It’s only been a few hours since the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association’s (JDNA) Writers Workshop here at the Dermatology Nurses’ Association’s 32nd Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida. I am still filled with the enthusiasm and passion for writing and for our journal that filled the room this morning. Brainstorming, discussing, sharing, and mentoring filled the 2-hour workshop, which seemed to pass by in minutes!
After a brief introduction, Angela Borger, our Editor-in-Chief, handed the presentation over to Editorial Board member, Chris Wilson. As an experienced educator and author herself, Chris shared her knowledge and expertise about the writing process, emphasizing that, although many of us feel intimidated by writing an article for publication, it shouldn’t be a daunting experience—it can even be fun!
After Chris’s dynamic and entertaining presentation, we broke into smaller groups, mixing editorial board members and more experienced authors with those new to the process. Each group shared ideas, including completed projects and ideas for new projects to both write themselves or to recruit from professional and personal connections.
Along with manuscript topics, discussions about the process of writing and reviewing also developed. JDNA has an online submission process using a program called “Editorial Manager.” Although the goal of the program is to walk authors step-by-step through submission, we recognized that, sometimes, help is needed. Fortunately, our Managing Editor, Melissa Derby, and our Publisher, Kathleen Phelan, were on hand to answer questions and offer guidance. We never want potential authors to be discouraged by the technical aspects of submitting a manuscript, and Melissa is happy to help! She can be reached via email at [email protected]
Writing is a way for us to share with one another and learn from each other. It is our professional responsibility to contribute to the education of our colleagues in nursing and other healthcare professionals. Here are some of my key take-aways from the workshop:
- Write about what you know—a diagnosis or treatment common in your practice, a project or initiative at your institution, a case study, or specifics about your role in dermatology.
- Consider co-authoring with a friend or colleague.
- Your manuscript does not need to be perfect! We have experienced reviewers who will give you honest feedback to strengthen your article and help you fine tune your writing.
- It often takes several rounds of reviews and revisions before an article is accepted. It can be a long process, but don’t get discouraged—this is normal!
- The importance of including photographs and images can’t be overemphasized! Please include them when you are able. Be sure to include permissions, if necessary.
- Definitely refer to our Information for Authors (http://journals.lww.com/jdnaonline/Pages/informationforauthors.aspx) for specifics on formatting and instructions for electronic submission, but do not hesitate to reach out for assistance.
It was refreshing to meet so many interested writers! Thank you to those of you who participated in this year’s Writers Workshop—we look forward to receiving your manuscripts. We also look forward to connecting with more of our readers next year in Las Vegas, NV. Be sure to include the JDNA Writers Workshop in your DNA Convention schedule in 2015!