How to Write for Finance and Development – IMF F&D

Finance & Development


How to Write for Finance & Development

Finance & Development
is published quarterly in English, at the beginning of March, June,
September, and December in hard copy, online, and in tablet format.
F&D is also published in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and
Spanish. The other language editions are normally published within two
to four weeks of the English.

What You Need to Know

Who reads Finance & Development?

Our subscribers are well-educated people interested in economic and
development issues—many are decision makers in both the public and the
private sectors—but they are not necessarily economists. Therefore, you
should not pitch your article to your colleagues in the IMF, the World
Bank, or the academic world, but to a broader audience—that means
avoiding jargon, narrow topics, or analysis that is too technical to be
understood by a nonspecialist.

How should you write for nonspecialists?

The tone of your article should be that of a serious consumer magazine— The Economist, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic Monthly, for
example—not that of an academic journal. Your opening should be lively
enough to appeal to a general reader and should immediately establish
the reason the subject you are writing about is interesting and
important. Concrete, colorful examples are always a good way to draw
the reader in. Let the reader know your main message in the
opening paragraphs.

If you have specific examples or country studies you would like to
cite, you may consider putting them in boxes. This will break up the
text, allow your main arguments to flow more smoothly, and highlight
interesting information. Keep references to a minimum, and don’t use

Next Steps

How do you submit an article?

There are two ways to get published in Finance & Development. First, we can request a
contribution from you, based on your expertise and body of work.

Second, you can submit a proposal to the managing editor (, with an
outline of the proposed article or a copy of the paper on which the
article may be based. If you have already drafted an article, send the
draft by email to the editor-in-chief.

A few weeks after submitting a proposal or draft article for
publication in Finance & Development (F&D), we will
inform you whether the proposed article is being considered for
publication, and whether you will need to do additional work on it. If
you have not heard from us, contact COMFDMAG@IMF.ORG).

How far in advance should you submit an article?

We prefer to receive drafts of articles accepted for publication in a
given issue at least three months in advance. We may sometimes hold
articles over if their subject is related to a theme we plan to feature
in a future issue. On rare occasions, we may be forced to hold an
article over because of space limitations.


Send us your article via email as a Word document. Charts should be in
Excel files, accompanied by data. Create separate files for text, tables,
and charts. Do not attempt to format articles yourself—for example, do not
embed boxes, tables, and charts in the text, and do not use rules or
screens to highlight features. We will have to remove all formatting so our
designer can lay out the article according to F&D’s style.

How long should articles be?

Finance & Development
articles typically run between two and four printed pages. Your editor will
advise on the word count of your article. If you have charts and tables,
the text should be reduced somewhat to accommodate them (each chart, for
example, is equal to about 150 words).

How should you handle charts and tables?

Charts and tables often clarify or enliven the points made in an article.
If you plan to use charts and tables, you should submit them at the same
time as your draft article. They should tell a story succinctly and be easy
for a nonspecialist to understand. For examples, look at recent issues of F&D. You will see that charts and tables have short, snappy
titles and short blurbs that summarize what is being illustrated
graphically. Whenever possible, send us chart data electronically, since we
must reformat charts to conform to our editorial style.

Who edits and clears articles?

When we receive an article, it is assigned to one of our editors. The
amount of editing varies. In some cases, editors restructure and
substantially rewrite an article; in other cases, copyediting to make the
article conform to our editorial style may be all that is needed. Since the
goal is to make the article accessible to a general audience, you will be
asked to define or explain any technical terms or concepts. We rewrite
passages if necessary to eliminate jargon and delete overly technical
material; and we shorten articles if the original draft will not fit in the
space allotted.

After editing, we return the article to you for review. Once you are happy
with the edit, we send the article (without your name on it) to F&D’s advisory board for review and clearance for publication.
Advisors often make detailed and substantive comments, which we send (also
anonymously) to you, to take into account in revising your article.

will draft the title and “blurb” (a 10-15-word summary of the article) and
select a photo or illustration in consultation with you; F&D
has final say on these elements of the article.

Fund staff are expected to alert their Department Head/supervisor that they
are writing for F&D.

When your article has been finalized, we will send you the proofs for a
final review.

How many copies of the magazine do article authors receive?

After your article has been published by Finance & Development, we will send you five hard copies of
the magazine. If you need more copies—for example, because you want to
distribute your article at a seminar or another event—please let us know so
that we can make arrangements.

We would appreciate your forwarding to us copies of any reviews of, or
letters about, your article.

Contact Us

Maureen Burke, F&D Managing Editor,

Gita Bhatt, F&D Editor-in-Chief,

Please copy

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