Finance & Development

How to Write for Finance & Development

Finance & Development is published quarterly in English, at the beginning of March, June, September, and December in hard copy, online, and in tablet format. F&D is also published in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. The other language editions are normally published within two to four weeks of the English.

What You Need to Know

Who reads Finance & Development?

Our subscribers are well-educated people interested in economic and development issues—many are decision makers in both the public and the private sectors—but they are not necessarily economists. Therefore, you should not pitch your article to your colleagues in the IMF, the World Bank, or the academic world, but to a broader audience—that means avoiding jargon, narrow topics, or analysis that is too technical to be understood by a nonspecialist.

How should you write for nonspecialists?

The tone of your article should be that of a serious consumer magazine— The Economist, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic Monthly, for example—not that of an academic journal. Your opening should be lively enough to appeal to a general reader and should immediately establish the reason the subject you are writing about is interesting and important. Concrete, colorful examples are always a good way to draw the reader in. Let the reader know your main message in the opening paragraphs.

If you have specific examples or country studies you would like to cite, you may consider putting them in boxes. This will break up the text, allow your main arguments to flow more smoothly, and highlight interesting information. Keep references to a minimum, and don’t use footnotes.

Next Steps

How do you submit an article?

There are two ways to get published in Finance & Development. First, we can request a contribution from you, based on your expertise and body of work.

Second, you can submit a proposal to the managing editor (, with an outline of the proposed article or a copy of the paper on which the article may be based. If you have already drafted an article, send the draft by email to the editor-in-chief.

A few weeks after submitting a proposal or draft article for publication in Finance & Development (F&D), we will inform you whether the proposed article is being considered for publication, and whether you will need to do additional work on it. If you have not heard from us, contact COMFDMAG@IMF.ORG).

How far in advance should you submit an article?

We prefer to receive drafts of articles accepted for publication in a given issue at least three months in advance. We may sometimes hold articles over if their subject is related to a theme we plan to feature in a future issue. On rare occasions, we may be forced to hold an article over because of space limitations.


Send us your article via email as a Word document. Charts should be in Excel files, accompanied by data. Create separate files for text, tables, and charts. Do not attempt to format articles yourself—for example, do not embed boxes, tables, and charts in the text, and do not use rules or screens to highlight features. We will have to remove all formatting so our designer can lay out the article according to F&D’s style.

How long should articles be?

Finance & Development articles typically run between two and four printed pages. Your editor will advise on the word count of your article. If you have charts and tables, the text should be reduced somewhat to accommodate them (each chart, for example, is equal to about 150 words).

How should you handle charts and tables?

Charts and tables often clarify or enliven the points made in an article. If you plan to use charts and tables, you should submit them at the same time as your draft article. They should tell a story succinctly and be easy for a nonspecialist to understand. For examples, look at recent issues of F&D. You will see that charts and tables have short, snappy titles and short blurbs that summarize what is being illustrated graphically. Whenever possible, send us chart data electronically, since we must reformat charts to conform to our editorial style.

Who edits and clears articles?

When we receive an article, it is assigned to one of our editors. The amount of editing varies. In some cases, editors restructure and substantially rewrite an article; in other cases, copyediting to make the article conform to our editorial style may be all that is needed. Since the goal is to make the article accessible to a general audience, you will be asked to define or explain any technical terms or concepts. We rewrite passages if necessary to eliminate jargon and delete overly technical material; and we shorten articles if the original draft will not fit in the space allotted.

After editing, we return the article to you for review. Once you are happy with the edit, we send the article (without your name on it) to F&D’s advisory board for review and clearance for publication. Advisors often make detailed and substantive comments, which we send (also anonymously) to you, to take into account in revising your article.

F&D will draft the title and “blurb” (a 10-15-word summary of the article) and select a photo or illustration in consultation with you; F&D has final say on these elements of the article.

Fund staff are expected to alert their Department Head/supervisor that they are writing for F&D.

When your article has been finalized, we will send you the proofs for a final review.

How many copies of the magazine do article authors receive?

After your article has been published by Finance & Development, we will send you five hard copies of the magazine. If you need more copies—for example, because you want to distribute your article at a seminar or another event—please let us know so that we can make arrangements.

We would appreciate your forwarding to us copies of any reviews of, or letters about, your article.

Contact Us

Maureen Burke, F&D Managing Editor,
Gita Bhatt, F&D Editor-in-Chief,
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