Journalists are always taught to spell out the HOW, WHERE, WHAT, WHY and WHEN of a story. “Be succinct” they are told, and what good advice it is! More especially valuable when writing short stories and articles, when the ’bones’ really must count. The topic is all important; too much meandering is frowned upon. Articles shouldn’t be written in a showy or high-flown fashion; and short sentences work best. Double-lined spacing is the norm (unless otherwise stated) on size A4 white paper. Always adhere to the specified length and word count when entering competitions or complying with briefs, otherwise your articles will not be accepted. Remember, dialogue brings an article to life, and personal interviews are an added bonus. When using quotations, especially lengthy ones, do make sure that the originator has been dead for one hundred years…or that you have had permission to do so. One big thing in your favour is that there is no copyright on FACT. So, as long as you have done your research and got it right, you can get a lot of life out of just one article by rehashing or adding to it, and offering it for other publications.