Catalyst prefers written work be submitted in Microsoft Word format, with 12-point characters and 1.5 line spacing. Choose a simple, easy to read font.
Please use the title of your piece and your full name as the document title, i.e. The Hard Road by John Smith.
When dealing with topical issues, we encourage contributors to pitch story ideas before they commence writing. This means you are less likely to double up on a story someone is already working on, and allows us to better plan each issue.
Consider the purpose of your piece: What are you trying to say? Are you saying it clearly? Do you need facts to back it up, and if so does it need more research? Is it simply an expression of opinion?
Artwork and photographs can be submitted in JPEG, PNG, TIFF or PDF formats. We require a minimum 300dpi resolution for all photographs and artwork.
Naturally, you must be a current RMIT University student to contribute.
Features: 400-1200 words. Longer limits may be negotiated if the editors feel the piece justifies it.
Culture/Lifestyle: As per features.
Reviews: 200-600 words.
Fiction: 1200-3000 words.
Poetry: Maximum 40 lines.
Basic Style Guide
Names of films, books, albums, television shows, periodicals, works of art, and theatre productions are italicised, as are bills enacted by government and the names of ships, i.e. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Crime and Punishment, Neighbours, The Herald Sun, Blue Poles,The RMIT Act 2010, The Titanic.
Song, essay and short story titles appear in single quotation marks, i.e. ‘My Funny Valentine’, ‘So Much Water so Close to Home’.
For sentence breaks stronger than a comma but less so than brackets, use an en dash with a single space on each side, i.e. Susan took her dog Max – but not her cat Sue – out for a stroll.
Numbers one through nine are spelled out, ten and over appear as numerals, i.e. There were only three of us in the lecture out of 25 students.
However, spell out numbers if they begin a sentence, i.e. Thirty-two people were killed in a plane crash yesterday.
Commas should be used appropriately for numbers over one thousand, i.e. 5,480, 23,905, 575,000.
Numbers over one million should be written as follows: 1.2 million, 2.4 billion, 500 million. The same goes for prices, i.e. $3.4 million, $46 billion, $125 million.
We use double quotation marks for speech, and single quotation marks for speech within speech, i.e. “My mother always said to me, ‘You have to finish your homework,’ when I asked if I could play outside.”
All animal names in lower case, unless the name contains a national reference, i.e. German shepherd, Afghan hound, French poodle.
References to a specific university require capitalisation, general references do not, i.e. Jason had always wanted to attend university, and was happy at RMIT. He felt the University was a good place to study.
For popular figures, use full names for introduction but last names thereafter, i.e. Prime Minister Julia Gillard won’t be attending the conference in Jakarta on Thursday. While a controversial decision, Gillard says she has more important things to attend to.
Be careful with decades and years, i.e. Jane loved the ’90s, but her favourite film was 2002’s Ice Age.
End of sentence punctuation is only inside quotation marks for fully quoted sentences. If it’s a part quote, it goes outside, i.e. “We will be looking at the problem”, said Gillard. Emerson added, “It must be solved.”
When an acronym first appears include it inside brackets; then use it following, i.e. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is doing new research into climate change. The CSIRO will receive private funding for the work.
If you have any other style questions, please email the editors.
Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!