Joining the Fray


We welcome contributors to The Community Planner. The Community Planner is meant to be an indepth, hands-on publication for citizens, community activists, community leaders, and planning staff. As such, articles should be clear, understandable across an audience with a broad range of experience (from no experience to professional training), and detailed. While planning terminology should not be avoided, definitions for professional terms must be included either in the text of the article or, if a longer explanation is necessary, in a sidebar. Take time to read an issue or sample articles before sending an inquiry.

Length: Length will vary depending on content, article type, and topic.

Article Types: Each issue of The Community Planner will include hands-on, how to (step by step) articles, case studies (both good and bad...what happens when it works; what happens when it does not), product reviews, tools of the trade, and sidebar information.

Article Depth: The articles in The Community Planner should have both depth and detail. The purpose of the journal is to provide detailed, step-by-step instructions for planning processes, projects, and tasks so that citizens, community leaders, and planners can pick up an issue, follow the instructions, and successfully complete a single task or larger project. These are not meant to be overview articles.

How-to/ Step by Step Articles: Articles should focus both on how a task, project, or process is specifically done, provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide to what is involved and how each step should be handled, and explain why specific steps are taken. Some articles may require sidebar information. Sidebars provide background information, definitions, and brief issue discussions.

Tools of the Trade Articles: Articles should focus on how to use a specific tool or computer program. For example, the first issue focused on the the non-traditional use of spreadsheet programs.

Case Studies: Case studies are an indepth look at processes, projects, or tasks, in a specific location, which either did or did not work. It is as important to understand what went wrong as it is to understand what went right. The case studies are designed to give readers a deeper understanding and to provide on-the-ground examples of the process of planning.

Product Reviews: Throughout the planning process, citizens, planners, and consultants use different tools and materials, including computer programs, special supplies, data sources, and resources. Product reviews should be objective and balanced and should provide readers with both the pros and the cons of the product. Product review articles are generally fairly short (500 words or so).

Articles are reviewed by the editorial staff. Unsolicited manuscripts are not read, so please be sure to send a letter of inquiry prior to sending article materials. Letters of inquiry should include the correspondent's daytime phone number and email address. All submission should be in electronic format (doc, pdf, xls, ppt, png, and jpg).

Letters to the Editor are considered donated material and do not come under the same review and editorial process. All Letters to the Editor must be signed. The Community Planner does not publish anonymous materials.

Submissions: Please send a letter of inquiry or an email with a brief article proposal to:

Meghan Dorsett, Editor
The Community Planner
Dorsett Publications
630 Depot Street NE
Christiansburg, VA 24073

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About The Community Planner & Dorsett Publications

Contact Information:

The Community Planner
Dorsett Publications
630 Depot Street NE
Christiansburg, VA 24073



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630 Depot Street, NE
Christiansburg, VA 24073
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Last updated on: 3 April, 2013