Hard and Soft, Working Together, Become Complete
Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists

Uniting and empowering a diverse community
of women and girls in the martial arts.

PAWMA Newsletter Writers' Guidelines

PAWMA News is the official communication tool for its membership. Your ideas and voice are important to reflect its diverse needs, issues, and life as well as martial art styles. Here are a few ideas for contributions to the newsletter.

Article Ideas

Interview a woman martial artist

Is there a woman you admire who has influenced your path as a martial artist? Call her for an interview: What motivates her? Who are her mentors? What challenges has she faced? What is her best advice? What is most important in her life? What does she do for fun? How did she influence you?

Interviews can be written in a question and answer format, or any other format you choose. The conversation can be edited and paraphrased as long as the tone and content are correct. Quotes of especially interesting ideas make the writing lively.

Tell us about your training experience

Write about your training issues. Examples include: breaking through a plateau, burnout, problems with training partners, fear, mental blocks, aching joints, getting old, being young, everyone is skinnier and more flexible than you.

What do you love most (or like least) about your training?

What do you wish everyone knew about training?

Some schools require students to write papers to advance in rank. No use leaving them in a drawer somewhere. Let others learn from them!

Then there are how-to articles. What makes your favorite kick, grab, or throw special? How is it executed? Again, tell stories.

What's happening at your school

Schools often experience challenges. Write about the process used to solve your problem, its advantages/disadvantages, what was learned, skills attained, what you wish you knew before embarking on the process. We can all learn from the work people have done.

Had a guest teacher at your school? Take a special workshop? Report on it and tell readers what you learned, what made it special, its most inspiring moment, and tell stories.

Planning an event? Write about your goals, what inspired you to take on the project, and the specifics of who, what, when, and where. Remember to report on it afterward.

Send announcements about martial art and personal accomplishments such as belt promotions, babies born or gone to college, whatever is big in our members' lives. The newsletter can help members keep up with each other between camps.

Outside martial arts

Book and film reviews don't have to be about current books or films. They don't even have to be directly about martial arts. The review can be about how and why the book or film influenced your martial practice.

Send stories about travels, other sports we do, interesting jobs, hobbies, favorite foods, whatever! Just for Kicks is a column for fun and interesting stories about our members.  

Write about organizations or women you know who are not in the martial arts community but embody its principles? Who they are, what they do, and how they are of interest to women martial artists.

Don't limit yourself to articles. Contribute poems, artwork, photos, lists of books that inspired your martial life, favorite quotes, and relevant news stories (including self-defense success stories and issues related to violence against women).

Writer Support

Not a writer? Don't worry. Email us with your idea and we'll talk. Worried about not being a good writer? Just send what you've got and let us work with it. If you want to see editing and approve it before publication, we can work it out. Not sure your idea or article is appropriate? Send it anyway and let us decide.

Where/How to Send Contributions

Articles, announcements, calendar items, and other written contributions can be sent directly to:
newsletter@pawma.org
A confirmation will be sent upon receipt.

Photographs and artwork can be sent to:
webcontent@pawma.org (preferred) or
PAWMA web site
8400 SW Elmwood St, Portland OR 97223
(PC diskette or CD saved as high-resolution tiff or jpeg files preferred, paper copies ok).

Contact newsletter@pawma.org with questions about ideas, suitability, etc.

Suggested Article Length

Features: 400-800 words + photos/artwork (longer articles are welcome)
Announcements: 400-500 words
Shorts: 200-300 words

Style Suggestions

  • Use active verbs (avoid the verbs "to be" and "to have")
  • Paint vivid descriptions.
  • Be personal (where appropriate) and tell stories to make a point.
  • Develop leads that draw a reader's curiosity or excitement in the first sentence (the first 3 words is even better!).
  • Try to start every sentence in a paragraph with a different word.
  • Try to start every paragraph on a page with a different word.
  • Don't repeat a word within a sentence (except a/an or the). Even better, try not to use the same words (especially nouns, names, verbs, and adjectives/adverbs) in consecutive sentences. It is best to expand this principle to the entire paragraph.
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