Enhancing the professionalism of financial advisors in the best interests of the consumer

FORUM Magazine Writer's Guidelines

FORUM magazine is designed to help financial advisors and planners excel in their careers by providing them with valuable information that they can use to help serve their clients more effectively. FORUM is distributed eight times a year and editorial content is assigned three months in advance of publication date. This is to allow time for writing (four to six weeks), editing (two weeks), production (two weeks), proofing, printing, bindery and mailing (two weeks).

Submitting a story idea

Please review a copy of the magazine before submitting an editorial idea. Submit your query letter (two to three short paragraphs), or complete article if already written, in writing to dgage@advocis.ca.

Queries should be in writing (two to three short paragraphs) and should outline the issues the article will address and why these issues are important/relevant to financial and insurance advisors and list potential sources (if the writer is a professional writer/freelance). Please also indicate the proposed word count (generally 1200 to 2,500 words for feature articles).

If the writer is new to FORUM and has been previously published, we ask that he/she enclose samples of published work and some background information, outlining the author’s area of expertise (if not a professional/freelance writer). If the editor decides that the idea is a good fit, then she will forward it to the editorial advisory board for their feedback. FORUM requires at least four to six weeks to decide whether an editorial idea is suitable.

Article ideas that are most likely to be accepted are those that address current topics in the financial services industry that are of interest to insurance and financial advisors and include the viewpoints of at least two to three experts or sources. Other articles of interest include practice management pieces that help financial advisors do their jobs better. Our readers value articles that are educational and interesting. Highly technical or academic-style writing will most likely not be accepted. Articles that offer real-life examples of end-user applications (i.e., case studies) are also of interest to our readers and articles that provide critical analyses should also include possible solutions to the problems presented.

FORUM will not accept any articles that merely serve as promotional pieces for a company or individual (i.e., advertorial). All self-serving phrases will be edited out of the story as the editor sees fit. Article submissions and ideas should be objective and should not be used as a platform for rants or raves. The editor reserves the right to edit submitted articles for length and/or clarity as she sees fit.

Professional writers are expected to fact check quotes from all sources used in an article before submitting the final draft to the editor. Previews of an entire article to sources are generally not permitted.

The writer selection process

At FORUM, we rely on both experts and professional writers for feature articles and columns. In general, experts and/or advisors are not paid for their articles; professional or freelance writers are.

Professional/freelance writers

Freelance writers bring a multitude of perspectives to a story through the use of several sources or interviewees. These sources tend to be experts in their field and/or financial advisors who can share their perspectives, opinions, expertise and experience with the reader. We expect these sources to be credible and knowledgeable.

Using a professional writer ensures that the article will be both objective and balanced. In addition, the quality of writing of professional writers is generally higher than that of a non-professional writer. In general, these articles are not of a technical nature.

Experts

Experts bring a working knowledge and experience in a particular area to an article. Experts may include advisors who have excelled in a specific area or discipline, consultants, book authors or company/manufacturer in-house experts/resources. We expect technical accuracy from our expert writers, as they are selected based on their credentials and expertise.