Posted by: Francis Koster Published: February 13, 2014

Article Submission Guidelines & Style Guide

Leads & Submission Queries

There are two ways to submit an article for the Optimistic Futurist: 

  • Using a lead provided by the Optimistic Futurist;
  • Submitting a query with a lead of your own. (If you select this option, prior to writing the article, you must submit a query paragraph that describes the thrust and direction of the article you are proposing, for approval by Dr. Francis Koster.  Absent this guidance, well-intentioned writers may create very interesting articles which do not have the focus we have in mind; the result is that rework is required, and irritation abounds.

OurfffArjjjfffAArticles should clearly state the issue being addressed, as well as how the local solution was successfully implemented.  

Format & Style 

  • Articles should be saved in Microsoft Word format for transmission to us.
  • All articles should be between 750 and 1,100 words.
  • Text of the article should be in the Verdana font at size 10, with single line spacing.
  • Headlines are to be in the Verdana font, size 12, and no more than 20 words in length. Capitalize the first letter in every word of the headline. Center the headline at the top of the page on the first line.  Avoid duplicating a headline that already appears on the site.
  • Use two spaces after ending punctuation.
  • Articles should be written at the 10th grade reading level or lower.
  • Any facts or figures stated in your article must be documented using APA-formatted endnotes (not footnotes), with hyperlinks to a reliable source – not Wikipedia, or any similarly "crowdsourced" information site.  Endnotes should be numbered using standard Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3), not Roman numerals; please do not use superscript or subscript.
  • In addition to your endnotes, you should include helpful links related to the article so that readers may learn more.
  • The use of embedded public domain / free-to-use images and videos is encouraged. Any image or video must be used in accordance with any licensing or permission requirements (see also #7, “Legal to use,” below).
  • You may choose to have your byline on your article or not, as you prefer.

We have a standard file naming protocol that should be used (remember, you cannot use punctuation in a file name - but you can use underscores): TheOptimisticFuturist_(name of lead)_(date of latest draft)_(last name of author)_(time of day of latest draft).docx

TheOptimisticFuturist_Innovative Haircuts_May 23 2014_Koster_2 pm.docx

Once submitted, Dr. Koster will proofread the article for language, grammar and content.

Writers whose work meets the criteria listed here, and who follow the approval process outlined here, will be paid $50 by check upon posting of the article.  Posting takes about three days.  Articles accepted for publication but not posted will result in a $25 “kill fee.”  

No article will be published unless it:

  1. Contains a clear goal statement pertaining to the project being described;
  2. Cites documented metrics showing progress toward the stated goal of the project being featured;
  3. Details whether a project is ongoing - note that we will publish a report of a project which succeeded and then ceased operations;
  4. Describes the major challenges overcome;
  5. Shows a positive cash flow after start-up (volunteer labor must be assigned a free market comparable value in these calculations);
  6. Demonstrates that the project can be replicated elsewhere; and
  7. Is accompanied by, at a minimum, one “legal to use” still photograph, although short “legal to use” videos are preferred.

(For our purposes, "legal to use" means that the image or video fits one of the following categories:

  • It was created by you, and you own the copyright to it and give us permission to use it with your article;  
  • It is in the public domain, as defined by U.S. Copyright law; or
  • It is being provided for use by permission of the copyright holder(s).


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Francis P. Koster Ed.D.

Proven local solutions to national problems.


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