How to write for finance and development

How to write for Finance & Development

  1. What is Finance & Development?

F&D is the IMF’s most read magazine. It focuses on issues related to macroeconomics, development and finance. It is editorially independent and features authors both inside and outside the Fund. Articles are published online throughout the year and a subset of articles appear in our quarterly print edition (March, June, September and December). In addition to English, F&D appears in Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

  1. Who reads Finance & Development?

F&D readers are well-educated people with an interest in economic and development issues – many are policy makers in the public and private sectors – but they are not necessarily economists. More than 3 million people read F&D’s digital edition each year, and our weekly e-newsletter has a six-figure audience. Our readership is therefore both broad and deep.

  1. Why write for Finance & Development?

Writing for F&D is a great way to reach a well-educated global audience to pitch an idea or share a perspective that can contribute to an ongoing debate. F&D is about accessibility: it offers the opportunity to talk about what you know in a way that will resonate with a wide range of people, from well-educated members of the public to academics and policy makers.

  1. How to write for non-specialists?

The tone of your article should be that of a serious mainstream magazine.The Economist, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic Monthly, for example, not that of an academic journal. You must present your article to a wide audience. Some tips:

First impressions last a lifetime…

  • Engage your readers with a lively opening and immediately establish that your angle is interesting, important, and new.
  • Attract the reader with concrete and colorful examples.
  • Avoid jargon, overly formal language and technical analysis which can be difficult for non-expert readers.

Serious subjects can also be engaging…

  • Focus on what is happening in the world around us and how challenges need to be addressed; discussion of what happens within institutions or the economic profession should be included only insofar as it relates to the outside world (avoid the inside baseball).
  • Provide analysis leading to conclusions and recommendations; don’t just describe.
  • Be concise – ask yourself what can be cut without disrupting the article. Less is more. Along the same lines, use compelling examples and avoid sweeping statements and platitudes.
  • Use graphics wisely. Ask yourself: what is the key message you want an audience to take away from the data. Many graphics fail because they try to communicate too many messages and don’t effectively account for how the average reader will interpret the visualization and ultimately come away with something understandable and memorable.
  • Keep references to a maximum of five and avoid footnotes.

Make your parting words memorable…

  • Close the article on a forward-looking note – share a preview of what’s next.
  1. How to submit an article?

Submit your proposal to [email protected] Include a brief overview and a link to any related documents.

We will study your proposal and contact you if we wish to pursue it. Our editorial team may seek to discuss this further with you before a final decision is made. If given a green light, the editor assigned to you will provide a word limit and other guidance.

Once written, send us your article by e-mail as a Word document. Graphs should be in Excel files, along with data. Create separate files for text, tables, and graphics.

Since the goal is to make the article accessible to a general audience, your article will be edited. The amount of editing we do varies. You will be asked to define or explain technical terms or concepts. We rewrite passages as necessary to eliminate jargon or make the argument clearer; we may also need to shorten the articles to print them.

After editing, we share the draft with F&D Advisory Board (Senior Fund Economists) through a double-blind peer review process. Advisors often provide detailed and substantive comments, which you are encouraged to consider. Your revised article will then be corrected. Throughout the process we will stay in close contact – we will always show you a final version for your approval.

We look forward to cooperating with you.

Thanks for stopping by…if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]

The F&D team

Opinions expressed in articles and other materials are those of the authors; they do not necessarily reflect IMF policy.

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