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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Writing for Chess Horizons
 Richard “Doc” Kinne
  July 2013
The lifeblood of a magazine such as Chess Horizons is its writing. The Editor is important - sort of. The Layout & Photographic Editors make the publication beautiful. But it is the writers that make the publication what it is. It cannot exist without them.
Writing for a magazine like Chess Horizons is not difficult. We don’t take the exclusive copyright to your article. We request a nonexclusive copyright that allows us to print your article in the print and electronic copies of Chess Horizons and the MACA web site. You retain all other rights, including the right to republish and even sell your work. Chess Horizons competes with other chess publications, including Chess Life, for various awards from the Chess Journalists of America. We’ve won several! How do you get started?
The most difficult part of the process is getting the idea. It needs to be interesting, of course. If its interesting to you, you’ll make it interesting to others. Such ideas don’t have to be earth-shattering, and they can be broad. What is going on in your own club, for example? Club and players are the lifeblood of chess just as writing is the lifeblood of publications. We enjoy hearing about Magnus and Viswanathan sure, but describing how a club player did well in a local tournament works well because your readers have more of a chance of identifying with that story.
You have to sit down and type the article out. Worse, it has to be written in correct English. This writing be an iterative process.
You’ll go through a few drafts for a good article. 
Type out the first draft, then forget about it for a day. When you come back to it you’ll probably see different ways you want to say things. Once that second draft is done, give the article to a friend and have them read it. Someone who has never seen it before will tend to do an even better job finding errors. 
What font should you use? What font size? We recommend the default font for your word processor and a size of around 11 point. Write single space. I tend to write paragraphs with no indents and a space between them, but the final decision on that will be made by the Layout Editor.
How about file format? Fortunately, Chess Horizons accepts .doc or .docx files written out by Microsoft Word. Word doesn’t need to be your word processor, but if your word processor doesn’t output in Word format, you honestly need another one. We can also read .rft format, and, if you use Linux, we can read .odt files written out by LibreOffice.
With the article done and checked, punch up your email program, attach the file to it, and send it off to “” When I get it, I’ll write you back and let you know. I’ll look it over and if it doesn’t need much editing, I’ll just end up doing it. If the edits are extensive, and we have time, I’ll probably give the article back to you for your approval. It is common for articles to be very slightly different from what you submit, but its your article so we try to make sure it retains your stamp.
I welcome questions regarding articles at, and look very forward to your ideas gracing our pages!