4 covers of PM magazine 2023 issues

PM welcomes contributions from all parts of the world. Articles published deal with professional issues in local government, particularly from the local government manager’s point of view. The magazine format includes feature and department articles that focus on a variety of local government management topics. Check out our 2024 Editorial Calendar.

Can I write for PM magazine?

Public Management (PM) magazine is constantly seeking manuscripts for publication, and many local government professionals have valuable information that can be shared with PM readers. But often having something to convey and actually conveying it are two different matters.

For one reason or another, potential authors either do not realize that they have significant ideas, or they just never get around to putting their ideas on paper. Many people view the task of writing an article to be overwhelming. Others would like to try but just do not know where to begin. This information is intended to help potential authors take the first step.

What should I write about?

Many professionals believe that they do not have anything to write about, but just checking their calendars or appointment books could generate ideas. They can write about what they have been doing or the challenges they have faced. They can describe how they solved a particular problem—with favorable or unfavorable results. What may not seem like earth-shattering news to one person could be enlightening to someone else.

Local government administrators can discuss views on important issues, or they can offer guidance to colleagues on matters of mutual interest. PM typically looks for manuscripts that have strong practical appeal. It does publish articles that are theoretical in nature, but many of the articles contain information that readers can put to immediate use in their own local governments.

Potential authors can write about topics that have been covered in other professional publications. Different people may address the same topic in different and unique ways and make an important contribution to the magazine.

SheLeadsGov/Women in Leadership

This special column in PM is authored by women in the local government profession. Write about any aspect of “leading while female.” For example, you could write about a female mentor or role model who inspired you, a situation on the job that felt unfair because you were a woman, how work/life balance can be different for women, etc. Word count: 400 to 600 words. Interested in writing for this column? Email pm@icma.org.

IDEALS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, Leadership, and Social Justice)

Our IDEALS column is a space for anyone to share stories of great successes, hard-fought attempts, or moments of reflection around inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, leadership, and social justice in local government. Each of these values are important as guiding principles for us as local government leaders and the communities we serve. Word count: 400 to 600 words. Interested in writing for this column? Email pm@icma.org.

What are the content guidelines?

Submissions should be rooted in ICMA’s core values and align with our mission: To advance professional local government through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics.

It is PM’s editorial policy to publish articles that are written in a clear and concise style in order to bring the article’s message to magazine readers. Contributors are encouraged to personalize their articles and to write articles that reflect what is important to local government professionals. Writing from experience, include information that readers can adapt to their own situations. Also, if applicable, include the monetary costs and any problems or benefits involved.

PM does not publish articles that are self-promotional or market a product or service available from a vendor. It is understood by the contributor that all articles are subject to revisions by the editor and that the right of publication in any language or form is reserved by the magazine.

It is PM’s policy that authors fact-check and verify the accuracy of their work, and obtain any necessary approvals from the local governments they write about.  

What should I keep in mind while writing?

PM articles usually have three basic parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction should catch the reader’s attention, describe the subject, and briefly outline the organization of the article. The body contains the author’s elaboration on the subject matter. This is the longest part of the article, and it includes all the analyses, descriptions, and examples that the author feels are necessary to get the ideas across. The conclusion section of an article can then summarize important points that were made in the body, draw inferences from the material in the body or call attention to the accomplishments the author set out to make.

Articles should be written so that readers can quickly skim over the main points. Exhibits, graphs, and tables can also help the reader understand the information.

While not necessary, an executive summary (several bullet points that tell readers what they will learn from reading the article) is helpful.

What should I include with my article submission?

Include an article title and subtitle, along with the author's name, job title, organization, high-resolution headshot, and any photos relevant to the article, such as photos of your community, if it is the subject of the article. At the time the article is submitted, the editor should be informed if it has been published or submitted to other magazines or publications.

Extensive endnotes are not encouraged because PM is not a scholarly journal. If necessary, however, they should be numbered consecutively (1, 2, 3, and so on) in the text and listed separately at the end of the article. Any type of resource list is encouraged, with short urls.

Charts and graphics that help explain the content, along with color photographs and captions, are encouraged.

How do I submit an article?

Submissions should be sent to the editor at PM@icma.org as a Microsoft Word document.

What is the article review process?

Once the manuscript is received at ICMA, it is reviewed for possible publication. Authors will be notified of a publication decision and whether any revisions are necessary.

If the manuscript is rejected, it does not necessarily mean that it is not worthy of publication. It could be that another manuscript covering the same topic already has been accepted or published. The manuscript might also be held for publication in a future issue covering the topic.

What is the production process? 

An edit for PM and Chicago style always follows the content review. ICMA will then send the author the copyedited article for their review, at which point the author may add any last edits. After the author's review and during the final proofing process, minor modifications may be made by the editorial staff without consultation with the author. A short production schedule prohibits sending authors the page proofs of articles that are ready to go to the printer.

Unless an author makes a request in writing to retain the copyright to an article, it is assumed that the article belongs to the magazine. Requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or translate articles in any way should be sent to the editor.

What do I gain by writing for PM?

Our authors gain the recognition of their peers! Don't keep your expertise to yourself. By writing a magazine article, you are sharing expertise with your colleagues and peers, and information sharing is what this magazine has been all about for 100 years. ICMA shares PM articles through its various social media channels, so your article will receive great exposure in the local government space. You can further your reach by sharing the article yourself through your own social media channels.