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Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 1

Style Guide for Leading Edge magazine


Samuel Wright
Created On: November 11, 2014
Leading Edge (http://leadingedgemagazine.com/) is a magazine dedicated to publishing short stories,
poetry, and articles dealing with science fiction and fantasy. The magazine is published Brigham Young
University in Provo, UT, and sold through Amazon.com to an English-speaking audience worldwide.
Leading Edge accepts and publishes material from contributors all over the United States and
worldwide. Many of these contributors speak English as a second language. When preparing accepted
submissions for publication, Leading Edge editors must be careful to preserve the authors styles and
voices and only make edits that strengthen the pieces.
For the most part, the principles in this style guide will only be applied to material written by Leading
Edge staff (articles, editorials, etc.) but will also give instruction for editing manuscripts and working
with contributing authors. Typically, Leading Edges house style conforms to The Chicago Manual of
Style (16th ed., hereafter referred to as Chicago). Therefore, this style guide is not to be taken as a fully
comprehensive source when it comes to style. Instead, it is meant to resolve questions not answered
directly by Chicago, specify the magazines preferred option when Chicago presents equal alternatives,
and reinforce Chicago principles that are frequently violated by writers and editors.
Given the magazines international audience, it is necessary to make articles as clear as possible to
nonnative speakers of English or speakers of English variations besides American. This style guide will
incorporate many elements of global English as explained in Edward Weisss The Elements of
International English: A Guide to Writing English Correspondance, Reports, Technical Documents, and
Internet Pages for a Global Audience (hereafter referred to as Weiss).

Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 2

Table of Contents
1 Grammar and Usage
1.1 That
1.2 Biased Language
1.3 Redundancies
2 Punctuation
2.1 Spacing
2.2 Serial Comma
2.3 Em Dash
2.4 En Dash
2.5 Hyphen
2.6 Punctuation and Quotation Marks
2.7 Quotations within Quotations
3 Spelling and Distinctive Treatments of Words
3.1 Fictional Words
3.2 British Spelling
3.3 Conservative Spelling
3.4 Leading Edge
3.5 Conversations on the LEdge
4 Names, Titles, and Places
4.1 Composition Titles
4.2 leadingedgemagazine.com
4.3 Personal Names
5 Numbers
5.1 Use of Numerals
5.2 Dates
5.3 Currency
5.4 Punctuation for Numbers
5.5 Ordinal Numbers
6 Abbreviations
6.1 Abbreviations
6.2 Acronyms, Initialisms, and Contractions

Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 3

1 Grammar and Usage


1.1 That
The relative pronoun that should always be used to provide clarity for nonnative speakers of English.
(See Weiss 6869.)
NOT
I discovered many authors try to emulate Tolkien in their world-building.
BUT
I discovered that many authors try to emulate Tolkien in their world-building.
1.2 Biased Language
Avoid sexist or gender-biased writing. Despite common belief, they is not a cure all solution. To ensure
that pronouns match the nouns they refer to in number, do not use they (which is plural) to refer to a
singular noun. Also, he or she and similar pronoun sets are clunky, so avoid using them. In most cases, it
is best to simply revise the sentence and avoid any need for a gender-specific pronoun. (See Chicago
5.2215.230.)
NOT
Every author should include a self-addressed envelope with his submission.
Every author should include a self-addressed envelope with their submission.
Every author should include a self-addressed envelope with his or her submission.
BUT
Authors should include a self-addressed envelope with each submission.
1.3 Redundancies
Limit redundant language. When you can do the job of two words with one, choose the one over the
two. This will help nonnative speakers to understand more clearly. (See Weiss 5253.)
NOT
The hero fights an entirely indestructible foe.
BUT
The hero fights an indestructible foe.

2 Punctuation
2.1 Spacing
Use one space, not two, after periods, commas, colons, semicolons, question marks, and exclamation
marks. (See Chicago 6.7.)
NOT
This book is fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone.
BUT
This book is fantastic. I would recommend it to anyone.
2.2 Commas
Whenever you feel that a comma can be used but is not necessary, use it. Normally, journalistic writing
favors a restricted use of commas, but the commas inclusion will provide clarity for nonnative speakers
of English. (See Weiss 72.)

Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 4


NOT
His adventures include treks through dungeons, battles with goblins and a confrontation
with evil incarnate.
BUT
His adventures include treks through dungeons, battles with goblins, and a
confrontation with evil incarnate.
2.3 Em Dash
You may use em dashes ()in place of commas, parentheses, or colons. However, do not just use a
double hyphen (--) and think that it is the same thing. There should be no spaces around the em dash.
(See Chicago 6.8289.)
NOT
Harry--who realized he was a horcrux--had to make the ultimate sacrifice.
BUT
Harrywho realized he was a horcruxhad to make the ultimate sacrifice.
2.4 En Dash
Use the en dash () for number ranges. (See Chicago 6.7879.)
NOT
Pages 29-51
BUT
Pages 2951
2.5 Hyphen
Only use Hyphens in compound words and modifiers. Do not use them in place of an em or en dash.
Further, when a word has two alternative spellings, one with a hyphen and another without, use the
hyphen to help nonnative speakers of English understand more clearly. (See Chicago 6.7677 and Weiss
73.)
NOT
He devoted his life to finding the six fingered man.
Please email us your submissions.
BUT
He devoted his life to finding the six-fingered man.
Please e-mail us your submissions.
2.6 Punctuation and Quotation Marks
As Leading Edges audience is primarily American, use the closed model of punctuation. This means that
periods and commas should always precede closing quotation marks. However, closing quotation marks
precede colons and semicolons. Exclamation and question marks also follow quotation marks, unless
they belong to the quote itself. (See Chicago 6.6 and 6.910, and Weiss 75.)
NOT
The author said, Its an honor just to be published, then walked away.
The author said, Its an honor just to be published; I hate false modesty.
Are you sure the author said, Its an honor just to be published?
BUT
The author said, Its an honor just to be published, then walked away.
The author said, Its an honor just to be published; I hate false modesty.
Are you sure the author said, Its an honor just to be published?

Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 5

2.7 Quotations within Quotations


Use single quotation marks within existing double quotations. (See Chicago 6.11.)
NOT
His uncle is quick to swoop in: Dont talk rubbish, said Uncle Vernon. There is no
platform nine and three-quarters.
BUT
His uncle is quick to swoop in: Dont talk rubbish, said Uncle Vernon. There is no
platform nine and three-quarters.

3 Spelling and Distinctive Treatment of


Words
3.1 Fictional Words
Use italics when introducing a word that was invented by an author and is unique to their work.
However, only use italics for the first use, then roman type for all subsequent uses.
NOT
Terry Pratchetts books often refer to octarine, a color that only wizards can see. He
often describes octarine as a fluorescent greenish-yellow purple.
BUT
Terry Pratchetts books often refer to octarine, a color that only wizards can see. He
often describes octarine as a fluorescent greenish-yellow purple.
3.2 British Spelling
As the majority of Leading Edges audience is based in the United States, use American spelling over
British when you need to make the decision. (See Weiss 46.)
NOT
He was a rabid theatre fan.
BUT
He was a rabid theater fan.
3.3 Standard Spelling
To avoid confusion, avoid nonstandard spellings and stick to standard spellings. (See Weiss 46.)
NOT
The story concerns a peddler with mysterious healing kreme.
BUT
The story concerns a peddler with mysterious healing cream.
3.4 Leading Edge
When referring to the magazine in the third-person, treat Leading Edge as a single, non-human entity,
not plural.
NOT
Leading Edge has high standards. They will only accept the very best stories.
BUT
Leading Edge has high standards. It will only accept the very best stories.

Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 6

3.5 Conversations on the Ledge


When referring to Leading Edges podcast, Conversations on the LEdge, always capitalize the L and E in
LEdge. The name should also be italicized, with episode names in quotation marks. (See Chicago 8.187.)
NOT
The first episode of Conversations on the Ledge is called Science Fiction vs. Fantasy.
BUT
The first episode of Conversations on the LEdge is called Science Fiction vs. Fantasy.

4 Names, Titles, and Terms


4.1 Composition Titles
Use italics for titles of larger works (books, magazines, movies, etc.). Use quotation marks for titles of
subsections (chapters, articles, etc.) and short stories. However, titles of websites and book series are
neither italicized nor put in quotation marks. (See Chicago 8.161.)
NOT
Leading Edge
Chapter 1 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, The Boy Who Lived
The Yellow Wallpaper (short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
BUT
Leading Edge
Chapter 1 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, The Boy Who Lived
The Yellow Wallpaper (short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman)
4.2 leadingedgemagazine.com
Never include www. when writing out Leading Edges web address.
NOT
You can always find more information at www.leadingedgemagazine.com.
BUT
You can always find more information at leadingedgemagazine.com.
4.3 Personal Names
When referring to an individual, such as an author or other person of mention, use the full name (or
penname) on the first occurrence, then the surname on all subsequent occurrences.
NOT
J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis helped to define the modern fantasy genreJ. R. R.
Tolkien with The Lord of the Rings and C. S. Lewis with The Chronicles of Narnia.
BUT
J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis helped to define the modern fantasy genreTolkien with
The Lord of the Rings and Lewis with The Chronicles of Narnia.

Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 7

5 Numbers
5.1 Use of Numerals
Contrary to Chicago style, use numerals for numbers greater than nine, even when other numbers in the
same sentence are smaller than 10.
NOT
One author has completed 20 books while the other has only finished 2.
BUT
One author has completed 20 books while the other has only finished two.
5.2 Dates
When writing dates, spell out the month, then follow it with the date and year. This is to avoid confusion
overseas. (See Weiss 48.)
NOT
The novel will be published on 1/31/2015.
BUT
The novel will be published on January 31, 2015.
5.3 Currency
Since Leading Edge is sold internationally, it is important to specify which currency is being used for
prices, pay rates, etcetera. (See Weiss 99.)
NOT
Fiction payment is 1 (one) cent per word: $10.00 minimum, $50.00 maximum.
BUT
Fiction payment is 1 (one) cent per word: US$10.00 minimum, US$50.00 maximum.
5.4 Punctuation for Numbers
Use American punctuation standards for numbers and amounts.
NOT
The paperback sells for US$8,99.
BUT
The paperback sells for US$8.99.
5.5 Ordinal Numbers
Contrary to Chicago style, only spell out ordinal numbers lower than 10th. Never use superscript. (See
Chicago 9.6.)
NOT
She was the twelfth to do so.
BUT
She was the 12th to do so.

Style Guide/ Leading Edge/ page 8

6 Abbreviations
6.1 Abbreviations
Remember to follow all Chicago guidelines in how to use abbreviations. (See Chicago 10.)
NOT
eg
PHD
J.F.K.
BUT
e.g.
PhD
JFK
6.2 Acronyms, Initialisms, and Contractions
When using an acronym, initialism, or contraction that the audience likely does not already know, be
sure to introduce the abbreviation by writing out what it stands for, followed by the abbreviation in
parentheses. Do this the first time, then use the abbreviation in subsequent occurrences. Because of our
international audience, do not assume that an abbreviation will be readily understood without this
introduction. (See Weiss 51.)
NOT
Harry spends most of the book forming and leading the DA.
BUT
Harry spends most of the book forming and leading Dumbledores Army (the DA).