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Writing for MAA FOCUS

We are always looking for news items, columns, and articles that will be of interest to MAA members everywhere. If you'd like to contribute, here are some guidelines:

MAA FOCUS is a news magazine, not a journal. Articles should be short, informal, and include photos and illustrations. A personal tone is acceptable and sometimes even preferred. MAA FOCUS is not a scholarly journal: Hence, we avoid footnotes and bibliographies, preferring in-line citations and “Get more” suggestions. Successful submissions will be of interest to our wide audience.

MAA FOCUS articles are short with articles frequently ranging between 1200 and 1600 words, and columns being between 800 and 1000 words. 

We like mathematics! We love general interest stories about new mathematical developments or a new way to think of an old idea. On the other hand, we don’t publish theorem-proof articles.

We love pictures. If you have an interesting photo, we’d be glad to consider it for publication with a short caption. To be publishable, pictures should be high resolution and in a graphics format, preferably jpg. Please don't embed graphics in Word files; we can't use them that way.

The best way to submit your article or news item is as an email attachment. Send it to maafocus@maa.org. Do not expect an instant response, but if we take more than a month, don't be afraid to email again to follow up.

Whenever possible, send articles in Microsoft Word. Avoid introducing too much formatting into your text. Lay out paragraphs without first-line indentation and without justification. Skip a line between paragraphs.

Put your name on the manuscript. Please put your name and contact information on the first page of the document, not just in the email.

Every MAA FOCUS article includes a sentence or two about the author at the end of each article. Please include this short bio with your article. Readers want to know whose work they are reading.

We follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. But don’t stress about it. The most important thing about punctuation, usage, and spelling is to be consistent. In particular, when referring to people in your article, we use full names on first mention, last names after that. Your submission will be copyedited, both for clarity and for space.

MAA FOCUS has a publication lead time of at least two months. For example, copy is due at the beginning of April for consideration for our June/July issue. If you need to tell the members something quickly, MAA FOCUS is not for you. We publish six issues per year: February/March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October/November, and December/January.

Please make sure you own the copyright to any text or images you submit.

Ask. If you’re wondering whether something will work, ask us [maafocus@maa.org].

We look forward to your submissions.

Jacqueline Jensen-Vallin, Editor

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