port of harlem magazine

Writer’s Guidelines

General Info

We accept freelance material for publication.  Before submitting an article, we strongly suggest that you review one or two issues of the print publication to gain an understanding of our editorial focus and writing style.  You will find a list of our departments on the home page of our web site, www.portofharlem.net,  and our editorial calender at www.portofharlem.net/editorialcalendar.pdf.

Many articles require at least one picture. We publish pictures at 300 dpi and prefer them in tiff format.   Please do not send us pictures until we ask you to send them.  We make payment upon publication of the article.  Our pay scale ranges from  $15 to $100, depending upon the length of the article.  We will also send you one complimentary copy of the issue in which your article appears.  You may send your submission or proposed submission to publisher@portofharlem.net.



You must submit your article in WordPerfect, Word or Rich Text Format (rtf).  It is best to send the document in .rtf format.  In WordPerfect, Word, and other word processing packages, you usually save documents in .rtf format by clicking File, Save As, and choosing .rft as the format.


Word Count

You must submit only the number of words that the publisher assigns to you.   Each section has a word count based on the design director’s plans.


Use Active Voice

Using active voice makes your message stronger, complete, and direct.  It sometimes requires you dosome research to discover the name of the person or organization responsible for the action you are describing.  The first example demonstrates this case.  In the second example, notice thatJacob Lawrence, the person who performed the action, is at the beginning of the sentence.


Passive Sentences

The criminal has been imprisoned.

The picture was painted by Jacob Lawrence.

Active Sentences

The government imprisoned the criminal.

Lawrence Jacob painted a picture.

Racial/Ethnic Descriptions

We are a Pan-African magazine; therefore, Black people are the standard.  When referring to other groups, we use the term “non-Black,” unless it is necessary to specify that the person was, for example, Asian-American.

We also refrain from making differences between African subgroups unless it is necessary; for example, you can use the term “Continental African” to refer to those born in Africa.  The use of terms goes beyond being politically correct.  It is using terms to describe our world, from an African perspective. 

Other examples, use:

enslaved versus slave

owner versus master

Like or As

If the word is followed by a clause, a group of words with both a subject and a verb, use as:  He liked the restaurant, as any gourmet would.  If no verb follows, choose like: He walks like a platypus.

Avoid Redundancy

Redundancy n writing usually comes from these sources:

  • Wordy phrases. Example: "in view of the fact that" instead of "since" or "because."
  • Employing obvious qualifiers when a word is implicit in the word it is modifying.
    Example: "completely finish."  If you have incompletely finished something, you haven't finished it at all.
  • Using two or more synonyms together. Example: "thoughts and ideas."