Would you like to write for TFR?

 So you want to write for TFR? Congratulations and welcome to a unique group of trade finance experts and practitioners. Articles, ideas for news stories, opinions, volunteers for interviews are all very welcome.  But all we ask is you remember the following terms of business we work to:

  • Exclusive content.  Articles for editorial inclusion must be, unless otherwise agreed, not be submitted for publication in any other media. Of course extracts of client reports, such as the Natixis Metals Review, the weekly Euler Hermes reports are exceptions, but as a rule of thumb, narrative explanatory articles must be original. Sometimes we get requests that articles are used for client websites and email bulletins. These are dealt with on a case by case basis, but the rule of thumb is that a TFR feature is premium content so if it is available free elsewhere, there is less incentive to subscribe and without subscriptions TFR is not viable.
  • Editorial is NOT free sponsored copy. Of course some of you work with communications agencies and at TFR we are proud of our track record of working with the main financial PR companies to secure informative, well-written content.  Subtle promotions of the contributor's organisation are always ruthlessly excised, but happily we have not had to do that very often.
  • Reliability. If you offer to write for us and we agree a deadline and an issue, please adhere to it. If you suddenly find you can't do it, let us know as soon as possible, not at the last minute. But the general rule of thumb is don't offer if you think you actually don't really have the time. 

TFR readership

TFR readers  come from a wide market group as trade finance covers not only the provision of finance, but its regulation, its use by corporates, its relationship with commodities (on which many deals are secured), and its risk management. Your article should appeal to one or more of these market groups – you should write clearly enough to attract the generalist’s passing attention, and show sufficient knowledge to be credible to fellow specialists in your area.

The basic proposition for any article is that it should be possible to read it as ‘a good story’, whatever the topic. Every article should have the potential to appeal to all readers, irrespective of their main areas of interests.

It's not that we believe that our subscribers will read every single article we publish but it is important that the TFR should be accessible to all and appeal to every reader in their capacity as at trade finance professional with an inherent interest in broader legal issues.

With this in mind, your main task will be to capture readers’ attention from the start and ensure that you provide them with personal thinking throughout. Do have a look at the guidelines set out below:

 

The basics

(a) Opening line

If there is one sentence you need to spend time on, it’s this one. This sentence will set the tone of the piece and will tease your reader into reading on – or not.

It should be informative and enticing without being overly detailed or sensational (don’t go ‘tabloid’). Its tone should be persuasive enough to bring your fellow experts on side, and sufficiently engaging for non-specialists to consider reading it as a general interest piece in its own right.

(b) Tell a story

There is no such thing as a ‘dull but important’ development; if it’s important but you believe not immediately obvious why, then make it clear in the first few paragraphs, by providing examples for instance. Do this and you will win your reader’s trust straightaway.

(c) So what?

It's all very well to report what has happened in a particular economy, transaction, or area of trade finance practice, but you should assume readers will already know about it. They will be interested in your own analysis, thoughts and views. So make sure you provide the answer to this question: 'so what?'. Your answer to or discussion about the topic should make up two thirds of your article.

(d) Be concise

Readers’ time is as precious as yours, so be sharp and to the point and don’t assume everyone knows specialist terminology.

(e) What you think

TFR  intends to provide three types of articles: either practical insight into current trade finance issues,  personal views, or financial analysis. Either way, we want to hear what you think, and how it might affect a provider or user of trade finance, not what we already know from reading the Financial Times or the Economist.

(f) Jargon and technicalities

You can be accurate and avoid ambiguities without having recourse to jargon or technical formulas - they get in the way and are usually not necessary. Remember that even if you are writing for an audience of educated peers, you are not writing a trade finance contract or pitch for trade finance business.

(g) Avoid clichés

This should go without saying: please don't use clichés. They are not cool and they don't make an article more accessible.  

Any queries?

Binyamin Ali, Editor

020 7566 8253 binyaminali@wilmingtonplc.com

Submitting copy

Articles should be submitted by email to binyamin.ali@wilmingtonplc.com either as attachments (Microsoft Word documents or simple Text documents) or pasted into the body of the email.

For ease of identification, please make sure your / the author’s name appears clearly at the top of the article. Please also ensure you provide:

  • A brief description of yourself / the author(s) (e.g. John Smith is head of trade finance at XYZ Bank International).
  •  Your / the author’s contact details (postal and email addresses, telephone and fax numbers).
  •  A two-line summary of your role, indication if you are happy to have your email address published and your organisation’s URL

Word count

The maximum standard lengths for TFR articles are:

  •  750 words (one printed page)
  •  1,200 words (two printed pages)
  •    2,100 words (three printed pages

 

However these wordcounts reduce by 200 words per image if you include charts and diagrams.

Further reading:

How to impress commissioning editors (Journalism.co.uk, 1 November 2006) 
http://www.journalism.co.uk/features/story3065.shtml
The Economist style guide (summary version, but contains useful writing tips)
http://www.economist.com/research/styleguide/
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