Crime Writer's Corner

Writers’ Guidelines for Crime Magazine

We look for well-written, well-researched, well-organized, high-profile crime or criminal-justice stories. Our articles vary in length from 1,500 words to 20,000 words, but we believe the shorter the better, generally speaking. One of our goals is to publish the definitive account of the subjects we write about, so our articles do tend to run long.

Crime Magazine generates only nominal income. Thus we are not able to pay writers for the articles they submit for posting. The writer retains all print rights to the material we publish. One of the perks we offer writers is to post a short bio. Writers often use this space to plug books they've written or Internet sites they operate..

We do take articles on spec, but it is best to query the editor first with your story idea by email: ( ).

The crime categories we cover are listed on the Crime Magazine web site. We do not publish fiction. The best way to get a flavor for the type of writing and research we are looking for is to read some of the articles on the site. First-person writing is accepted as long as it is even-handed. We believe that a compelling presentation of the facts is the best way to get across the point you want to make. We discourage "editorializing" and "sermonizing." Although we are particularly interested in bringing to light injustice and corruption, we shun raw opinion and palpable bias. We do look for articles with a strong point of view, provided they are fair, fact based, documented and make a persuasive argument.

Please submit your articles as an attachment to your email, using Microsoft Word formatting.

Please use only a single space after a sentence. Do not indent your paragraphs; instead use a double line to separate them. Do not justify the right-hand side of the paragraph.

For the sake of uniformity, we follow the Associated Press Stylebook. When spell-checking your article, use the English dictionary, United States version.

Numbers between one and nine are spelled out, e.g., a three-room apartment; numbers over 10 are written numerically -- except for the ages of children under 10, e.g., the 5-year-old girl, or the score of a sporting game, e.g., 6-3.  

Express dates by spelling out the month, adding the numerical day and year, e.g., October 16, 2013. Express times of day as either a.m. or p.m., e.g., 10 a.m..

Books, newspapers, plays, ships and named law cases are italicized, e.g., The New York Times, The Sound of MusicTitanic, Roe v. Wade;  TV shows, songs, and nicknames are placed in quotation makrs, e.g., "CSI: Miami," "My Way," "Bugsy" Siegel.

Quotation ending in a period are enclosed, e.g., She said, "I'm happy for you."

Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's, e.g., the government's policy, even if the noun ends in an "s," e.g., Mrs. Jones's cow.

In general, use the active voice, write with nouns and verbs, and use definite, specific, concrete language.

If you have any other questions about our writers' guidelines, please don't hesitate to ask.


Book Excerpts

Crime Magazine frequently publishes excerpts from soon-to-be published or recently published true crime books.  The excerpts usually are taken from the Introduction and first chapter, and run from between 2,500 and 4,000 words.  If you would like your book considered for excerpting, please query the editor, Pat O’Connor, at the following email address:  crimemag (at)

Due to the promotional value of the placement on Crime Magazine, no fee is paid for publishing the excerpt; further, Crime Magazine retains exclusive Internet rights to the excerpt in perpetuity.  The author or publisher is free to run other excerpts from the same book at other Internet sites as long as those excerpts are materially different from the excerpt published on

Along with the excerpt, Crime Magazine will publish a short biography of the author and display the cover of the book at the top of the article.  Information about how to purchase the book will also be published. 

Thanks again for your interest,

Pat O'Connor, editor

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