Submission Guidelines

We welcome and encourage contributions of articles, reviews, editorials, and column posts from all members of the New England belly dance community. The following are guidelines to help you get started.

Topics
We encourage you to discuss your ideas with us first, so that we help you hone your topic and make sure that there is no overlap with other work in progress. In general, for feature articles, your topic should have some tie-in with New England:

  • you are a New England-based dancer writing about something you know
  • you used to live here, live somewhere else now, and can offer a perspective on dance scenes elsewhere in the world;
  • you are writing about an issue, person, or event in the New England belly dance community.

You are also welcome to contribute content to our columns: 

  • Glitter Litter - BDNE's editorial space. A place for expressing opinions!
  • Tasseltown - a place for reporting interesting and fun news on things happening in the community
  • Sequins of Events - event reviews
  • Must Know Music – topics on music for belly dancers
  • One Teacher’s Opinion – topics on teaching belly dance
  • The Business of Belly Dance – topics on anything from payment for performance to running belly dance events
  • Gateways to Understanding – topics on Middle-Eastern culture. Submissions do not have to be dance-related; in fact, we prefer topics on politics, popular culture, and other art forms. This is a good place for book reviews.

If you would like to write a review, such as one for an event, book, or CD, please see our Review guidelines.

Length
Feature articles run anywhere between 750 and 1000 words. However, our best advice to you is write what you want to say. We can always publish in two parts, if necessary. The point is not to write to a certain length, but to say what you wish to say.

Text formatting
Please single-space, and make sure your paragraphs are flush left. It would be a great help to us if you use only one space after a period.

File formats
Copy will be accepted online in email, text (.txt), Google docs, or Word (.doc) formats only.

Photos
Photos must be in .jpg format, with a resolution of 150 dpi.

Please provide photographer credits for the photos. You must have permission from the event producer or photo subjects to submit them for publication.

Bios
Please submit a brief bio with your article. Include contact information, such as an email address or Web site link.

Style and usage reference

Terminology

Use Instead of
belly dance, belly dancing bellydance, bellydancing
Middle-Eastern Middle Eastern, Mid-East
am, pm A.M., P.M., AM, PM
noon 12:00 pm
midnight 12:00 am
raqs sharqi raks sharki
Oriental dance Orientale dance
beledi beledy, baladi
karsilama karshilama
chiftetelli Chiftitelli, tshiftetelli, chifte telli
drop-in drop in, dropin
Web (referring to the World Wide Web) web
Internet internet
taqsim taksim, taxim
dumbek doumbek
riq riqq
qanun kanoun
email e-mail


Usage

  • If you use an abbreviation, spell out the term the first time it is used in the article, with the abbreviation following in parentheses, like this:

American Tribal Style (ATS)

  • Use the serial comma in sentences that list multiple things or people. For example:

"Amy, Meg, Miriam, and Amina Delal comprise the staff."

The serial comma in this case follows the name 'Miriam.'

  • Do not use Latin abbreviations like i.e., e.g., or etc. Use the English terms instead – that is, for example, and so on.
  • Do not confuse it’s with its. The former is a conjunction of it is; the latter is a possessive. For example:

It’s going to be a nice day 
The dog has mud on its paws.

Tone and voice

  • Write as if you were speaking. This sounds most natural and your article will sound like you. 
  • Try to use the active voice; for example: 

"It feels like this..."

is not as definitive as:

"I feel like this..."

  • Don’t make your sentences complicated, or they will be unwieldy and difficult to understand.

For example:

"With each rhythm presented was a hand-out page with plenty of note-taking space."

This sentence was re-written for clarification like this:

"There was a handout - with plenty of space for notes - for each rhythm covered in the workshop."

Review Guidelines

  • We expect reviews to be fair and balanced. Think about the things you would want to know if you were attending an event in this same venue or sponsored by the same person. This may mean writing about an aspect of the event that did not go well; for example, the venue may have had a poor sound system, or the room was extremely cold. Most event producers are interested in learning how they can improve, and appreciate gettings feedback on their events.
  • Occasionally, some people may not like what you wrote, and may choose to voice their concern in a letter to the editor. This does not mean that you wrote a bad review. They are expressing your opinion, as you did.
  • The length of the review, in words, is not a hard limit. Generally, reviews are 750 - 1000 words. However, it is preferable that you write what you need to say, and we can work with you to edit, as needed.
  • We recommend that you submit the review within two weeks after the event.
  • We try, as much as possible, to obtain press passes to events. Should one not be available, or should want to cover an event for which a press pass is not usally given (such as a workshop), other funding options may be available. Please speak with the editor about this. 
  • Event promoters often arrange for professional photographers to be at their event, and will provide us with photos, so there is no need for you to take photographs.
  • We'll edit the review for clarity and grammar. We should be the only other person to see the review prior to publication. Please do not share the review with the event sponsor, or anyone related to the event, prior to publication. This is to avoid any undue influence.