which can include cutting material or asking you for additional material or graphic elements. It typically takes four months to prepare an article for publication after it's been accepted but in some cases can take much longer. If your article is accepted for publication, you might not hear from us for several months; however, you're always welcome to inquire about the status of your article.

Penton Media pays for articles upon publication. Payment rates are based on the author's writing experience and the quality of the article submitted. We will discuss the payment rate for your article when we notify you of its acceptance.