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Coop Scoop Submissions

Hello and thanks for your interest in submitting to Honest Weight's Coop Scoop, which has been written by Co-op members since 1976!

Past issues of the Coop Scoop are available for your reference here. 

We are currently seeking submissions for the July/August issue. The theme is "Balance."

Please fill out this form by Monday, April 8th for your submission for the July/August issue of Honest Weight's Coop Scoop Magazine. Finished articles are usually around 800 words. We may ask you to extend your piece to 1,200 words (or you can request submitting a longer featured article).

Here are some ideas on the theme:

Family/Work balance
Balancing Acts
Balancing a Budget
Balance in the environment
Balanced nutrition
Social justice
Ecological balance
Work and Play

We also invite shorter pieces and sidebars:

Member/employee interviews
Recipes (keep it seasonal, please)
Kid’s Corner page (word find, maze, project, coloring illustration etc.)

A note:

Please keep track of the time you spend writing your proposal in addition to any drafts written and submitted to the Coop Scoop Editors. You can reach out with any questions to

Read our Coop Scoop Style Guidelines

Coop Scoop Style Guidelines

General notes

Articles written for publication in Coop Scoop use an informal, witty, conversational tone, though not at the cost of clarity or correctness. Experts require neither excessive formality nor excessive casualness to express their authority. If you write with Coop Scoop’s readership in mind and sound like yourself, you’re most of the way there already.

Keep your readers in mind

Write with the intent that everyone from Harvard to High School-educated folks read Coop Scoop. If you dumb down your article you could offend some of our readers and if you’re too technical, you’ll lose them.  Our readers come from many backgrounds so take time to define your terms and provide pertinent background information while embellishing with the wit and humor we love.

Article lengths

Our article lengths vary depending upon the piece. We welcome unique storytelling on a diversity of topics.

One to two features: up to 1200 words

Five to seven columns: up to 800 words

Article format (less is better)

Please submit your article in 12pt Times New Roman font.  Use the same font throughout the entire article.

Your article should be double-spaced throughout.

Use BLOCK format: Use “enter” twice to start a new paragraph. Do not use the space bar or “tabs” to indent or to align text. Use “enter” and place this text on its own line. No bullets, no fancy stuff.

Only one (1) space after periods (not two (2) … it throws off formatting).

Please include references at the end of your document but do not use the automatic formatting “endnote” function in Word.

References should be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style.

If using the “track changes” feature in Microsoft Word, make sure all marks have been accepted as final before submitting (i.e., there should be no revision marks, hidden or otherwise, in the article).

House style

In general, we use U.S. English according to the Chicago Manual of Style, with Fowler’s Modern English Usage taking over in tricky situations.  Visit for help.

Article titles, headlines, and subheads

Article titles (each major word is uppercase): does not take terminal punctuation unless a question mark is required; do not take the serial comma (i.e., the comma preceding the “and” before the last element in a list); use the ampersand in place of “and.” For example, article title or document title: Big, Stark & Chunky

Headlines (only the initial word is uppercase): does not take terminal punctuation unless a question mark is required; takes the serial comma; use the word “and.” For example, article headline or subhead: Big, stark, and chunky

Subheads: Mark up article headings as h2 and subheads as h3 or h4, as needed. Most article headings are conceptually and rhetorically at the same level as each other; avoid unnecessary complexity and mark them up as h2 unless they’re true subheads. h1 is reserved for use as a page header.

Punctuation details

Acronyms: Organizations that are widely known under their acronyms should be indexed and alphabetized according to the abbreviations. Parenthetical glosses, cross-references, or both should be added if the abbreviations, however familiar to the indexer, may not be known to all readers of the particular work. Lesser-known organizations are better indexed under the full name, with a cross-reference from the abbreviation if it is used frequently in the work.

Abbreviations: Limit abbreviations as much as possible.  When using expressions such as “et cetera,” although more often seen as “etc.” is discouraged in formal writing. If used, it should be confined to parenthetical material or lists and tables. 

Ampersand: Avoid the use of the ampersand except in article titles.

Brackets: Square brackets are used mainly to enclose material – usually added by someone other than the original writer-that does not belong to the surrounding text. Correct Example: “She was determined never again to speak to him [her former employer].”

Capitalization: The words “internet,” “net,” “web,” and “website” should not be capitalized when they are found in sentence-cased text. E-mail and e-commerce take the hyphen, but not a capital “e.”  When using title case, capitalize the first, last, and all other major words. Lowercase “and,” “but,” “for,” “or,” and “nor” unless they are emphasized in a particular heading.

When a headline-style heading includes a hyphenated phase, always capitalize the first element. Capitalize the second element unless it is an article, preposition, or any of the coordinating conjunctions noted above. Exception: if the first element is a prefix like pre-, post-, or anti-, or if the phrase is a written-out number, do not capitalize the second element.

When using sentence case, capitalize only the first word and proper names.

Contractions: As a rule of thumb, write out your words. However, "Don't you want more?" sounds more natural than "Do you not want more?" In this case, the use of “Don’t” is acceptable. Please avoid excessive use.

Citations: The titles of books and other major works as well as the titles of magazines and newspapers are italicized. The titles of articles and other short works are enclosed in quotation marks.

Commas: Use the serial comma (also known as an oxford comma) except in article titles.

Company and publication names: Capitalize the names of companies according to each company’s preference unless they begin a sentence, in which case they must be capitalized. Do not capitalize or otherwise emphasize the definite article before the name of a publication—even the New York Times.

Dash is a full em-dash with no spaces. It’s okay to use two hyphens, no spaces. Don’t let Microsoft Word add spaces around an em-dash.

Ellipsis is three dots treated as a word with one space on either side. The use of the em dash (—) can overlap the usage of the ellipsis, especially in dialogue.

Hyphens: Hyphenate compound noun phrases used as adjectives unless the noun phrase is so popularly used that hyphenation appears awkward. Do not hyphenate compound adjectival phrases whose first element is an adverb.

Lists: If any item in a list (ordered or not) forms a complete sentence, all items must begin with a capital letter and end with a terminal punctuation mark.

If no items in an unordered list form a complete sentence, skip the capitalization and terminal punctuation.

If the items in the list complete an unfinished introductory sentence, end all but the last item with a semicolon, add an “and” before the final item, and finish off with terminal punctuation.

Names: When referring to Orville and Wilbur Wright as a unit, the word “brothers” should not be capitalized—Wright brothers.

When using proper names in an article, introduce the person by his/her full name. When subsequently referring to the person, use the surname. Correct Example: John Doe serves at the president of the company. When asked about his favorite employee, Doe answered, “They are all wonderful.”

Numbers: Use words for single-digit numbers (one, two, nine) and numerals for double-digit and higher (10, 15, 100). Avoid mixing the two. Correct Examples: He ate one apple, two bananas, and ten hot dogs. (Not: He ate one apple, two bananas, and 10 hot dogs.)

When writing percentages, use numerals for all numbers used as part of percentages, but use the word “percent” for humanistic copy and the “%” symbol for scientific and statistical copy. Correct Examples: 10 percent (but spell out “10” if it begins the sentence); or 10% for scientific or statistical copy.

Parentheses: When an entire independent sentence is enclosed in parentheses or brackets, the period belongs inside the closing parenthesis or bracket. Periods go on the outside of parentheses or brackets when only the end of the sentence in enclosed in parentheses or brackets. Correct Examples: (Our neighbors visited the farm unexpectedly.) James had a wonderful time on his date with Rachel (John’s younger sister).

Periods: Only one (1) space after periods.

Quotation marks & Quotations: Single quotation marks are not used in Coop Scoop except to demarcate quotations within quotations. Use block quotes instead of quotation marks for more substantial quotations.  Periods and commas precede closing quotation marks, whether double or single. When asking a question, here a some examples of correct usage where the punctuation falls outside the quotation marks:

  • What did she mean when she said, “The foot now wears a different shoe”?
  • I don’t think he was serious when he asked, “Can I have a pony?”

Titles: Do not use titles such as Dr., Mr., or Mrs., but identifying credentials such as M.D. or Ph.D. is fine.

Author bios

All final drafts should be accompanied by an author bio. Author bios should be 60 words long and may include links. They should be snappy, informative, and brief.